Cres - Town
THE TOWN OF CRES
The town of Cres is the administration center of the northern and central region of Cres Island.
The town is nestled in the northern part of a deep bay, naturally protected on all sides. For this reason, a modern marina with numerous slips is located in the bay of Cres to the south of the settlement.
In the prehistoric times an old fortification was located at the site of the contemporary town, which later developed into the ancient fort Crepsa.
The old town center was fortified with a wall up to the beginning of the 20th century. The town was entered through the main gate decorated with the Venetian lion, removed after the fall of the Venetian Republic in the 18th century.
The town loggia with its slim columns was erected in front of the gate in the 16th century and preserved until today. The pillar of shame, to which criminals were tied in front of the public by the town administration, stood in front of the loggia. The loggia was also the place where daily public life (contracts and trade were concluded, celebrations were held) flourished in Cres, and even today you can find the women of Cres selling the fruits of their labor under the loggia’s columns.
In the northwest of the town, at the highest point of the Venetian fortifications, stood the Venetian tower which served as the guard tower to spot the enemy incursions form the inner part of the island.
The small square in the old center of Cres is home to the Petris (Petrić) palace from the 15th century, the oldest patrician palace in the town. The palace was built where the arsenal once stood, which is why the locals call it the Arsan palace. Today, it hosts the Town Museum.
It is said the famous renaissance writer and philosopher Frane Petrić was born in the palace. His statue stands in the square in front of the palace. After the palace was erected, palaces of other patrician families were constructed – Rodinis, Moise, Colombis.
The Benedictine monastery of St. Peter (15th century) and the Franciscan monastery of St. Francis with the Church of St. Francis were both constructed around 1300 A.D. outside the former town wall. In the monastery cloister the tombs and tombstones of eminent Cres families are located, while the busts of famous people related to the monastery are kept at the eastern wall. The monastery is also home to a museum with valuable archival treasure and a library.
The town’s charm can best be felt while walking the picturesque town streets.
Cres has today almost all the amenities a tourist town needs (a hotel, a museum, a health clinic, a post office, etc.).