otok cres, island cres, martinscica


Martinšćica is the second biggest town on Cres island. The place owes its name to Saint Martin's church, located just above a small beach. Martinšćica is a relatively new place which evolved only after the people living at Saint Cristopher's hill relocated to the coast. If you decide to go for a hike up that hill, you will come across the remains of drystone walls which once protected a Bronze Age hillfort.
The development of the Martinšćica we know today began with the construction of Saint Jerome's church and monastery, founded in 1479. The simple church's main altarpiece was painted in 1636 by a Venetian painter Baldassare d'Anna. The painting depicts Saint Jerome, Saint Frances, and Saint Anthony of Padua. Two votive paintings belonging to the monastery were painted in 1759 by Laopold Jandt. One painting depicts Šimun Harabalja from Miholašćica, a nearby village, kneeling before the Madonna and Saint Anthony, while the other one represents Andrija Harabalja kneeling before the Holy Family. Both men are dressed in Morlach folk costumes.
Not far from the church and the monastery there is another old building on the coast: a 17th-century castle, called the kaštel. Shortly after its construction, other houses started to emerge around it. Not many houses were built, though: until 1821 there were only about twenty houses. The real development and growth of Martinšćica took place in the late 19th century, when it became the Martinšćica we know today.