Secret Dalmatia Blog - Travel Experiences in Croatia

The Medieval Fair in Vrana – The return of the Templars!

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This past weekend, a local tourist board of Pakoštane organized a 3 day show focusing on the medieval tradition of Vrana village.
This tiny place was one of the most important towns in the medieval Croatia and even the royal crown was kept in the now ruined castle.
Among many very unique features, the best preserved example of Islamic civil architecture in Europe is located in Vrana. The original caravansary of Turkish admiral Maskovic (who was captured as a kid in Pakostane and taken to Istanbul to raise to power) dating back to the 17th century is located in Vrana. Although in relatively good shape, the centuries of neglect have left a sign… This best preserved Turkish monument in Croatia just received a donation of 2 000 000 Euros from the EU for restoring it’s glory!

The western wall of the caravansary with beautiful oriental windows
The western wall of the caravansary with beautiful oriental windows

The Medieval fair focused on the traditional produce of the area and the main attraction was a group of knights – Zelingradski vitezovi – who specialize in reenactments. They are the only such group in Croatia and they do a great job entertaining and showing people the armor, the war techniques and military traditions of the period.

End of the show
End of the show

Here is what the battle looks like:

The show was held at 6 PM and a second one later in the evening when many more people showed up. The organizers had locals selling – at popular prices – the homemade produce and traditional stuff like pottery and souvenirs. We enjoyed a local delicacy called “picipaje” – basically a fried sweet dough with some sugar on it. Classic! Visitors could have tasted local wines and brandys, fruit, ham and cheese…

Ladies from Pakostane frying picipaje
Ladies from Pakostane frying "picipaje"

The main treat was in caravansary or Han as it is locally called. It was an ox on a spit. Traditional delicacy of the medieval times did not impress me. I was looking for some lamb but almost no lambs were prepared that day which was strange knowing Croatian obsession with lamb on a spit!

Ox on a spit...
Ox on a spit...

Overall, the fair was a huge success and it was a lot of fun for entire family. This was a first time for the organizers but there were no mistakes or silly errors. Everything was in it’s place and a great way to spend a hot summer afternoon…

The sun setting on the camp...
The sun setting on the camp...
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