When I started writing about Croatian tourism over 10 years ago, the Internet was a different place, especially when it came to writing about Croatian travel.
Whereas today an array of often banal vloggers and Instagram influencers flood social media fields with their ‘discoveries’ in Croatia, back then there was very little information about Croatian tourism destinations away from the coast and islands. As for quality content even about those popular destinations, it was pretty hard to find in English. It was one of the reasons that Total Hvar did so well when we launched in 2010 – we were simply filling a niche of information that many people were seeking.
The blogging room was a lot less crowded back then. And – dare I say it – the quality was much better too. The bloggers writing about Croatia a decade ago seemed to be more interested in writing about the undiscovered experiences, rather than the Adsense clicks.
And there was one blog back then that was certainly more interested in authenticity rather than clicks – Secret Dalmatia.
I became a regular reader, and it was an important part of my education about places all over Croatia away from my adopted island of Hvar. Indeed, Secret Dalmatia seemed to be averse to writing about the popular places, seeking out the road less travelled at every opportunity.
the Secret Dalmatia blog came into my feed once more this week, more than a decade after our first acquaintance. After ten years of writing about Croatia, and having travelled all over the country during that time, my knowledge of Croatia is as good as many locals these days.
But still not – it seems – as good as Secret Dalmatia, and I smiled to myself when the first two stories that I came across were both destinations which were new to me.
As I have aged, so too has Secret Dalmatia, albeit perhaps a little more gracefully. A video component has now been added to the newer blogs, allowing the complete experience – words, photos and videos of a Croatia even many locals are unaware of. Here are the introductions and videos of the two stories which caught my eye, below. For all the rest, check out parts of Croatia yet to be discovered by checking out the Secret Dalmatia blog.
Ever since I first found out about Old Popovići, back in 2006. , I was curious to visit it. The village is located near Knin, in Biskupija and it is fairly easy to find. It is, basically, right behind modern day Popovići.
The village was founded in 1689. by a refugees from Turkish held Glamoč in modern day Bosnia. Turkish rule was not so easy on the Christians. All of 1600s were brutal in the territory of Croatia which culminated with liberation of most of Croatia by 1690. Of course, at that time, that was Venice and Austria. Popovići family escaped Glamoč to Venetian Knin area and founded the village. That explains fairly unusual architecture of Old Popovići village which was more characteristic for Bosnia than for the rest of Dalmatia. The village grew prosperous. The locals were well known and prominent members of Serbian/Orthodox community in Dalmatia.
Petrova Gora and the numerous monuments found there has a special place in Croatia’s collective, national memory. After all, it was the place where last of Croatian kings was killed in the battle with Hungarians back in 1097. Ok, he was not really the king but just a feudal lord with pretensions to be the king but powerful Hungarian king Coloman the Learned (or Coloman the Book Lover) stood in his way.
But, it is also a place where a famous, now abandoned, partisan hospital from WW2 is still hidden.
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