D2016Aug04101904DJI07397Betina is a settlement at the northeast coast of the island of Murter which is connected to the mainland with a drawbridge in Tisno. It is located 35km west of Šibenik. Administratively, it belongs to the municipality of Tisno. It has about 800 inhabitants.

The town is overlooked by a bell tower of the parish church of St. Francis of Assisi, built in 1736., work of Ivan Skok, a master-builder from Šibenik. There is a whole web of small streets leading from the church to the old town core.

The central historical part of Betina was built on the eastern slopes of Cape Artić, located on the northern  gate to the Murter passage. In the course of time, the town grew bigger until it reached the bay of Zdrače, where Betina and Murter joined. Nowadays there is no visible border between these two towns and the only thing separating one place from the other is - the name plate.

The name Betina comes from a Celtic word «bet» which means – mouth and it describes the look of the naturally formed harbour Betina which, just like the mouth, protects the boats from gusts of wind. The name is also symbolic due to the fact that, throughout history, Betina was called «the mouth of the Šibenik area», due to fertile fields «Poje» of Betina, primarily abundant in olives and figs as well as in vegetables which fed the whole area.

Besides being renowned shipbuilders is by far famous for its caulkers - ship-builders, who make ships out of wood. The first ship-yard was built here in 1848 and it was a very modern one for that time. Nowadays, when caulking in the Adriatic is slowly dying out and giving way to plastic boats, with its old caulkers and a few small family ship-yards, Betina became the centre of caulking.

People of Betina were also famous shellfish hunters. Many generations of people from Betina were fed by shellfish. Shellfish were caught using brganje (equipment for the extraction of shellfish from the sea). Except for food, shellfish were used to obtain colour, which dyed fabric for making clothes. They were also crumbled and added to the building materials. Today, when shellfish hunting is banned, in honour of this tradition, the Brganje day has been celebrated for the last 40 years (first Sunday in August), a big all day festival with entertainment programme.


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