Dalmatian pyramid

No, this is not a new discovery in line with “Bosnian pyramids”. This is just a possible explanation of a mysterious pyramid first drawn on a 1570 map that was based on an older map by Šibenik native Martin Kolunic Rota.

Pyramid in Zagora

Pyramid in Zagora

I heard about it a while back. About the time when Bosnian pyramids were still making the news back in mid 2000s. A friend of mine – a legendary collector of all sorts of antiques, Ivica Ćurković  - told me that there is an image of a pyramid on an old map. Hmm… I saw it and there was no doubt that it was a real piece of late 1500s cartography. I personally bought a later version as the image was much more clear and all other details were pretty much the same. My map is this later one, by Merian from 1652. Simply a stunning piece!

Martin Kolunić Rota (c. 1520–1583)

Martin Kolunić Rota  (c. 1520–1583)

Martin Rota was born in about 1520 in Šibenik. Little is known of Rota’s early life or where he trained as an engraver, but most of his documented career was spent working in Venice, Rome, and Vienna.
Rota has been described as one of the most significant graphic artists of the second half of the 16th century, though few if any of his prints were original compositions. You can learn more on Rota here.

So, it was puzzling why would anyone draw a pyramid on a map… Legend? Folk stories? Something so ancient that no one remembers any more?
I was thinking about a location near Vrlika, foothill of Dinara. Or something closer to Bosnia?
Recently I was discovering more and more on a very historic area of Nevest and Cera in the very heart of Zagora. The region has gone through dramatic changes through the history and holds some of the most interesting historic sites in the country. What particularly got my attention was the village Ostrogašica that was named after (allegedly) the Ostrogoths that once ruled the area. And then, studying maps, I saw it…

Zvonik hill near Ostrogašica

Zvonik hill near Ostrogašica

A topographic maps shows a very steep hill. It is called Zvonik (Bell Tower) and the only written piece on that was also found on that Neves and Cera web site discussing a medieval fortress on top of the hill. The pieces of the puzzle are now shaping into a story. What else but a field trip!

Zvonik

Zvonik

The hill stands steep but not as steep as I expected. Actually, this is the easiest “looking” side and it looks much steeper from other direction. But, this is not an easy climb! This is a very demanding hill with really steep slopes and lots of thorn trees and rocks. Of course, it is not a pyramid. It is a natural hill that, from the Šibenik side, looks like a pyramid. Still not enough evidence to prove this is the “Pyramid” on the old maps. Some 20 minutes later, we were on the top.

The walls

The walls

There are clear evidences of the structure on top of the hill: nicely carved blocks still showing the size of the structure. Most of them either taken away or simply rolled down after the fortress was destroyed. There is a pit on top of the hill probably dug out as some sort of a cistern for water in case of a siege.

A pit on top of the hill

A pit on top of the hill

Cross on top of the hill

Cross on top of the hill

Someone put up a big cross on top of the hill. Probably after the war as this area was also quite affected by the war in the 90s. What was more interesting to me were the outer walls of the fortress. They are typical medieval walls on an angle. Closing in towards the top. Just like on pyramids.

The walls

The walls

The walls

The walls

A lot of broken roof tiles shows that at least one of the buildings had a roof. Combined together – hill and fortress with a roof – one can get a pretty decent pyramid shaped hill looking from the distance.
And that was the only way to look at the hill back in the late 1500s as the Turks captured the region in 1522… So, I guess the “mystery” is solved.
I was also quite impressed by the steps carved in the rock!

Steps in the stone

Steps in the stone

Steps in stone

Steps in the stone

There is also a door on the image. At the very bottom of that “pyramid”. It can be explained probably by some sort of the gates. I saw a basic stone wall going around the foot of the hill and there was some sort of the entrance to the area. Probably marking the easiest access to the top as it was easy to guard and close. Not visible now and it is quite hard to figure out the easiest path because of all the trees and bushes.
We managed to go down the hill – not easy – to see one small pond.

Pond next to Zvonik hill

Pond next to Zvonik hill

There were some local girls with dogs next to it. The pond is now much bigger than usually as it was quite rainy last month.

Dogs having fun

Dogs having fun

The spring is definitely here!

So, is this the pyramid from the old maps? Maybe. I would leave some space for different interpretations but from all the evidences on actual maps, history, remains of the fortress… I think it is. After hours spent on aerial shots and reading different sources, this makes the most sense.

The pyramid

The pyramid

So, of course it is not a pyramid, but a historic hill with remains of a fortress that, at one point, looked like a “pyramid” from the distance. And a great place to visit any time ;)

Travel in Croatia

 

Winter sunset walk in Modrave

Modrave is one of the last untouched areas of our coastline. Hopefully, it will stay that way as it should be protected from the devastation that destroyed most of our coastline. This beautiful stretch starts after Drage and continues to Prosika just before Pirovac, central Adriatic. Vransko lake is behind it (in the old days it would be “in front” as coastline was very scarcely populated) and Murter archipelago in front. The area is known for thousands of olive trees and it’s dry stone walls. Lately, the bike routes have been established and it makes a great cycling area.

Modrave Sunset

Modrave Sunset with Murter archipelago and Kornati in front

It is also a great area if looking for some nice secluded beaches or coves to anchor. Nowhere near as crowded as popular destinations. But, in the winter time, these bike routes and narrow trails by the sea, make a perfect walking area! We were rewarded with one amazing sunset last month when we decided to explore the Stani bay.

Modrave Sunset

Each family had it’s own pier

Modrave Sunset

Old harbor

Modrave Sunset

By the water

Stani got it’s name from cottages that used to be here. Probably just for olive oil pickers from Murter and Betina that are owners of most of these lands. Several ruins still remain.

Modrave Sunset

Agave

Modrave Sunset

Old cottage and one restored

Just one great spot for walking and enjoying a very quiet shore in the winter.

Last light

Last light

Croatian travel
http://www.blogdash.com/full_profile/?claim_code=96f1f2064abfc5e8b82ca959d665fea9

Ley lines in Croatia – Secret Dalmatia

I have been fascinated by mysteries and hidden, sacred knowledge ever since I first read “Holly Blood, Holly Grail” back in 8th grade and then continuing reading the sequels which elaborated more on the sacred architecture and sacred geometry. In other words, on connecting specific places on the maps of Europe, World…and finding shapes, straight lines, various patterns. The most famous of those lines – or ley lines as they are called – is St Michael line in England. There are numerous books and web sites  on the subject but one very “down to Earth” approach  can be found here.

St Michel and St Mary lines

St Michel and St Mary lines

So, as archaeology and history have been a passion of mine forever and reading all these books on “alternative” history, I always wanted to find something similar. And especially so as usually you don’t hear anything about Croatia (and Balkans in general) and we do have some fascinating mysterious sites and places! My only interesting discovery so far was the “temple” near Vrcevo. But that needs a lot more of work before it is “anything” but an interesting site: Read about it here.

And then I found it.

Ley line in Croatia

Ley line in Croatia

One evening, resting from a stressful day, I was looking at the map of North Dalmatia on Google Earth and realized that ancient site Asseria and Varvaria (Bribirska glavica) can be connected to Nin. Further south to Visovac Monastery on Krka river and further north to Pula and Brijuni Islands. I did not consider it quite important and besides, there are numerous more important sites and more “magical” than the ones I connected. But, when I looked closer, I realize that this line connects temples…

The Church of Our Lady of Visovac

The Church of Our Lady of Visovac (green line)

The line starts/goes through straight through the church! Visovac has a very specific position and it is a natural (?) island on the river Krka. There are evidences of a Roman and possibly pre-Roman cultures. Then continuing north, the line goes through Varvaria or Bribirska glavica. Also called “Croatian Troy” for numerous layers of historic artifacts dating back to the prehistory, it was also a place that must have had numerous temples and churches. Did not find one on the map but considering that most of the site is still underground, anything is possible.

Bribirska glavica (Varvaria)

Bribirska glavica (Varvaria)

Not so far north, there is ancient Asseria.

 

Asseria

Asseria

Yet another ancient site waiting to be excavated… Further north I expected it to connect through another important Roman city of Nedinium but it does not touch it but continues straight to the site of Roman temple in Nin.This was the largest Roman temple on the eastern Adriatic coast but Nin was inhabited 3000 years ago so it is likely that this was a site of a more ancient building/temple.

Nin and green line passing near the temple

Nin and green line passing near the temple

Continuing further, the line continues over some islands but nothing of interest and I assumed it will connect to famous Nesactium – the oldest town in Istria – but instead it went through Pula. But not just through Pula: it crossed the Roman temple of Augustus in Pula…

Pula

Pula

The line further continues to the site of three Roman temples located on Brijuni – Veliki Brijun island.

Villa Rustica and temples in Brijuni

Villa Rustica and temples in Brijuni

And then is where it gets tricky… I have no exact idea where the Brijuni temples were and how to pin point them on the map. This means that most sites connect on this line except the line in Nin which then, when connecting Brijuni and Visovac, can move between the church of Sv Križ and that largest Roman temple in Nin… Once I go to Brijuni and find it out, it will be more clear what places are connected.

Of curse, I also tried to connect the line further up from Brijuni and I stopped somewhere on Murano Island… but south I managed to pin point only one “important” site: The Templar Fortress of Rhodos.

Rhodos castle

Rhodos castle

Yes, I know – it does look like some Templar mystery now but I am staying away from any conclusions. It goes further to Gaza although I expected Jerusalem…
So what does all this mean? Ley lines are usually not straight lines but more of directions and places rarely connect in such perfect manner like on this line. There is a plethora of far more important and more sacred sites on this direction but none of them aligns this perfectly.
Yes, human eye and mind are “trained” to look for patterns and straight lines just like when we find familiar shapes looking at clouds but this is a bit “too perfect”.  With a number of sites on Croatian coast – and further south, it is possible that  I (or someone inspired by this) will find more than one alignment of historic places.

But it is a mystery…
If anyone has any questions or comments or wants to help out or share knowledge like this, send email to info@secretdalmatia.com

Travel in Croatia
Tours of Croatia