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the Biograd na Moru municipality within the Zadar County

Biograd na Moru ( , Venetian: Xara Vècia, Hungarian: Tengerfehérvár) is a city and municipality in northern Dalmatia, Croatiamarker and is noted as the former capital of the medieval Croatian Kingdom. Its population is 6,059 (2005). Biograd is administratively part of the Zadar Countymarker. It is located on the Adriatic Seamarker coast, overlooking the island of Pašmanmarker, on the road from Zadarmarker and Sukošanmarker towards Vodicemarker and Šibenikmarker.

The city of Biograd is a noted tourist resort with a long tradition. Its first tourists started arriving in the 1920s from the Czech lands and its first hotel was built in 1935.


Biograd na Moru is located 28 km south from county center Zadar. It is located on small peninsula surrounded by two little bays - Soline on south and Bošana on north, and in front islands Planac and Sveta Katarina. Average temperature in January is 7 °C and 24 °C in July. Biograd is the only settlement in the municipality.


The town's native Slavic name fully translates as "the white town on the sea". The name Biograd is a compound literally meaning "white city", and etymologically corresponding to several other toponyms spread throughout the Slavdom: Beogradmarker, Belgorodmarker, Białogardmarker etc. The name was first mentioned in the 10th century as a town founded by Croatian kings. It became the capital of Croatian kings as well as bishops, and was the city where Coloman of Hungary was crowned in 1102, marking Croatia's joining the Kingdom of Hungary. In 1202, when the Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade occupied the city of Jadra marker, many of its citizens took refuge in Biograd, then noted as Jadra Nova ("New Zadar"). Two years later, the most of them left back to Zadar, after which the city was also referred to as Zara vecchia ("Old Zadar") .

During the 13th and 14th century the city was run by the dukes of Cetinamarker, the Knights Templar of Vranamarker and the dukes of Bribir the Šubićes. It was acquired by the Venetian Republicmarker in 1409 and would remain its property until its downfall in 1797.

During the Venetian-Turkish wars, the city was gravely damaged, and on two occasions, in 1521 and in 1646, it was destroyed and burned. In the 16th and 17th century, the Croatian militia formed in Biograd and had much involvement in the wars against the Turks.

In recent history, the Serbian forces inflicted considerable damage by long-range bombardment in the period 1991-1993 during the Croatian War of Independence.


The town itself has a population of 5259, though there are 6259 people in the entire municipality (2001 census). Absolute majority are Croats (95%).


  1. N. Klaić, I. Petricioli, Zadar u srednjem vijeku do 1409., Prošlost Zadra - knjiga II, Filozofski fakultet Zadar, 1976, page 181.

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