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Call - Nazovi

+385 98 168 8409

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Cultural Heritage​

History and cultural heritage of Velebit

The cultural heritage and history of Velebit can be traced from ancient times (prehistoric settlements prove this) to the most recent times.

Ancient writers called Velebit Albion oros, Albanon oros (Αλβιον ορος, Αλβανον ορος) in Greek or Mons Albius in Latin. We may assume that the Indo-European root *alb (lat. albus, white) brings the name of this mountain in connection with its features. The first thought is that the mountain earned this name from the snow that, at altitudes above one thousand meters, remains from late autumn to well into the early summer. However, we should first take into consideration the fact that it was from the vantage point of the sea that the first sailors and travellers discovered this area. When viewed from the sea or the coastal side, the most noticeable feature of Velebit are its white rocks.

To those looking at this mountain from afar (either from the inland or the coast), it may indeed seem as a huge obstacle, a barrier or a border. Research has, however, shown that Velebit was neither a barrier nor a border, but an area which connected people who lived on the seaward side with those who lived on its inland side. Bearing witness to this are prehistoric settlements on both sides of the mountain.

Velebit until the Roman conquest

Velebit area in Roman times – cultural heritage

Medieval and early modern period

The Recent Past of Velebit – cultural heritage

Witnesses of the Past – cultural heritage

The area of ​​Velebit is specific for its rich architectural creativity and the peculiarity of the fund of other material and spiritual culture of the population of the mountain area. The influence of the wider environment on craftsmanship and architectural tradition was not significant. Due to the isolation, the resident of Velebit was bound to his own experiences through generations that created a distinctive and original architecture of folk creativity. Throughout history, far from sources of information, people thus created their own material culture, simple and adapted to the main source of survival – animal husbandry (drywalls, shepherds’ dwellings). Drywalls were created by clearing hard-to-cultivate areas and skilfully stacking stone on top of stone without additional binding material. Drywall construction is not only a valuable cultural and historical treasure, but also a habitat for various types of plants and animals.

Most of the apartments in Velebit are built of stone, rectangular in shape using the drywall technique. The apartments in Visokogorje consisted of one windowless room, with a hearth in the middle and a supporting pillar of the roof. Next to them, corrals for cattle were added.

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