Krka National Park

Visovac Monastery at Krka National Park | History, significance, & more

Krka National Park Tickets & ToursVisovac Monastery & Island

The Visovac Monastery is a Franciscan (Roman Catholic) monastery located on a tiny islet in Visovac Lake inside Krka National Park. It was founded in the 14th century, and the complex was expanded in 1445. It is one of Croatia’s most important historical, cultural, and religious centres.

Quick facts about Visovac Monastery

Visovac Monastery | Krka National Park

Location: Visovac Island, within Krka National Park

Address: 22324, Brištane, Croatia

Built: 14th century, expanded in 1445

Architect(s): Augustinian monks, Franciscan monks

Function: Monastery and religious centre

Why visit Visovac Monastery?

Visovac Monastery | Krka National Park
  • Stunning views: Set in the middle of Visovac Lake, the island provides magnificent views of the surrounding high karst cliffs, densely forested hill slopes, and the blue-green waters of the lake and Krka River.
  • Rare & unique relics: Apart from religious art, manuscripts, and books, the monastery is home to a couple of rare artefacts like an illustrated copy of Aesop’s Fables, printed in 1487, which is one of only three in the world. It also houses a 17th-century sabre (sword) belonging to a legendary Croatian military leader.
  • A peaceful oasis: Visovac Island is accessible only by boat and its remoteness makes it a perfect spot to enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of Krka National Park.
  • Historical significance: The monastery has served as a spiritual centre, a place of learning, and a repository of cultural and historical artifacts since the 15th century. Apart from its historical and religious significance, it is considered a symbol of Croatian national identity and cultural heritage.

History of Visovac Monastery 

Visovac Monastery was established by monks from the Order of St. Augustine in the 14th century on Visovac Island when it was little more than a small rock in the lake. In 1445, Franciscan monks who had arrived and settled here from Bosnia, expanded the tiny islet. Over the next centuries, they added more buildings to the complex, including the Church of Our Lady of Visovac and a bell tower. 

The monastery remained a religious centre throughout the Middle Ages. Between the 16th and the 19th centuries, it acquired a rich collection of religious art, manuscripts, books dating back to the medieval period, reliquaries, and clerical clothing. It is home to a rare illustrated copy of Aesop’s Fables, printed in 1487, which is one of only three in the world, and a 17th century sword belonging to a Croatian military leader.

Over the centuries, the monastery fell into disrepair. It was reconstructed in the 18th century, but parts of the 14th century complex have still been preserved.

Visovac Monastery today

Visovac Monastery | Krka National Park

Today, Visovac Monastery is open to visitors, who can reach the island by boat from various points around Krka National Park. You can explore the monastery, its church, museum, bell tower, library, and extensive collection of artefacts. It’s a peaceful spot to enjoy the tranquil natural surroundings of the island and lake.

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Frequently asked questions about Visovac Monastery and Island

Where can I buy tickets to visit Visovac Monastery?

You don’t need to purchase separate tickets to visit the monastery as it is included in your Krka National Park tickets.

How can I visit the Visovac Monastery?

Visovac Island is accessible by boat from Skradinski buk and Roški slap from April to October.

Why is the monastery important?

The monastery has historical, cultural, and religious significance in Croatia. It has been an important spiritual centre since the Middle Ages. With its collection of art and artefacts, it serves as a repository of Croatian cultural heritage and is considered a symbol of Croatian national identity.

Why should I visit the monastery?

Apart from viewing the collection of historical artefacts in its museum, you can admire the stunning views of Krka National Park from a unique vantage point on Visovac Island, and enjoy this peaceful corner of the park.

Where is Visovac Monastery located inside Krka National Park?

The monastery is located on Visovac Island, which is set in the middle of Visovac Lake, within the boundaries of the national park.

When was the monastery built?

Visovac Island has been a religious centre since the 1300s. The monastery and its complex were built sometime between 1445 and 1460. After falling into disrepair over the centuries, it was reconstructed in the 18th century. However, parts of the 14th century complex have been preserved and can still be seen today.