Cover photo © credits: iStock/xbrchx
Cover photo © credits: iStock/xbrchx
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Senj: the town on the 45th parallel north

3 minutes to read

Senj is a small but interesting town. Both, closed and isolated. It's the oldest town in the northern Adriatic region. Senj is a place where people live for more than 3000 years, and where the balls are organized for kids. It is home to the most famous Croatian carnival. City's Nehaj Fortress is one more reason to come to this town located on the 45th parallel north.

Senj and its 30 centuries of history

For the history of Senj, we can say that it is adventurous and exciting. Romans created their settlement here since the position is amazing. Not only the 45th parallel means very nice climate but also the vicinity to the sea and mainland, big port and good roads, the mountain and sea. Senj was a place between the two important powers (back in time): the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Venice. Senj's big port and important position made it desirable for both sides. Later, Nehaj Fortress became the headquarters for Uskoks, the third party in the clashes in the period between the 15th and 17th century in this region. Uskoks were non-official soldiers of the Habsburg Monarchy, who fought against the Ottoman Empire in the Adriatic region. In the 18th and 19th century, Senj restrained to develop and grow. It had glorious and sad moments in history, but it stayed a famous and important Adriatic town.

Photo © credits: iStock/xbrchx
Photo © credits: iStock/xbrchx

Today, Senj serves as a seat of the Lika-Senj County - the biggest but the least inhabited county in Croatia. When in Senj, don't miss to take a photo of a famous sundial, that will remind you that you are on the 45th north parallel. Besides the sundial, Senj port is another important place to visit. Inevitable is the fortress Nehaj, which is the town's most important cultural and historical monument and the tourist attraction No.1. Don't forget that the national park Northern Velebit is just on 30 min drive and Plitvice lakes, a natural jewel of Croatia is only 90 min by car. And amazing Krk and its beaches are waiting just in front of you.

Photo © credits: iStock/xbrchx
Photo © credits: iStock/xbrchx

In the photo below, you'll see Senj's famous sundial with the Glagolitic letters on it. Senj was an important Glagolitic center, hence those old letters here. Beneath the white sundial, you'll find the line that represents the 45th parallel.

Photo © credits: Wikipedia/Roberta F.
Photo © credits: Wikipedia/Roberta F.
Senj
Senj
Senj, Croacia

Nehaj Fortress

Nehaj Fortress is the most important and famous symbol of the town. It is not only the symbol of Senj but whole Adriatic Croatia. Nehaj Fortress was built in the 16th century thanks to Ivan Lenjković, an Uskok's general. This 18-meters-high fortress is decorated with five towers and today serves as a museum but also a festival venue. The view of the town from the canon holes is amazing. Additionally, from the tower, you can see Velebit mountain, Učka mountain, and Kvarner Gulf islands. Curiosity is that the name of this fortress means "do not care". The fortress Nehaj is depicted on the town's coat of arms.

Photo © credits: iStock/heckepics
Photo © credits: iStock/heckepics
Nehaj Fortress, Senj
Nehaj Fortress, Senj
Nehajski put 3, 53270, Senj, Croacia

A few more words

Senj is located in the biggest Croatian County - Lika-Senj and close to the highest Croatian mountain. Once it was the biggest port and still is the oldest town in the Northern Adriatic. Pretty impressive for a small town, right? Besides its location on the 45th parallel north, Senj and its Nehaj Fortress will welcome you with its specific charm and scent of the passing periods, halfway between the Equator and the North Pole.

Photo © credits: iStock/tcerovski
Photo © credits: iStock/tcerovski

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The author

Marko Radojević

Marko Radojević

I am Marko, 28 years old, from Croatia. Travel, languages and nature enthusiast, lover and explorer. I share about my beautiful country.

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