Starigrad Paklenica (www.rivijera-paklenica.hr
) is located in the far north-western part of the Zadar region and in northern Dalmatia.
The town itself was built on the foundations of an ancient city known as Argyruntum.
It is thought that ancient Argyruntum, which was also the name of a Roman city in the Podvelebit Channel during the reign of Emperor Tiberius (42 BC), was founded on the site of a prehistoric settlement.
The name Argyruntum is witness to the fact that the town existed even before the arrival of the Romans, since this name does not originate from the Roman period.
In his work Naturalis historia, Pliny the Elder (Caius Plinius Secundus) said that Argyruntum was listed as an oppida, i.e. a town whose inhabitants gained the right to Roman citizenship (oppida civium Romanorum).
The fact that Argyruntum was located under the slopes of southern Velebit, where the mountain’s plateau is approximately 3 km wide, was also confirmed by the unfortunately only archaeological research conducted back in 1908. The town was located on a small peninsula totalling 3.5 ha in surface, surrounded by walls. The archaeological research was conducted along the main ancient road which lead to the entrance of the town at the spot where Argyruntum’s inhabitants buried their dead – the necropolis.
Research carried out at the “Town of the Dead” – the ancient Argyruntum necropolis - led to the discovery of a significant archaeological site, including items such as ceramic glass, dishes, bone, metal and amber jewellery, oil lamps, tools etc. Some of those items can be compared to the highest levels of ancient craftsmanship and art.
The collection of antique glass, on exhibition at the Archaeological Museum in Zadar, is especially valuable (www.amzd.hr)
The attraction of the location
Nowadays Starigrad Paklenica is one of the most important tourist locations in the vicinity of Zadar. Starigrad Paklenica impresses visitors with its location at the foot of the Velebit Mountains, and the most beautiful part of this natural wonderland, the Paklenica National Park, is located right here near the city.
The beauty and visual contrast of the blue of the Adriatic Sea and the grey cliffs of Velebit which hang over the kilometre-long beaches will remain a life-long memory for all visitors.