Senj is the oldest town in the Northern Adriatic which during its long history, was the scene of turbulent political events. Because of its location, at the foot of the Velebit in the Vratnik pass, it was of strategic importance on the route between continental Europe and the sea. Very quickly after the Romans built a harbour here, Senj became an important trading port. After 1000 years it was donated to the Templars, after which it passed into the hands of the Frankopans, and finally it fell under the control of the authority of the Hungarian monarchy. At the time of the Turkish invasions it was for a long time the front line, so the Habsburgs founded here Vojna Krajina with strong exterior walls which today are only partly preserved. Since it successfully repelled the enemy's attacks, Senj was the main sanctuary for Uskoks (turncoats), who fleed here after the Mohač battle in the hope that they would defend themselves from the Turks. Their presence is marked by the construction of the Nehaj castle, fortress on top of the hill which dominates the town. It was built in a strategic place, at height, so that it could observe the boats which docked in the harbour. Today it holds the Uskok museum. Senj was a rich centre so, inspite bloody battles, a large number of palaces were built here and Croatian literature was instigated and nourished here. Today Senj is a slightly sleepy town whose devious streets even today smell of past times. Inside its walls is the Romanesque Saint Mary cathedral with a simple facade and brick arcade, and the Vukasović palace with the town museum in which you can see archaeological excavations and works of art from this region. Wander to the nearby Cilnica baroque square, in which there is a classicist fountain. Outside the walls on Cape Art in front of the church of Saint Mary, which is still called „the church of sailors“ there is a park with sculptures of Senj's writers.




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