Photos by Boris Kačan
CROATIA’S STUNNING NATURAL FORMATIONS
Croatia has an amazing 5.835 km of coastline, 4.057 km of which belongs to islands, cliffs and reefs. There are 1,244 islands and islets in the Adriatic, although only about 50 are populated. One of these uninhabited islands is Baljenac, also known as Bavljenac which lies just off the coast of Šibenik, the oldest town founded by Croatians on the Adriatic.
This inconspicuous island with the size of 0.14 km2, is characterized by a large number of walls that are typical of the Mediterranean and have given the island its unique aspect. Seen from the air, the 23.357 km network of walls that cover the island look remarkably similar to a human fingerprint.
Farmers from the neighboring island of Kaprije are said to have started the agricultural settlement on the island in the 19th century, although it is believed that some of the walls were built earlier. These dry stone walls, called suhozid in Croatian, were originally built for practical reasons to demarcate agricultural areas and protect olive trees and vines from the wind. Croatia has recently requested its inclusion in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites