About the town

Get to know the historical, monumental and cultural importance of the town of Senj, as well as the natural beauties that delight with their magnificent diversity.

The origin of the town of Senj is connected with the settlement which more than 3000 years ago was located east of today’s Senj, on the hill of Kuk, below which there was a port and a trade centre where goods were exchanged between people living on the coast, on the islands and in the continental area. With the strengthening of the trade centre, its population moved to the lower regions and founded a new settlement. With the arrival of the Romans, the settlement gained the status of a city and was given the name Senia. During their rule, Senia became the main commercial, traffic and cultural centre of the eastern part of the Adriatic Coast.

The splendour of the city is restored by the administration of the Frankopan family, the princes of Krk, with the redevelopment of trade, which significantly increases the importance of Senj’s traffic route and port. The economic progress enables investment in development of the city by building numerous churches and monasteries. The Glagolitic alphabet is very present in the Senj area. At the end of the 15th century, a Glagolitic printing house, one of the first ones in Southeast Europe, started operating in Senj. At the same time, the Senj Captaincy was established to defend against the Turks and Venice.

Due to frequent attacks by the Ottomans, many inhabitants left Senj and the town became a refuge for many refugees from the surrounding areas, which formed military units, the famous senjski uskoci (Senj Uskoks). Until the beginning of the 17th century, they had successfully defended Senj, inflicting heavy losses on the armies of the Ottoman Empire and Venice. In the following, more peaceful centuries, the economic progress of Senj was made possible again. The new golden age began, and Senj became one of the most important economic and cultural centres of Croatia. Although the old town was largely damaged in the Second World War, many monuments have been preserved, so sightseeing tours of Senj vividly present scenes of its rich past.


Nehaj Fortress, the symbol of the town of Senj, built in the middle of the 16th century for the needs of Senj Uskoks, in addition to preserving interesting exhibition material, is also a frequent venue for renowned cultural and musical events and scientific gatherings. The top of the fortress, which once served as a watchtower, today serves as a panoramic point with a beautiful view of the coast and the islands of Rab, Goli otok, Prvić, Cres, Krk, and the mountains of Velebit and Učka. Nehaj Fortress is surrounded by a park of the same name, which has beautiful promenades, facilities for children and an impressive view of the old town. One can also relax at another park, called Park senjskih književnika (Senj’s Writers Park), while taking a walk along the busts of some of the most famous Croatian writers and poets who had lived in Senj.
The Gothic-Renaissance palace of the Vukasović family, one of the most prominent families in Senj, houses the Senj City Museum, which, in addition to presenting interesting materials, takes care of the entire cultural and natural heritage of the city and its surroundings. The most prominent monument of religion and culture in the town of Senj is the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Beauty of the town and its surroundings

Zavratnica, one of the most beautiful bays in the eastern Adriatic, which is included in the special protection category, is located near Senj. The bay hides the remains of a World War II warship and presents a real challenge to curious underwater explorers. Lovers of active tourism can enjoy cycling and in just a few kilometres experience the beauty of the crystal clear sea and the preserved nature of mountain pastures. Mountaineers should, by all means, visit the nearby Northern Velebit National Park and its Premužić trail, which leads to the most beautiful and inaccessible parts of Velebit. Visitors of Senj can also enjoy sailing, fishing, diving, hunting and, during the hot summer months, relaxing on beautiful pebble beaches, many of which offer numerous entertainment facilities.

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