Gornji Karin is a seaside resort located in Croatia, Zadar County, on the coast of one of the smallest seas in the world, the Karin sea. Donji and Gornji Karin are divided by the river Karišnica, which, together with river Bijela Rijeka flows into the Adriatic Sea. Gornji Karin is an integral part of the City of Obrovac, while Donji Karin falls under the jurisdiction of the City of Benkovac. Gornji Karin is dominated by a newly arranged beach, an ideal place for relaxation, swimming, and entertainment.
On the slopes above the Karin Sea are the remains of the Liburnian-Roman city of Corinium. An amphitheater and a temple to the goddess Latri were also built in the city. After the conquests of the Goths (5th-6th century), the ruined Roman city was inhabited and rebuilt by Croats, and it became the seat of Croatian nobles. Lapčanin Voniha gets the town of Karin as a gift by marrying the daughter of King Zvonimir. Voniha had no descendants, so Karin inherited the power of the Lapčani, who gave rise to the Karinjani nobility, first mentioned in 1349.
For those eager for culture: visit the Monastery of St. Mary the Immaculate or Miodrag gradina.
Monastery of St. Mary Immaculate
Not far from the mouth of the Karišnica river, in the lowlands where the road from the Benkovac plateau descends abruptly towards the sea bay, there is a home of solitude and prayer. A hospitable shelter for tired travelers, an open house to anyone: St Mary Immaculate Monastery.
A stone cross made of wicker and the walls of the monastery corridor testifies to the time of the Croatian national rulers and the Karin Lapčani. Franciscan priests inhabited the area in the 15th century. Under Turkish rule, the Franciscans pastorized the surrounding area and continued to do so later. They spread devotion to Mary and St. Pascal, protector of cattle. The monastery used to have schools and a small but valuable library. A small monastery cemetery is where monks gather to remember those who found themselves in Karin’s solitude.
This is undoubtedly one of the oldest monasteries in the Province, and Franciscans inhabited it from Bosnia in 1429. In 1514, the monastery was annexed to the Province of Bosnia Croatia, the Trsat Custody, while all other monasteries remained within the Bosnian Vicariate.
The monastery used to have schools, and there was a small but valuable library with about 400 books, five incunabula and some manuscripts, and an archive.
The monastery, the church, and the bell tower were destroyed in 1991. The renovation began in the spring of 1997., under the leadership of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia. Original building materials were incorporated in the renovation, together with some new elements. Thus, half-millennial spirituality and Franciscan and national memory were restored to Karin.
The restored monastery was ceremoniously opened on the feast of Our Lady of the Angels 2. VIII. 2006. The monastery church in Karin belonged to the original type of so-called Franciscan Ecclesiastical Church, which corresponds to the time of its construction at the end of the third decade of the XV. century. Simultaneously with the monastery, the church was restored to its original form. In 2006, the Franciscans of the Province of the Most Holy Redeemer, in agreement with the Zadar archdiocese, took over the parish of Karin and ceded the parish of Perušić to the archdiocese.