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Premuda - view from Ilovik
Premuda - view from Ilovik
Waters the Adrian Sea
Geographical location 44 ° 20 '32 "  N , 14 ° 36' 1"  E Coordinates: 44 ° 20 '32 "  N , 14 ° 36' 1"  E
Premuda (Croatia)
length 10 km
width 1 km
surface 8.66 km²
Highest elevation Vrh
58  m
Residents 64 (2011)
7.4 inhabitants / km²
main place Premuda (place)
Situation map
Situation map

Premuda [ ˈprɛmuːda ] (German: outdated Permud ) is a Croatian island in the archipelago of the northern Dalmatian islands, which are off the Croatian port city of Zadar .

Permuda is about 10 km long, up to 1 km wide and has an area of ​​8.66 km². It is located southwest of the island of Silba and northwest of the island of Škarda . Premuda is the only place of the same name on the island . Premuda has around 50 inhabitants in winter. The inhabitants occupy themselves with sheep breeding, wine and olive cultivation and recently increasingly with tourism . Premuda is a popular destination for boaters and water sports enthusiasts . The "Katedrala" is very popular with divers. It is a cave system in which the ceiling is porous, creating a magical play of light. From its opening at a depth of around 15 m to the exit at around 40 m, the cave stretches like a tunnel to a steep wall. The wreck of the Austro-Hungarian battleship Szent István is also located near the island of Premuda , but at a depth of about 40-65 m. Diving is only permitted there with a special permit.


Premuda lies in a karst region . With the exception of a few brackish springs , there are neither surface nor underground watercourses. For this reason, the residents have to build rainwater cisterns in order to secure their water supply. In the 1970s, a Yugoslav oil company carried out test drillings in the immediate vicinity of the Krijal port. No petroleum was found, but warm water was found. The drill holes were then sealed with concrete.


The island of Premuda has a pleasant Mediterranean climate with warm summers and mild winters. The south-western side of the island with the natural lagoon in front of it offers excellent protection from the bora , but also from the storms that come from the west in summer. In winter, the perceived temperature in a strong bora can differ greatly from the temperature actually measured. Rainfall is very rare during the summer months.

Flora and fauna

In contrast to the islands closer to the mainland (such as the island of Pag ), the island of Premuda is heavily overgrown. The most common wild plants are the macchia and the Mediterranean holm oak ; however, different types of pines and pines also grow . Mediterranean herbs such as thyme, sage, myrtle and marjoram grow wild and, especially when combined with lavender, create the typical Mediterranean scent. Wild asparagus is one of the island's typical delicacies and is traditionally prepared as an omelette. The locals mainly cultivate olive trees to produce olive oil. This is used by Premujan people themselves or sold in the city at farmers' markets. Vegetables and fruit are grown in the fertile valleys, also known as Polje . The most important crop is the potato. The residents of Premuda have been planting an autochthonous variety with a reddish skin for generations, which, in combination with Terra Rossa and fertilization with seaweed, achieves an extraordinary quality. Even downright gourmets were so enthusiastic about a visit to the local taverns that they absolutely wanted to take a sack of potatoes back on the yacht. Other important crops are the chard, red onions, chickpeas, broad beans, carob trees, but also tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and a variety of other crops, which are common throughout Dalmatia. The residents plant fruits such as peaches, pomegranates, citrus fruits, but also apples and pears in their gardens. The limiting factor for more intensive use is the scarcity of water during the summer months. For this reason, these products are only sold for personal use or to guests in the guest houses. Many self-made products and freshly caught fish are also offered in the two supermarkets and restaurants.

In terms of fauna, there are only a few wild mammal species on Premuda. There is a wild rabbit population where the number of individuals oscillates greatly. Otherwise there are wild goats, and a wild boar was spotted in the spring of 2010, and it is unclear how it got to the island. The turtles are also rare animals. The sea turtles in particular are no longer seen as often. The Adriatic sea lion, believed to be extinct, was spotted in the channel between Silba and Premuda in 2009, according to reports from local fishermen. The waters around Premuda are often visited by schools of dolphins that follow schools of sardines and other prey fish. Although the waters around Premuda are still among the richest in fish in the Adriatic and the water quality is very good compared to other areas, you can see the effects caused by the industrial fishing and the far too intensive nautical tourism. Local fishermen are complaining of a sharp drop in catches. More and more tropical species that are not actually native to the northern Adriatic end up in the nets. These species often displace the native species. Another problem is the use of trawls, this fishing method severely damages the coral reefs, which can also have enormous effects on other inhabitants of the ecosystem. In bays, which are often used as anchorages by boaters, the seabed and the coastal strip are littered with plastic packaging and other substances that are difficult to decompose. Many animals such as marine mammals or sea turtles can perish from the carelessly thrown away garbage. If the bay is particularly frequented by yacht tourists, a film of algae can be observed after a relatively short time, which is formed by the introduction of nutrient-rich and nitrogen-containing compounds from the holding tanks. There is a local over-fertilization of the otherwise nutrient-poor water near Premuda. Croatian laws provide for penalties against environmental offenders, but the Croatian Ministry of the Interior lacks the means to adequately monitor the very long coastline and there is no great social pressure to bring about changes in environmental issues.


The history of the island is poorly documented, but it has been exposed to various influences over the centuries. In ancient times , the island was on an important trade route. A number of ancient shipwrecks loaded with amphorae have been found in the immediate vicinity of the island . These have now been almost completely looted. But there are still places where the fragments of the amphorae lie in a deep crevice and were thus protected from access by divers.

In the Kalpic Bay there are ruins of an early Christian church, probably from the 9th century. More precise data are not available as no scientific research has been carried out to date.

The residents of Premudas were able to buy themselves out of their feudal lord at an early age and acquired all of the land on the island from him. Even today the island is completely privately owned except for a certain part which belongs to the church. It can be assumed that the residents of Premudas at that time were engaged in piracy and merchant shipping. Instructions for this can be found in the church in Krijal harbor. The typical skull symbol and a sailing ship with a Latin sail are carved into stone on a base plate.

Premuda had the largest number of inhabitants in the 19th century; According to oral tradition, there were almost 1000 inhabitants on Premuda at that time. But the difficult living conditions caused by the decline of sailing ships and the infestation of the vines with downy mildew forced many residents to leave the island. Those who stayed founded one of the first fishing cooperatives on the eastern Adriatic in 1902. In the first wave of emigration, South America, particularly Argentina and Chile, was the main destination. At the turn of the century, many Premujan people emigrated to the USA and Australia. The Premujans, who left the island after World War II, moved mainly to the inland cities, but continued to move to the United States, Australia, and Western Europe.

The Szent István sinks before Premuda

Premuda has a special meaning for Italy. On June 10, 1918, a MAS torpedo boat under Luigi Rizzo sank the Austro-Hungarian battleship Szent István near the island as part of a command company . Rizzo was made Count of Grado and Premuda for this , and numerous streets in Italy were named after Premuda. The day this ship was sunk is celebrated as the Italian Navy Day to this day . The crew of the Szent István included a seaman from Premuda who served in the Austro-Hungarian Navy. This man survived and returned to the island.

Premuda has an important strategic location at the entrance to the Kvarner Bay, the gateway to the port city of Rijeka. At the time when Premuda belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Krijal port was expanded and several beacons were installed. Later, when Premuda was under Italian occupation, a bunker was built in the northwestern part of the island. The bunker is carved up to 30 meters deep into the karst rocks and has several entrances that lead into a more than 100 m long tunnel, which in turn connects 4 storage rooms. The local population was hired to build the bunker. After the Second World War, the Yugoslav People's Army took over this area of ​​the island and other buildings were built that were used as depots and barracks. In the port of Krijal, a tubular steel landing ramp was built for all-terrain trucks, which were loaded from the landing craft to supply the base. Four stationary cannons were installed at the bunkers to secure the entrance to the Kvarner Bay.

In addition, a building was built to monitor maritime traffic in the northern Adriatic. A radar system was installed in this building in the 1960s. The entire area northwest of the village was declared a restricted area, although the residents had agricultural land there. In 1990 the barracks were peacefully evacuated by the mostly Serb-led Yugoslav People's Army and mobilized for the impending war. Weapons and ammunition were taken away in several ships. The fixed howitzers, however, were left behind and transported away at a later date when the newly established Croatian army was armed.

During the siege of the city of Zadar by Serbian militants, ferry traffic was severely disrupted and there were frequent power outages. This was sometimes very problematic for the local population, as the supply of food was not adequately secured and the food that had been preserved by freezing thawed and spoiled. The availability of fresh fish and the self-sufficiency with fruit and vegetables made the situation much easier for the residents.

After the withdrawal of the Yugoslav People's Army , the base was abandoned by the Croatian Army . The residents of Premudas were able to return to their lands in the northern part of the island after more than 40 years. The properties are still under the administration of the Croatian army.

Web links

Commons : Premuda  - collection of images, videos and audio files