Ever since I first found out about the ghost village of Old Popovići, back in 2006. , I was curious to visit it. The village is located near Knin, in Biskupija and it is fairly easy to find. It is, basically, right behind modern day Popovići.
The village was founded in 1689. by a refugees from Turkish held Glamoč in modern day Bosnia. Turkish rule was not so easy on the Christians. All of 1600s were brutal in the territory of Croatia which culminated with liberation of most of Croatia by 1690. Of course, at that time, that was Venice and Austria. Popovići family escaped Glamoč to Venetian Knin area and founded the village. That explains fairly unusual architecture of Old Popovići village which was more characteristic for Bosnia than for the rest of Dalmatia. The village grew prosperous. The locals were well known and prominent members of Serbian/Orthodox community in Dalmatia.
Modern times, in Yugoslavia, were still prosperous and all of Biskupija was well known. Knin was a major railway crossroads and a strong industrial center of the region. Many young people of Popovići decided to build new houses and moved closer to the main road. Old village was slowly getting abandoned and almost all of villagers moved out till 1980s. The Croatian Liberation War in the 1990s also had an impact on the village as many locals took refuge in Serbia with some returning after the war. The old village, luckily, was not destroyed.
Today, this is a ghost village. Only memories live here. It is unusual, but there are locals still coming daily, that, in most houses, everyday objects can be seen. Almost like a time capsule!
In conclusion, Old Popovići village is a great day trip destination. It can be combined with Knin, Krčić… Lots of options in the region! Even the highest peak of Croatia is close by.
Please, do NOT touch or take anything away and, in addition, do NOT enter the houses as they are in poor shape.
Here is the video I made on our visit.