Prvic, the parachute island

In Croatian language “prvi” means the first. So Prvic island would be the first island. The closest one to the mainland…

Between Prvic island and the mainland the shortest distance is only 0.8 km hence you could literally swim to get there. Nowadays we would not recommend swimming due to numerous speedboats running around in the channel.

Distance between island of Prvic and Vodice
(photo by Boris Kacan)

Prvic island was inhabited since Roman times. During the medieval period it was used as hideaway from plague to many noble families from Sibenik. In 15th century, escaping the Ottoman invasion, the people from mainland founded villages Sepurina and Prvic Luka.

Prvic is also known as the island of Faust.

Faust Vrancic (1551-1617) – the first man that built and tested a parachute

First of all, Faust Vrancic (or Fausto Veranzio) was a “Croatian Leonardo da Vinci”. This Renaissance man was a famous inventor and polymath. He lived part of his life in Prvic Sepurine and was buried in a church in Prvic Luka.

One of his most famous inventions is Homo Volans, a first functional solution of a parachute whose construction resembles the modern ones.

It is believed that Faust performed an actual parachute jumping experiment.

According to the story passed on, Veranzio, in 1617, at over sixty-five years of age, implemented his design and tested the parachute by jumping from St. Mark’s campanile in Venice.

In conclusion, though the world today knows of him as the inventor of the Homo Volans (the flying man), we should not forget his other works – historical, philosophical and lyrical, written in Latin, which reflect the Renaissance spirit.

Prvic Sepurine

Today Prvic is mainly the island of summer houses owned mostly by Croatian people. Hidden from the mass tourism and crowd, Prvic still has the atmosphere of “Dalmatia as it once was”. This calm and warm feeling is disturbed only by children running around and playing in their little car-free paradise. The small local tractors are the only vehicles allowed on the island.

Foreign tourists are slowly discovering island Prvic. Besides hotel Maestral, there are also apartments let by locals.

Prvic Luka (photo by Boris Kacan)

The memory of Faust lives through Memorial center that was opened in 2012.

Faust’s inventions. Memorial center Faust Vrancic, Prvic Luka
Faust Vrancic bridge Prvic island inventor
A bridge concept by Faust. Many modern ones resemble this one…
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