The old town of Vrana and Maškovića han

In the immediate vicinity of Lake Vrana, near Biograd, there is a small town called Vrana . Although it is a settlement with less than 1,000 inhabitants, this place has a rich history . A Benedictine monastery dedicated to St. Gregory was built in Vrana in the 9th century. The old town of Vrana also owned large surrounding land holdings, and the town housed the relics of St. Gregory as well as a rich treasury with insignia of the Kingdom of Croatia . In the 11th century, King Dmitar Zvonimir ceded Vrana and all its possessions to the Pope, making Vrana the first permanent papal residence on the eastern Adriatic . From the 12th to the 13th century, the Templars lived in Vrana and fortified the old town and monastery. The peaceful life of the people of Vranje ends in 1537 when the Turkish army conquers Vranje . A Muslim population is settling in Vrana and public baths, water supply, a school and mosques are being built. In the second half of the 17th century, after approximately 150 years of Turkish rule, the local Christian population rebelled and succeeded in freeing Vrana from the Turks . Numerous Turkish buildings were destroyed, and after that Vrana never again reached its former size and importance.

In the area of ​​Vrana today there are ruins of a medieval town on a hill above the modern settlement. The ruins are overgrown and not maintained. The most famous and best-preserved building from the Turkish era is the Maškovića han . Jusuf Mašković was a native of Vranje who became a high dignitary at the sultan's court and admiral of the Turkish fleet. In Vrana, he had a luxurious residence built for himself with a bath (hammam), which was not completed because Mašković had been executed in the meantime. After many years of decay, the han was restored and turned into a hotel with a restaurant and a museum. Every year in Vrana, the Days of the Knights of Vrana are held , where battles between the people of Vrana and the Turks are staged, accompanied by various other events.

Find out more: