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Archaeological sites

TUKLJAČA

The archaeological site Tukljača is located along the seashore, 1.5 km to the west of Turanj, opposite the island of Ričul with which it used to be connected. According to some indications, village Tukljačane used to be here. One of the testimonies of the village once existed at this location is the church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Crkva Uznesenja Blažene Djevice Marije) situated at the local cemetery and the mills submerged by the sea for the most part of the year and dry only at low tide. The village was abandoned during the War of Cyprus (1570 – 1573), and the population escaped to the nearby Turanj. When the sea level rose, the village was submerged, but the parish church remained preserved. Numerous remains can be seen in the sea in front of the location, such as the prehistoric embankment which connected the mainland with the nearby island, Roman piers, mills, and the remains of the architecture stretching to the mainland.

CAVE BUTA

The cave Buta is located in the canyon between two hills, tumuli and a hill-fort (156 m). The area below Buta, towards the sea, is called Pećinska draga. The opening of the cave is located below stair-like terraces of limestone slash. Buta is located at 76 meters above sea level. According to the stories of the inhabitants, Buta served to wealthy shepherds from Bukovica as a place to keep their livestock/sheep during bad weather. By 1960s, it served to local shepherds as protection from rain. During the excavations from 1957, small fragments of ceramic items from Roman Provenance were found on the surface and in front of the cave, as well as fragments with cannelures and wave-shape ornaments. One of the tools found was a stone scraper, probably dating back to the Neolithic period.

DE SOPPE FAMILY SUMMER RESIDENCE

The summer residence of the de Soppe family (today making part of the hamlet Mandići) is located on the northern coast of the island of Babac. The island served as a sanctuary for refugees during the Ottoman incursions, mostly for people from Turanj. At the end of the 15th century, there was a group of farmyard and countryside houses (summer residence) on the island, all owned by the de Soppe family. This valuable and preserved summer residence became, in time, a typical refuge, 30 meters away from the sea. The residential facilities consist of a defence wall with a tower, and there is a street inside the hamlet. Nowadays, the most preserved part of the summer residence is its south-western part with a tower preserved up to the corona, and a somewhat lower defensive wall. The entrance was preserved too – the mainland door into the summer residence with inbuilt coat of arms of the de Soppe family from the 15th and 16th century and a dozen houses and a few ruinous corrals. The architecture of these objects is typical of the Adriatic Sea area, with all the properties of Dalmatian popular architecture.

TOWER IN TURANJ

The tower and the remains of walls are the only preserved parts of the fortification block built during the 15th century in Turanj. Up to mid-20th century, the entire place was enclosed by defence walls and three towers. Only one tower is still preserved which is the oldest and the highest fortification of the place named after it. Tradition has it that the tower is called the “Tower of Noblemen Meštrović”. This 10 meters high tower has a square layout and is constructed of mostly lined up, dressed stone blocks. The entrance visible nowadays is the only entrance, located at the ground floor of the tower, within the internal part of the defence wall, on its southern façade. Originally, the tower had a ground floor, two floors and a terrace with a crenelation. When the war danger ceased, the third floor was constructed above the crenelation. The building was just one of Venetian fortifications in Zadar Channel which were formed before and during Ottoman wars.

DVORINE – REMAINS OF ROGOVO CASTLE

The small town of Sv. Filip i Jakov sits on the remains of the medieval settlement of Rogovo. The settlement of Rogovo had a small castle or a palace which remains are still preserved. Along the sidewalk of the road leading from Sv. Filip i Jakov to Sikovo, ruins of Dvorine can be found (locally called Kućare). The layout of that square building is 29 x 21 meters, with preserved walls, up to 3 meters high. The entrance doors are located on the northern side, and the inside of the courtyard has several partition walls. The tower is located on the former crossroad of old medieval roads. The research relate this building with the extension of the church of St. Roch (Sv. Roko) in Rogovo. When Rogovo was conquered by the Ottomans in the 16th century during the War of Cyprus, Dvorine was destroyed, and during the following century extended by the Ottomans for the needs of their customs office and guards. After the Ottomans were forced out of Dalmatia at the end of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th century, this building lost its importance and was probably deserted soon afterwards.