The island of Pašman


There are beliaves that the name of the island is created by the name of the Roman master called POSTUMUS who owned some lands on the island. Later on the name is changed to POSTUMIANA INSULA- the island of Pašman. According to some other sources, Pašman gets its name for it was the last island on the route Venice- Zadar, that is- "Post manus" or "The last".


The island of Pašman is a second large island ( 63 square km ) in Zadar archipelago. Pašman channel ( 2- 5 km wide ) separates the island from the mainland. Its nearest island is Ugljan. In the medival times two islands, Pašman and Ugljan were one entity. In ¸1883 the already existed passage was expanded to get a shorter route from Zadar to other islands . Today Pašman and Ugljan are connected by an atractive bridge.

Typical island settlaments are situated on the northeastern side of the coast and are connected by the state road D110.

Pašman is connected to the mainland by ferry line Tkon- Biograd and Preko- Zadar.

A small community that does not stop trying!

The municipality of Tkon is established in 1997. It consists of two settlements Tkon and Ugrinić as well as of 13 small islands. The biggest islands are Gangaro, Žižanj and Košara, and the smallest one is Orlić. The islands of Ćavatul and Planac are located in the Pašman channal while others are located south-east towards the island of Vrgada and south-west towards the islands of Kornati. The municipality of Tkon is a small community according to the number of its inhabitants and the area it occupies; by its location and nature, it is the island in the Adriatic sea. Its advantages and characteristics are: unspoiled nature, clean sea, sandy beaches, rugged coastline and rich history and heritage.

The area of the municipality is 15 square km, and it has 753 inhabitants.


The first name of Tkon was recorded in 950 A.D. The Byzantine emperor Konstantin Porfirogenet mentioned Tkon as KATUN in his work " De Administrando imperio" from 1067. In the 15th century its name was TCONO or CUN and in the 16th and 17th century TCON and TCHON. In the year 1840 in the earliest organisation chart of Zadar Archdiocese the place is recorded as its current name Tkon.

Tkon and Ugrinić were typical island fishing villages. People were engaged in fishing, in cattle breeding and in agriculture- olive and wine growing- which created the need for making woven baskets called " sprte " and " kofe" in which they carried grain from the fields to the houses and further on to the markets. The tradition of making baskets is maintained to this day as homecraft, mostly for tourism purposes as well as the tradition of building replice of old ships such as " gajeta", "guc" and "batana".

The particular geographical position, natural resources and heritage, determined our community to be engaged in Eco or Green tourism which is based on sustainable development - that is - on natural resources with rural and cultural elements in it.

That' s why we call our municipality the Green municipality. All our plans and projects are in line with the policy of sustainable development. We are aware that an island as microlocation is particularly sensitive to a variety of threats- from pollution to excessive construction.

Education on environmental protection is very important. First of all we started with the education of the youngest . Our kindergarten "Ćok " proudly bears the name as the International Eco - kindergarten.

Great attention is paid to family farms that have great potential to consolidate tourism, agriculture and fishing in one place- for the benefit of all- families and wider community. Through recognized tourism products- Škraping ( international trekking race )and Fair island products, we build a better and more interesting tourism, at the same time taking into consideration the traditional values and rich heritage left to us by our ancestors.

Speaking of tradition and heritage, we proudly emphasize the importance that "koludars" from the Benedictine monastery at Ćokovac had and still have for our community. Thanks to " koludars", Glagolitic church singing has maintained to this day and is recognized as cultural intengible heritage of Croatia.

Association of the Church folk singers of the church of St. Thomas the Apostole received the prestigious label- Croatian island product- for its unique and original singing.


Pustograd is a fort from the 6th century under which stood the first Tkon area settlement. It is located on top of the hill overlooking Zaklopica cove. In the times of the Byzantine Empire, it served as a military fortification for overseeing and guarding the Pašman and Zadar channels form pirate attacks. Local residents used it as a shelter from pirate invasions. The defensive walls that surround the hill have the shape of an irregular circle (approx. 85x75 m). Today it is only partially preserved – foundations and in certain parts, one-meter walls. The foundations of one tower are visible on the north side, while another tower is almost completely preserved on the south side. Within the walls, there are traces of two buildings, most probably of a house and a water cistern. Today, Pustograd is considered a valuable archaeological site.

The Veliki tor, or Ugrinić castle, located in the Crnika woods, was built in the 16th century on the path to the harbor on the lower (southern) part of the island, and it serves as the legacy of the Ugrinić family, which stems from the Šubić line. Ugrinić castle is actually a two-story stone fort surrounded with strong and tall walls. The fort was used for accommodating military crews and their families, as well as ancestors of the current residents of the village of Ugrinić. Findings point to the conclusion that the castle was capable of simultaneously accommodating 50 people. The entire fort has an abundance of smaller and larger rooms, and closer inspection reveals the exact placement of the former kitchen, workspace and domestic animal shelter. The second story of the fort contains a preserved large tower which was obviously used by the head of the family, and right beside the tower is a cistern on the open with a beautiful stone bench. Straža and Škatelac/Kaštelac are gazebos which contain remains of German WWII fortifications.

Rural architecture

The oldest parts of today’s Tkon, which contain typical Dalmatian stone houses with farming spaces in the lower story and living spaces on the upper, are visible in the Pelastra and Rudića dvori areas of the village.

The center of the village used to be at the so-called “koledište”, known locally as “kolešće”, where the local well and gusterna are located. This is where all the rain would get collected and then serve as water supply for the entire village.

Among the oldest monuments is the “parapet” (a wall surrounding the harbor), located in Tkon’s harbor, and built midway through the 19th century, which still sometimes serves its original purpose.

Other important buildings include the remains of the De Erco family summerhouse (18th/19th century) with accompanying objects, a watermill and a park, located in the very heart of Tkon. The old core of today’s Ugrinić is also a noteworthy example of traditional architecture. The entire island is covered with drywalls which are protected monuments of culture. Within the drywalls are shepherds’ shelters. The most famous shelters are Calovi tori, which served as bunkers for women and children during World War II. Brzića tori are also a classic example of this type of architecture. The Tkon Municipality is also home to an archaeological site. The sea near the small island of Gnalić contains the remains of a shipwreck, and the 10,000 findings of the site are kept in the Heritage Museum in Biograd. The shipwreck is a Venetian ship that sunk in 1583, carrying all sorts of expensive merchandise for trade all across the Mediterranean.

Sacral landmarks

Within the village of Tkon stands the parochial church of St. Toma, mentioned in documents dating as far back as the 11th century. Its Romantic rectangular apse, as well as the bell tower and numerous fragments, which date from the 12th century, have been successfully preserved. The three-aisled basilica form of the church was constructed in 1742 and renovated in 1938. The main aisle is separated from the other two by six columns with richly decorated capitals. The center Baroque altar contains the painting of Our Lady on the Throne, which is considered to be a 15th century work of the Zadar-based artist Petar Jordanić. The painting used to be a part of a triptych or polyptych which was disassembled and mainly destroyed in the previous century. The church also contains the Romantic bell tower “Alta turri Ornatur” with two bells. The larger bell has a diameter of 74 cm and contains the image of St. Katarina the Martyr and her attributes, as well as images of a cross and two hearts. The lower part of the bell reads:“Svaki duh hvali Gospoda” (Each spirit praises the Lord). The smaller bell, which is 72 cm in diameter, has the year of its creation, ANNO 1902, written on it. The bells were electrified in 1980.

The Benedictine Monastery and the Church of St. Cosmas and Damian- 12 th century ( Romanesque period )

The main characterisics of the monastery were:
• great influence and reputation
• glagolitic nature: they wrote in glagolitic and workshiped in Croatian language and were important of spreading literacy among local population
• strong economic foundation : mills, small saltern, cattle and properties such as Church of St. Krševan in Zadar

In 1808 the French occupied Dalmatia and abolished the abbey.
Renovation period was from 1953 to 1965.
After 150 years of silence monks returned to their monastery in 1965 and since then they have been active in prayer and work.

Overlooking the village, on top of Kalvarija hill, stands the church of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows (18th century) with a way of the cross. Already in the 15th century, the hill served as a venue for local people to see and hear some of the oldest preserved miracles in the Croatian language – Christ’s Resurrection and other miracles from the collected Tkon anthology. In the centre of the village we find the church of St. Antun the Hermit (17th century), erected with the bequest of local glagolite A. Palaškov in 1672, and containing a marble altar that dates from the beginning of the 19th century. The brotherhood of St. Antun exists to this day. The St. Kuzma and Damjan Benedictine monastery is located on top of Ćokovac hill (95 m), 2 kilometers northwest of Tkon. The name “Ćokovac” is derived from the word “ćok”, a local name for the common blackbird. The monastery is classified as a zero category monument of culture. It was built by the Biograd Bishop Teodorik in 1059 on the foundations of an old Byzantine fort and Early Christian church. After the Venetian devastation of Biograd in the 12th century, the Benedictines arrived to Ćokovac and built a new monastery. In the 14th century, the monastery was completely destroyed; however the Benedictines rebuilt it and designed it in Venetian Gothic style. After the 14th-century destruction of the monastery, the monks left the island and joined the King of Bohemia Charles IV in Prague upon his return from Rome, where he was crowned Holy Roman Emperor. The Tkon monks later founded a Benedictine glagolitic monastery in Prague called “Emaus”, which laid the grounds for the founding of the Prague University.

The church is decorated with the Gothic painting of the Tkon Crucifix from the beginning of the 15th century, the work of the master Menegel Ivanov de Canalis, who was a student of Paolo Veneziani, and who, up until 1999, was known as the Master of the Tkon Crucifix. In 1808, the French banned the monastery from functioning, and the last Benedictine Pletikosić remained on the island as the parish priest of St. Toma church. He later bought the devastated and nationalized monastery back from the Austrians.

In 1964, Martin Kirigin arrived to Tkon from Prague with his brother Benedikt ant set out to rebuild the St. Kuzma and Damjan monastery. Ćokovac is the last active male Benedictine monastery in Croatia and a world-renown glagolitic institution.

The collected anthology of Tkon is a Croatian glagolitic manuscript from the beginning of the 16th century. It is kept in the Zagreb library of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. It contains 170 paper pages and was written in glagolitic italic. It belongs to the group of thematically heterogeneous Croatian glagolitic anthologies – it was written by two Ćokovac scribes and it contains miracles, psalms, apocrypha, preachments and various texts. Some parts of the collected anthology are of extraordinary artistic value.