|Time zone||Central European Time (UTC+1)|
Vrana (Croatian: Vrana, Latin: Aurana or Laurana Arauzona) is an historic settlement located north of the Vrana Lake, 6 km from Pakoštane, a few kilometers from the Adriatic coast, in Zadar County, Dalmatia, Croatia. Today it is a small rural settlement.
The significance of Vrana to the medieval Croatian history was closely connected with three religious communities: the Benedictines, the Knights Templar, and the Knights Hospitaller. Arrival of these three orders in Vrana and their cultural and political influence was conditioned by the medieval circumstances in Croatia and by the Roman Pope. Vrana had become one of the most important centers of political life, especially in the period from 1070.
After the pope's deputies crowned him as the king of the Croatia, King Zvonimir Dmitar in 1076 donated the city of Vrana and Benedictine monastery of St. Gregory, as a sign of loyalty to Pope Gregory VII. Vrana was the first permanent diplomatic headquarters of the pope's deputies in the entire Slavic region. Insignia of Croatian Kingdom were held within Vrana's walls for a long time. Consequently, Coloman of Hungary in 1102 came to the coronation in Biograd, as the nearest royal residence.
In the 12th century, the church donated this property to Knights Templar. At that time, Vrana was fortified with walls and towers and a moat. There are assumptions that the present ruins of a fortified facility above the village were part of a fortified town with a church. After Knights Templars, Vrana was the property of the Knights Hospitallers from 1312.
- The Benedictine monastery in Vrana kept the crown of Croatian kings.
- According to legend, the Croatian Knights Templar buried the great treasure in Vrana.
- In Vrana were born two famous 15th-century Croatian masters of the Renaissance: Lucijan Vranjanin (Luciano Laurana or Lucijan the builder) and sculptor Franjo Laurana Vranjanin (Francesco Laurana). From Vrana comes the great theologian Thomas Ilirik.
- Čoralić, Lovorka; Prijatelj Pavičić, Ivana (December 2005). "Ivan iz Vrane – mletački admiral u Lepantskom boju (1571.)". Historical Contributions (in Croatian) (Croatian Institute of History) 29 (29): 132. ISSN 0351-9767. Retrieved 2012-07-08.