Lace – white gold from the island of Pag

The original way of making and its specific patterns make the Pag lace the cultural good of the Republic of Croatia, as well as a special souvenir of the island of Pag. This textile needlework dates back to the 15th century, while its first official presentation was written down to be on an exhibition in 1880. After that, the Pag lace was presented at many exhibitions all over the world, and in Paris, in 1937, it received a gold plaque.

Since the time when Maria Theresa in her court in Vienna held a Pag lace maker who made lace just for her, the worship of this needlework has not ceased. Even today, women of Pag make lace at the doorsteps of their homes, and it is especially honoured by Benedictine nuns from the convent of St. Margarita, where is a collection of more than 120 exhibits.

Benedictine nuns were among the lace school launchers in Pag, which has been working continuously from the beginning of the 20th century until 1945, and after that with interruptions. Since 1994, there is a one-year lace course within the Bartul Kašić High School. Along with the school, together with the Society of Pag lace makers and the International Lace Festival, the Pag Lace Gallery in the centre of the city is playing an important role in the preservation of lace. In addition to the classic decoration of tables and walls, it is also possible to buy jewellery with a lace pattern as a souvenir. Also, lace is used on Pag folk costumes, on clothes and shoes in general, on bedclothes, and is especially appreciated in the sacral world. It was exactly 150 years ago that the altar cover was one of the most valuable exhibits in the Pag lace gallery.

Given the long tradition of Pag lace, it is no surprise that people of Pag call it white gold. It has written down their history, it is a reminder of their mothers, grandmothers and an ornament they proudly keep in their homes.

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