Only the most persistent can reach this small church on Pašman! It has a 360-degree view
The island of Pašman, located in the heart of the Zadar archipelago, from one side connected to the island of Ugljan with the famous Mali Ždrelac and separated from the mainland by the Pašman canal in which there are dozens of small pearl islands such as the heart-shaped Galešnjak, has been admired by many for its unique characteristics and historic importance since prehistoric times.
Known for its Illyrian cities, remains of fortifications, archaeological finds from the Roman era, rustic villas, mosaics, Frankopan and Benedictine monasteries from the 12th and 13th centuries, Pašman is also blessed with many small churches, one of which is the Church of Our Lady of Loreto.
Why is the Church of Our Lady of Loreto so special?
In Banj, a settlement of tradition and gastronomic delights on the island of Pašman, formed around the 14th-century church of St. Kuzma and Damjan, the one and only Church of Our Lady of Loreto stands atop the Mali Bokolj hill (174 m). This church offers a breathtaking 360-degree view of the Pašman Canal, the islands Sit and Žut, and the Kornati islands.
It is a church that was, with hard work, built by its local people and parish priest Ante Peroš in 1935. Situated in the middle of nowhere, and only accessed by foot through a goat path, it is a paradise for everyone who loves walking and hiking and a real challenge for all lovers of active vacations.
Built with the great effort of the people, the Church of Our Lady of Loreto has several steps in front of the entrance, a massive low bell tower, a single nave with a flat back wall, and a wooden ceiling.
The sanctuary is dominated by a glazed altar and a crowned black statue of Our Lady of Loretta which was installed in 1935. Next to the altar, you will find statues of Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Međugorje, a mosaic image of the crucified Christ, and paintings.
In the Second World War, the two original bells were moved because the bells on the parish church in Banj were destroyed, however, much later, it received its own new pair.
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Although the church is closed for visits from the inside during the year, on May 10, when the locals celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Loreto and climb the mountain path along the marked stations of the cross, it is possible to view the church from the inside as well.
If you do find yourself on Pašman, and you would love to enjoy this incredible view, you can do so by heading from Banj with the main road towards Ždrelac where you will take an unmarked road on the left side of the street and drive straight following the path until you reach a car stop. From there you will have to walk up the hill to reach it. For more detailed locations pick the map coordinates below.