Baška is not only about our famous, two-kilometer-long beach with natural pebbles. Our rich historical legacy spans thousands of years and if you want to learn about our culture, art and history, plan a visit to some of the places that preserve the spirit of past times. To help you out, we created a list of top sightseeing points in Baška:
The Baška Tablet (Church of St Lucia, Jurandvor)
We are obviously not talking about an iPad here. The Baška Tablet, dating way back to 1100, is one of the oldest monuments of Croatian history and every school kid knows about it.
Why is it so important, you may wonder?There are two main reasons for it.
First is that it represents the oldest physical artifact with an inscription in Croatian language, which is why it is often referred as the “Croatian birth certificate”. It contains 13 lines in archaic language mentioning a famous Croatian king Zvonimir.
The other interesting fact is the script itself, which is completely different than the Latin script that we use today. Namely, up until the 19th century, Croatians were officially writing in Glagolitic, which was their original script for centuries.
Today, the Glagolitic script is one of the main trademarks of Baška and the entire Island of Krk. Maybe you have already run across it while checking souvenirs.
One additional note: the tablet that you can see here is a replica; the original is kept in the hall of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Zagreb.
Baška Old Town
Definitely, «the» place to take a slow stroll. While wandering through the narrow streets paved with old stone, you will encounter many bars, restaurants and shops, which revive the charm of a typical Adriatic old town core.
Intrestingly, Baška’s old town was not the original settlement of the people here. Even though some traces of a Roman urbanism are found in the littoral area, the centre of life was previously situated in-land. Even the first prehisoric settlers lived in caves on the slopes of the southern mountain massif (caves Škuljica and Voganjska Peć). Baška got its name after a medieval castellum Besca built in 1232 on a dominant position, two hundred meters above the sea (next to the church of St John).
It was only after the 14th century that people gradually started to inhabit the coastal area, which finally finished in the 16th century when the castle on the hill was completely abandoned.
The Baška Glagolitic Path
Dedicated to glagolitics and all glagolitic writers throughout history, this path made out of stone sculptures stretches from the Treskavac pass all the way to the old pier in Baška harbour.
The path is not in a straight line, since all the sculptures are located beside important cultural, and historical landmarks or significant natural areas. There are 34 stone sculptures with sculpted glagolitic letters.
The Baška Heritage Museum
The museum contains an ethnographic collection of the Baška area.
It has Baška’s folk costume, old crockery and kitchen utensils on display.
There is also a memorial room of Dr Zdenka Čermakova (1884-1968), the famed Czech woman physician who spent her working life in Baška as the local physician.
The museum can be visited in the afternoon hours in the summer months. For the price of 15 kunas for the entry ticket, you can visit both the Church of St. Mark and the Baška Heritage Museum.
A big chunk of our history was closely tied to Christian legacy, just as it is the case in the entire Mediterranean region and across Europe.
There are two sacral monuments in Baška’s centre, two on the hills above the Baška valley and two in the neighboring village of Jurandvor.
Archeological remains under the chapel of St Marco, situated almost in the centre of Baška, are 1500-year-old. Who would have known that the underground of this modest, little church hides the remains of an impressive double old Christian basilica with a baptistery – one of the most magnificent in entire Croatia and the Adriatic!
What’s special about it is the floor of the entire sacral complex that used to be decorated with a grand mosaic that can be compared with the greatest churches of the Christian world like Aquileia, Ravenna or Salona. Only a small part of this exceptional mosaic is uncovered.
Parish church of the Holy Trinity is a Baroque three-nave structure with a twenty-eight-meter high bell tower built in the 18th century, after the people of Baška started to move from in-lands to the coast and the parish church of St John became too far away for everyday liturgy. The interior of the church has richly decorated altars and on the main altar is a painting showing the Holy Trinity and the coronation of the Virgin Mary.
Sanctuary of the Mother of God Gorica has and interesting story about its origins. The legend says that the angels took the statue of the Virgin Mary from another church (St Mary, located in Goričica at the Baška valley) to save it from pirate attacks back in the 15th century. They put it on the top of the hill called Grad and later that became the location for the new church: Sanctuary of the Mother of God Gorica. Pilgrimages visit this place every year, climbing up 237 votive stairs leading to the church.
The church of St John is situated on the hill to the north-east of today’s Baška and it was the first parish church at the time of the Medieval castle Baška, before the settlement moved to the coast. A part off the castle was preserved today near the church.
The visit to this location is a great photo opportunity because the view of the entire Baška that lies beneath is truly spectacular!
We already mentioned the monastery and church of St Lucia in Jurandvor, where The Baška Tablet is situated, which is an interesting example of the Romanesque sacral architecture. The church emerged in High Middle Ages but was found to lie on the foundation of an antique farm building.
While around Jurandvor, pay a visit to the Locality Mira in the nearby, along the road leading to Baška. These remains of an old Christian sacral structure from the 5th century were discovered recently, when a mosaic floor of an old church appeared under the plough field. The structure emerged as an adaptation of an earlier antique construction which was transformed into a church.
Reached by boat or mountain routes to the east of the bay of Baška, there is a small penisula Sokol, which is both an archeological and a wild nature sight.
The entire area is enclosed from the land side, with large rocky mountainous massifs from 250 to more than 350 meters high, so it can be accessed only from the east, sea side.
According to the architectural remains, the area was inhabited in the late Antiquity at the castrum Korintija – one of a series of structures of early Byzantine military architecture, emerged along the east Adriatic coast that served as watchtowers and military bases. Within the fortress walls there are still the remains of the church dating from the 6th century.
The ancient building technique of dry stone walling, using only stones and no binding material (no mortar or concrete), has still been preserved in the traditional vernacular architecture of this region. Mrgari is its most impressive example with its complex of multicellular dry stone sheepfolds – flower-shaped in ground plan.
They were used for sorting out the sheep of various owners in the old days, which is a tradition that lasts until today!
During the year, the sheep get mixed up since they graze freely on the heights that encircle the valley of Baška. Mrgari are normally over ten metres long, and the largest one can hold up to 1500 sheep.
Then a few times a year, shepherds gather to classify the sheep, looking to separate their own flock into smaller groups (mrgarice), which look like petals and encircle the central mrgara or “pen”.
Mrgari is a very rare site on a world scale, as there are only three places in Europe where these type of stone constructions can be found: Great Britain (Wales), Iceland and our Island of Krk (its most southern, uninhabited point and the islet of Prvić right across).