otok cres, island cres


Once upon a time, in the place of the present-day village of Lubenice stood a Roman settlement called Hibernicia. Its name probably derived from the Latin adjective hibernum, meaning wintry, which could be associated with its position on top of a 378-metre cliff above the sea, exposed to strong winds in the winter. Hibernicia was founded at the site of a pre-historic hillfort. Its position ensured strategic control over the waterways of the west part of the Kvarner Gulf. It started as a Roman fort which eventually developed into a rural settlement surrounded by agricultural fields. Very few Roman remains have survived to the present. In the past, the settlement was enclosed by city walls whose remains are still visible today, together with what remains of the city gates. The medieval architecture of Lubenice leaves a strong impression on visitors: to walk through the ancient, narrow, winding streets feels like walking through corridors of history, and being transported back in time.
As you arrive to Lubenice, already the first view is breath-taking. The former strategic observatory is now a panoramic point you simply do not want to leave. However, make the effort and go explore Lubenice. The 15th-century Gothic church of Saint Anthony the Abbot is located at the parking lot at the entrance to the city. Its impressive position makes it seem like it was chiselled out of the very rock it stands on. Feel free to enter the church and experience its fantastic acoustics.
The bell tower (built in 1791) near the church belongs to the main parish church, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Originally there was a bell tower adjacent to the church, but it was deconstructed the same year it was built since it was attracting too many lightning strikes, which were causing damage both to the bell tower and to the church.
The foundations of the church of the Blessed Virgin Mary date back to the dawn of the village itself, but they are no longer visible. The church you see today was renovated in the 18th century and extended in 1907.
Do not miss the Museum of Sheep Breeding, a small museum dedicated to wool. Shepherding is still very common on Cres, and the wool from local sheep used to be held in great esteem. Visit the museum and find out more about the history of wool on Cres.
The beautiful beach of Sveti Ivan (Saint John) lies just under Lubenice. The beach can be reached on foot. The footpath, which starts at Lubenice, is steep and narrow and it takes about 45 minutes to get there, but this beach is worth the effort. In the summer, numerous visitors gather at Lubenice to attend the Lubenice Musical Evenings, organized by the City of Cres. Concerts are held at the church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and in the square in front of the church on the occasion of the festival’s opening and closing evenings. Concerts are performed by renowned Croatian and international musicians.