Preko is the road and administration centre of the island of Ugljan, and a municipality in Croatia in the Zadar County. Situated, as the name states, opposite Zadar. Its old centre consists of typical Dalmatian architecture and numerous patrician family summer houses. According to the 2001 census, there are 3,871 inhabitants, 87% which are Croats.
Sitting in the mountains above Preko, is the castle of St Michael, which is builded by Eastern Roman empire (Byzantine Empire) in 6th century.In the 13th century the castle was rebuild by the Republic of Venice (Italian: Repubblica di Venezia; Venetian: Repùblica Vèneta). It main purpose was control above channel of Zadar and group of islands behind the island Ugljan . The castle was sacked by English crusaders on their way to the Holy Land, and by the Nazis in World war II . The high position of the castle, made it the perfect lookout and listening station for the occupying Germans. Today, the castle is home to a telecommunications station.
The best way to feel the Mediterranean atmosphere is by walking along the quay or sipping a favourite drink on one of the terraces with a view of the Zadar Channel.
Only about 80 m from Preko lies the idyllic islet of Galevac (Školjić), covered with dense Mediterranean vegetation that shelters the 15th century valuable monastery of Franciscan friars of the third order. Its sandy beach makes it a popular swimming site. The nearby beach Jaz rightfully carries the Blue Flag – a symbol of clear sea.
The 11th century Romanesque church of St. John the Baptist is situated on the eastern side of the locality, near the ferryboat landing. Preko is the closest starting point for the excursion to St. Michael’s fortress (265 m above the sea level). The view from the fortress spreads over more than 200 islands of the archipelago of Zadar and Kornati National Park.
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