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Biskupija (Serbian Cyrillic: Бискупија) is a village and a municipality in Šibenik-Knin Countymarker, Croatiamarker. There are 1,669 inhabitants,: 1,290 Serbs, 337 Croats and 42 others. By mother tongue, there are 1,494 Croatian speakers, 168 Serbian speakers and 7 speakers of other languages.

History and culture

The shrine of Our Lady of Biskupija, or St. Mary of Croatia, is situated in the village of Biskupija, 5 km southeast of Kninmarker, the former church and cultural centre of the Croatianmarker state in the Middle Ages. Archaeologists have discovered the foundations of five churches in that village, dating from the period of Croatian rulers from the 9th to the 11th century. St Mary's church was the residence of the Bishop of Knin, who was Bishop of Croatia from 1040 to 1522. The earliest known figure of Our Lady in Croatian art was discovered by archaeologists in that same church on a part of the stone partition wall, which separated the shrine from the church nave. It is still venerated as Our Lady of the Great Croatian Vow.

Today, on the foundations of the old Croatian church of the same name there stands a memorial church, decorated between 1937 and 1938 according to the designs of Croatia’s most famous sculptor, Ivan Meštrović. The church is a single-nave building (16 x 8.4 m) with a square niche for the altar, and a 12.5 metre-tall steeple before it. Ivan Meštrović also created the statue of Our Lady, depicting a Mother wearing a folk costume from Dalmatian Zagora, with a child on her lap, and who is writing the book of life. Regrettably, however, the statue was destroyed by Serbian extremists. Above the niche containing the main altar the renowned Croatian artist, Jozo Kljaković, painted the fresco "King Zvonimir holding Court", which was also riddled by bullets fired by Serbian extremists. The church was thoroughly refurbished in 1966, when Meštrović's statue was restored. Since then, the main pilgrimage occurs on the last Sunday in September, when the Holy Virgin’s name is honoured. The church was once again destroyed during the Croatian War of Independence, and now awaits rebuilding.

Municipality villages and population

Parts of a settlement are hamlets:
  • Biskupija - 466
  • Markovac - 77
  • Orlić - 341
  • Ramljane - 124
  • Riđane - 87
  • Uzdolje - 214
  • Vrbnik - 323
  • Zvjerinac - 37


  1. Population by Nationality, By City/Municipality, Census 2001
  2. Population by Mother Tongue, By City/Municipality, Census 2001

See also

External links


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