Knightly Days in Vrana

It is difficult to reconstruct history. Dreamlike pictures jump out from the thick weave of history, from the dark partitions of time: the Templars, the Hospitallers, Turkish pasha, Papal messengers, the Vrana priors… are only a few of the characters from the long and layered Pakoštane history.

During the “KNIGHTLY DAYS IN VRANA”, a historical spectacle, there are re-enactments of scenes from times long past. Before you there will be a medieval camp, knight tournaments, old crafts, plays, knights-horsemen from all over Croatia and abroad, falcon trainers, commoners, jugglers and the poor… picturesque folk costumes, uniforms, war devices and add to this a rich a culinary offer based on medieval recipes. You will be awed by everything you see, but when you are offered fruits of the land from the Vrana fields you will not know where the true throne of pleasure resides: in your eyes or on your taste.

Right next to Han Jusufpaše Maškovića, the last Turkish fortress on the edge of western civilisation, a historical spectacle will take you back to the time of great battles, and if you close your eyes for a moment, it will seem as if you are part of the heroic army, a protruding bulwark before the Turkish onslaught, the grand Vrana priors Ivan Paližna and Petar Berislavić.

Sea battle

During the days of the Vrana Knights you have the opportunity to attend a real medieval battle at sea. In a quiet evening, the Turkish fleet of boats and sailboats slowly enters the port of Pakoštane with the intent to take it. But soon locals react and defend the place. Flaming arrows flying everywhere, you can hear shouts and noise from ships, cannons wait readily, catapults trying to repel the Turks further … history reconstructed in a stormy night ending with celebration, of course of the locals, and fireworks while the Turkish fleet in the distance flees to the south.

Školjka Klapa festival

Like Venus who floated on a shell, but also like the shell itself, ships and sailors hide the secret of their beauty in the spiral depths from which a breath of the universe flows.

This breath of acoustic miracle which flows form within shells also awaits you at this unique festival where the stage has been constructed in the shape of a shell. Instead of Venus, on the shell-shaped stage, the best quality klapa (acapello groups) in all their musical beauty from the Zadar and Šibenik-Knin counties have been performing, together with the best klapa singers from all of Croatia.

The specific qualities of this festival lay in the fact that it represents the beginning of a type of educational centre for klapa singing. Heading down this path is the winter klapa school of singing, the only one in Croatia which is turning into a traditional gathering of klapa and their leaders.

Materine užance

Off the paths trod by armies, outside the routes sailed by ships armed with cannons, lived women, who history never noted because history has always been a story of wars, conquering armies, burning and plundering. These women also lived among all these famous and less famous pages of history; they are our mothers, wives, daughters. While noting the wondrous uniforms of conquerors, history never noted the folk clothing worn by women. While the armies fortified themselves with the blood of the defeated, history never noted the food the women prepared and laid forth to eat before the victors or the defeated. Their skills, crafts and beauty were never noted. Of all the women throughout history, only those women whose beauty caught the eye of rulers and soldiers of any kind were noted. That is why this event is the beginning of the story of a great history of the region – the history of women.

Come to MATERINE UŽANCE, to the stone streets of an old locality, among the walls of times long past and taste the food of our mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers: Čućke, gnocchi, boiled octopus, shellfish, pršut (smoked ham), cheese… salty and sweet: almonds in sugar, mimce, fritule and kroštule (traditional desserts) … Everything is prepared, mixed and cooked before you a number of times throughout the summer. Come and have a taste, the story has no end.

Portuni i kantuni

If you are interested in culture and old customs of Dalmatian small towns, this event is an ideal opportunity to get to know the history and folklore heritage of Pakoštane. In th old times from all corners of houses of this place, you could smell various fragrances of desserts which were made by the valuable hands of our housewives; from flans, galetine, almonds, crocants to cakes. Our grandmothers kept the recipes of all these sweets so you can enjoy them today too. At the gates, after a hard work in the field, people would stand and greet passers-by changing the already famous shouts, and in the evenings you could often hear songs of a klapa that would toast with a drop of wine. To demonstrate the life of the past centuries, the locals dressed in old folk costumes are preparing their traditional food in front of their houses, playing old games, feeding their animals, and singing old songs. Passing through the old streets of Pakoštane you will surely feel the taste of the past that this place inherits and wants to care for.