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History of Sutivan

Sutivan (or Stivan) got its name from the early Christian basilica and Benedictine monastery of St. John (Sv. Ivan) from the 6th century. The ruins of this basilica are visible around and within the old chapel of St. John from the 17th century in the part of the town called Bunta. Sutivan developed in 15th century after it was founded by the immigrants from the mainland who escaped the Turks. Soon became Sutivan fortificated settlement called castrum.

In the port of the town there is a fortificated Renaissance mansion with a park (Ilića dvori) from the 16th century, then fortificated house called Marjanovića kula from the 17th century and sommer residance of the Renaissance poet Jerolim Kavanjin. On the door-post of the residance there is carved humanistic sign OSTIVUM NON HOSTIVUM – open only to friends not enemies. The church was built in the 16th century, but later it was rebuilt, so it kept its baroque appearance as well as the dominant belfry. Inside and in front of the church there are some grave-stones from the 16th century, among which the most interested is one on the Croatian language of the family who were the founders of the town.

In the time of French ruling Sutivan got its graveyard on the hill over the town. There are one of the oldest catacomb graves in Dalmatia at this graveyard. Nearby it is situated the church of St. Roko from the 17th century, the protector of Sutivan, who chased the plague from Sutivan, as the legend says. On a way out of the Sutivan in the direction to the village Mirca, on the sea-shore there is a well preserved windmill which gives Sutivan special picturesque and nostalgic charm.