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  01.07.2019, 14:00h

The 175th anniversary of the first tourist boat in Dalmatia

The 175th anniversary of the first tourist boat in Dalmatia

Today, when Šibenik-Knin County, Šibenik itself, and the Krka National Park host millions of visitors, when we are proud of having two UNESCO monuments, and presenting to the world our valuable natural and cultural heritage, leading people from all over the world along well-groomed trails and routes, the moment when everything started should be remembered. Everything has its beginning, including tourism, and the first organized tourists sailed into Šibenik on June 29, 1844, on the Imperatore steamship of the Austrian Lloyd company from Trieste. They visited the Šibenik festival of SS. Peter and Paul, and then sailed on a smaller steamboat to the Skradinski Buk waterfalls, and visited Zadar upon their return.

This cruise is what we were celebrating today, the 1st of July, on the boat called Jastog (or Lobster), which sailed from the Krka docks to the Skradinski Buk waterfall. Instead of tourists, it transported representatives of the City, County, Krka National Park, various tourist boards, hotels, and travel agencies. They were welcomed by musicians from Skradin, and a guided tour was organized so that these experienced tourist staff could feel like real tourists on this occasion.

According to data uncovered by the Šibenik chronicler Darko Gulin, the Austrian shipping company Austrian Lloyd started a regular passenger line from Trieste to Kotor on August 20, 1838. In 1844, along with its regular shipping lines, the Lloyd firm also started organizing excursion tours. In May 1844, the company organized a trip to Venice (to the gondola regatta), Ancona (a visit to the shine of Loreto), and Pula (a tour of the Arena). On the 28th of June of that same year, an excursion was arranged on the new steamboat Imperatore to Dalmatia, i.e. Šibenik (on the feast of SS. Peter and Paul – June 29), the Skradinski Buk waterfall (smaller steamboat), and a visit to Zadar upon return. This was the first arrival in Dalmatia of a ship where the passengers were exclusively tourists (a modern day “cruise ship”). The Harbor Captain in Dubrovnik noted on August 10, 1844 that 153 passengers had arrived in the city on the regular boat service, among which were those whom he described as "passagieri della gita di piacere" (passengers on a pleasure trip). It is also interesting that the Croatian National Tourist Board officially considers 1844 as the year when tourism started in Croatia, as Villa Angilina opened in Opatija in that year.

175 years after the arrival of the first cruiser in Šibenik and Dalmatia and the beginning of tourism, Šibenik - Knin County, Šibenik, and the Krka National Park have been recognized throughout the world as destinations where the natural and cultural heritages of the highest category perfectly complement one another.

While discussing important numbers, in the area of ​​Šibenik - Knin County, there are 600 archaeological sites, 230 cultural monuments, 11 medieval fortifications, 2 national parks, and two sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List. For a town that recently celebrated its 950th anniversary, it is hard to say that it is “newly discovered”, but in the eyes of the world it is precisely this – a new visitor destination that on the foundations of its four ramparts and unique old city nucleus with 24 churches and 2851 steps is building a story of cultural tourism that attracts more and more “pleasure-seeking visitors” every year, as the Dubrovnik Harbor Captain dubbed them. If we continue to count the attractions that surround us, we can immediately note the 7 travertine waterfalls of the Krka National Park, the priceless gift of the Krka River to this karst area, 5 medieval fortresses in its area, 2 religious centers, 1 Roman military camp, 47 kilometers of pedestrian trails and 470 km of bicycle routes in a unique natural environment. All of these represent the foundations on which we are today building a visitor experience and tourist story in Šibenik, Šibenik - Knin County, Skradin, and the Skradinski Buk waterfalls, which first started 175 years ago.

The 175th anniversary of the first tourist boat in Dalmatia was organized by the Šibenik-Knin tourist board, the Šibenik tourist board, the Zadar tourist board and the Public Institute of Krka National Park.