Zlarin: A magical island of corals!
Zlarin said“ NO!“ to cars.
The island of Zlarin is where you go to relax and escape city hustle and bustle. Although there are 16km of roads on the island, cars have been banned from the island and this makes it an oasis of peace and an ideal destination for long walks and bike rides.
The island of corals
Zlarin is the island of corals and is very well known for its tradition of coral diving. Islanders believe in the coral’s magical powers and it is regularly worn by the pregnant women as protection against illnesses and curses. It is hard to convince sceptics that the magical powers really exist, but no one doubts their beauty or needs to be persuaded of their aesthetic power.
The first written documents of coral diving on the Adriatic date from 1412, and islanders from Zlarin are mentioned as the most famous coral divers. At first the corals were sold in Sicily, unprocessed. After the fall of Venetian Republic, which, for a long period of time, was in charge of coral hunting, people from Zlarin got the exclusive right to dive for corals, until the 50s of the 20th century when the downfall of this business began due to poor results caused by overharvesting. However, the art of processing corals has been revived in a representative space where corals are also sold. Zlarin Museum of Corals shows all stages of processing corals and sells coral souvenirs and jewellery.
In August Zlarin organizes Coral Festival celebrating the 600 years old tradition and the important part of the festival is a play staging the historical event of sending-off the coral hunters out to the sea.
Maglite flashlight and the island of Zlarin???
Anthony “Tony” Maglica (Ante Maglica), the founder of the company Mag Instruments Inc, known throughout the world as the maker of Maglite, traces his origin to Zlarin. Ante was born in New York, in 1930, at the time of the great economic crisis which made his parents decide to return to Croatia, to their home island. This is how Ante spent his childhood on Zlarin. He became a locksmith and worked as an apprentice in Šibenik shipyard and when he was 20 he went back to USA. He spent his first savings on a turning-lathe and worked tirelessly in a garage creating new products. He made industrial precision parts and, as he grew, he worked for space industry and army. In 1974, in California he founded his famous Mag Instrument Inc. He became a leading man of free entrepreneurship and “Made in the USA” products. He also created a “magic lamp” patented as Maglite whose superior quality made it become a standard piece of equipment of the American police forces, military and fire fighters. Ante has never forgotten his Zlarin and enjoys coming back. He owns land on the island and is the owner of 12% of the whole island.
The island of Zlarin is a part of Šibenik archipelago. It is almost in the very centre of Croatian coast and the closest mainland town is Šibenik. Zlarin sends out an image of a small, tranquil and quiet Mediterranean settlement with stone houses. The name of the island was first mentioned 700 years ago and it seems that not much has changed since. Zlarin is also known as the “Green Island” because when seen from north-eastern side it offers a splendid image of an island covered in vineyards and olive-groves. This acts as an ever-lasting inspiration to visual artists from all over the world. “Bodulska balada” is a manifestation of international character, with music performers who, in a unique way, sing and play about the life on Croatian island. By being part of this manifestation the artists assign their work to the development of the island.