Novigrad in Dalmatia

There are places that keep you returning to and you can hardly ever guess what the reason is. Novigrad, on the shores of Novigrad sea is one of those places. Is it for the iconic view from the road above it? Maybe the maze of narrow streets and old traditional houses or  the history of this, once important small town? No matter what it is, it is always interesting to go back.

Novigrad - the famous view
Novigrad - the famous view

The view did not change much from the old days:


History of Novigrad is quite interesting. Especially the history during the medieval times and later, with Turks occupying the area. The fortress on the hill was even a prison for Hungarian queen Elisabeth (actually of Bosnian origin) and she was strangled there in the first days of January 1387. as a result of fierce civil war that raged in Croatia and Hungary  at he time.
Novigrad had big walls surrounding it with 9 defensive towers but only remains are visible today. The walls were knocked down in the 19th century as in the rest of Dalmatia after the centuries of fighting with all sorts of enemies.

The fortress of Novigrad
The fortress of Novigrad

Interesting curiosity about Novigrad is that it is believed that it is the most authentic originally Croatian town/village on the coast! All other towns and cities suffered long years/centuries of being under Turkish rule and thus with changed demographics we cannot discuss the original Croatian inhabitants as many people moved in from Bosnia and other parts of the Balkan. Novigrad, on the other hand, was only briefly held by the Turks and people returned.

Today, Novigrad is a very quaint little town… The Novigrad sea is abundant in fish and shellfish, which is why Novigrad fishermen are well known in the area. In the past, tuna was very regular in these waters and even recently we had a small whale visiting!

Mostly wooden boats in teh harbor!
Mostly wooden boats in the harbor!
Colors of Novigrad
Colors of Novigrad

Also, Novigrad suffered numerous bombing attacked in the war in the 90s ruining quite a few old houses in the historic part of the town. Some of them were restored but some are still left as no one has returned or they don’t have the money. It should be of interest to all to keep Novigrad as beautiful and unique as it always was but. Fixing the streets after the winter digs should be the first step towards creating a beautiful and interesting destination.

The narrow streets of Novigrad
The narrow streets of Novigrad

So, for an interesting day trip or a day on a beach (sand beach near the hotel), Novigrad is a lovely destination. Just that view from the hill alone is worth the trip! Or just sit on the terrace and watch the Maslenički most bridge with Velebit in the background.

Velebit in the sunset
Velebit in the sunset

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  1. Morgan says:

    I often get this Novigrad confused with the Novigrad in Istria – probably because I have never visited this one. Now that I read there’s still an abundance of fish, I’ll be there next trip for sure! 🙂

  2. 🙂 Istrian Novigrad is nothing special but it is better known as it is bigger. This Novigrad is located in a very special spot and deserves far more visitors!

  3. Miquel says:

    Yes, I had the same confusion as Morgan. I think that there are actually a couple of Novigradi in Croatia, no? Friends have a summer house in Crna Punta (which I’m not a huge fan of), but it appears I had missed visiting Novigrad all this time. I’ll have to make the stop next time. Maybe even buy an old home to restore for myself when I’m rich! 🙂

  4. @ Miquel – Definitely a place to visit! I also hope you get rich soon as some of the houses need new owners badly 🙂

  5. Miquel says:

    Oh, I’d buy in a heartbeat were it not for all the ownership and rights issues that go along with buying property in former Yugoslavia countries…

  6. Morgan says:

    It’s true – I found an affordable wreck near Komiža a few years ago, but there were multiple owners, half of whom were in Australia or Canada.
    I also considered buying in Mostar, BiH, but that was even more complicated. In the end, I bought a small parcel of empty land.

  7. 🙁 so many beautiful houses will collapse to rubble due to ownership issues. If only all that got sorted on time… We are still battling some Austro-Hungarian disputes! My father gets in a mail, at least 2 -3 times a year, letters from attorneys looking for inheritants of plots that belonged to his great-great -uncle… We are talking 1880s here! Insane!

  8. Morgan says:

    I’ve tried to discover if my great-grandparents had any property from the same period, with no success. My maternal grandparents emigrated separately and left nothing behind.

    I truly would have loved rescuing that wreck on Vis. Instead, I’m trying my best to build my mala kuća in as traditional a manner as possible. My stonemason does excellent work for a good price – I got lucky with such a majstor nearby. 🙂

  9. Elisa says:

    Wow, the pictures are impressive! Seems like a place not a lot of tourists go.

  10. @ Elisa – this was late June but most folks were on the beaches. It is quite crowded now and they also have this great fishermen night

    @ Morgan – where in Vis is the house? My wife’s mom has a house in Lucica – from Kut towards the Ceska Vila – and it is easily recognized by the big magnolia and it’s pink flowers. You can spot it right from the ferry, to your left, first row by the sea. Next to it is beautiful old house abandoned before WW2. Will have to make a post on places like that…

  11. Morgan says:

    It was just off the main road from Vis to Komiža – with no sea view. The empty land I bought has a terrific view and far easier access to Split.

    Oh, the great fishermen night. You’re making me sad. With a lot of family problems this year, I’m now hoping to get to Dalmatia for the olive harvest 🙁

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