Home / Nekategorizirano / Cultural Heritage

Cultural Heritage


The Museum was opened in 2015 as an expression of the local community’s desire to preserve the heritage of wooden shipbuilding in our area. The museum collection includes items related to shipbuilding, blacksmithing, agriculture, fishing, and everyday life. The exhibition is presented through multimedia content, allowing you to experience a tradition that spans several centuries in a modern way.

Since 2018, it has proudly held the Silletto Award for the best European museum in the category of community engagement, as well as the Europa Nostra Award in the category of education, learning, and raising awareness.
In 2019, the museum’s scope expanded beyond its walls to include the Betina harbor – an open-air museum where you can see exemplary models of Betina shipbuilding on-site.


A floating exhibition of traditional wooden boats moored in the Betina harbor. It encompasses a part of the local harbor where wooden boats are showcased through informational panels and an interactive totem. There are a total of 46 boats on display. The gajeta boats are located in the most prominent northwestern and northeastern parts of the harbor, while the kaići boats and larger vessels are found on the southeastern side. The leuti boats are situated in the southern part of the harbor. The boats are positioned based on their representativeness, originality of construction, maintenance, rigging, and adherence to traditional materials and elements of equipment.


The art of building the Betina gajeta is an intangible cultural heritage of the Republic of Croatia and a traditional specialty of this region. The historical continuity of this craft can be traced back to the mid-18th century when the first shipbuilding family, the Filipi family, migrated from Korčula and established the first known shipyard in Betina. Shortly thereafter, the Uroda family also settled in Betina. Wooden shipbuilding in Betina has continued to the present day, with Betina being regarded as one of the last centers of small wooden shipbuilding on our side of the Adriatic.

From the first shipyard until today, skilled craftsmen have emerged who have founded numerous shipyards in Betina and other parts of northern Dalmatia. The tradition of building the Betina gajeta has been passed down through generations within families, and the art of constructing the Betina gajeta has remained relatively unchanged. The most distinctive “product” of Betina’s shipbuilding is the Betina gajeta, originally a cargo vessel designed to meet the transportation needs of the local farmers on the island of Murter.

Today, there are around twenty craftsmen in Betina who are actively involved in shipbuilding. They construct new wooden vessels and perform repairs. There are several smaller, family-owned shipyards where boats of small and medium sizes are built and restored.


Cicibela is a unique example of an original old Betina gajeta and the only gajeta listed as a cultural heritage of the Republic of Croatia. It was built in the shipyard of Šime Filipi Tošulov in Betina in 1931 for the client Toma Gregov from Preko on the island of Ugljan. During its working life, it transported heavy loads, agricultural produce, and, during World War II, it transported people to El Shatt in secret night voyages to Kornati, where they awaited larger ships. Cicibela was constantly on alert, and each time it was sunk by filling it with stones until the next night when it would be made seaworthy again. In the 1960s, it also served as a cooperative passenger ship. It was used for swimming and pleasure sailing. Cicibela ended up in the Fosa harbor in Zadar, almost sunk. In very poor condition, it was purchased in 2006 by Marino Mijat from Tribunj and returned to Betina. The reconstruction and restoration were carried out by Čedomir Burtina Ćiro. Only one-fifth of the original structure remained. Each rib was removed one by one, a new one was made, and then it was put back into the boat. With this method, master Burtina managed to preserve the authenticity of the old lines.


Sailing with Latin and lug sails along the Croatian coast involves the skill of maneuvering a boat using the power of the wind. In addition to knowledges of boat equipment, navigation, winds, and the sea, sailing also requires other skills and knowledge. This includes understanding the materials used for sailmaking, constructing masts and equipment, and cutting sails. It is also important to be familiar with maritime terminology and social practices that ensure safety at sea.

The Latin sail is triangular in shape and is hoisted onto the mast at a specific angle. Latin and lug sails were the main means of propulsion for smaller traditional boats along the Adriatic coast until the mid-20th century when engines took over that role.

The skill of sailing with Latin and lug sails is an important part of the cultural and social identity of coastal communities. This skill is traditionally passed down through experiential learning within the community, often from more experienced members to younger ones, typically within families or through associations and clubs.


The only gajeta in the open-air museum that is owned by the museum itself. Gajeta Marija, according to accounts, was built in 1922 in the shipyard of the Filipi Tošul family in Betina. Marija was first restored in 1934 in Sukošan, also by the Filipi family, who had moved there from Betina a few years earlier and established a shipyard. It was registered at that time. The current documentation states the year of construction as 1934, while the previous papers have been lost.
Marija is 6.90 meters long, 2.70 meters wide, 0.88 meters high, and has a carrying capacity of 2.2 tons. Within the project “Development of Social-Cultural Infrastructure and Open-Air Museum of Betina Wooden Shipbuilding,” funded by the European Union and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund through the LAGUR/FLAG GALEB competition from Tribunj, the Betina Wooden Shipbuilding Museum managed to restore the hundred-year-old gajeta Marija in Škver Ćiro in Betina.


The first mention of the settlement dates back to the 15th century, and the oldest part extends from the top of the hill where the Baroque church of St. Francis is located. From there, a network of old stone streets with picturesque arches and vaults radiates downwards. Some of these streets are still paved with žala, stone cobblestones extracted from the sea, which is an ancient tradition of street paving in Betina. Due to its picturesque and well-preserved historical core, the place is protected as a cultural monument. The settlement has always been oriented towards the sea, and the needs of the inhabitants have shaped the appearance of the coastal area over time.


The Church of St. Francis of Assisi is a larger-sized three-nave building constructed of properly and beautifully cut stone.
The Church of St. Francis was built in several stages between 1600 when a contract was signed between the nobleman Frane Divnić from Šibenik, who owned a large part of the land on the island of Murter at that time, and the builder Antun Marušić, and 1884 when the church was last expanded, giving it the present shape of the western facade. Although expanded several times, the church is stylistically consistent. The most valuable parts of the church are the chapel of the main altar and the beautiful tall Baroque bell tower with a cupola.

Built of precisely cut stone, beautifully arranged, the bell tower of the Church of St. Francis is a splendid example of Baroque architecture that harmoniously fits into the scenery of the old core of Betina, together with the Church of St. Francis on Jartić Hill. The construction of the bell tower next to the Church of St. Francis began in the first half of the 18th century, and the contract for its construction with the residents of Betina was signed by the builder Ivan Skok in 1736. The bell tower gives the town a distinctive appearance.

The interior of the church is adorned with six altars built between the 18th and 20th centuries, as well as a rich liturgical inventory. The building and the entire inventory of the Church of St. Francis are protected by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia.


Zora Cultural and Artistic Society is the oldest folklore group in the Šibenik region, founded in February 1957. They first presented themselves to the public at the International Folklore Festival in Zagreb in 1967, performing the traditional Betina circle dance. They have been organizing the Folklore Festival since 1995, held every year in June.

The society gathers around 60 members of all ages with the aim of promoting the folk and cultural heritage of the Betina region. They are proud “guardians” of the old Betina circle dance, Balambrina or Cross Dance, the oldest dances of the island of Murter, as well as the Kolo od kanate. Kolo od kanate, a dance held in Betina during the kanata since 2019, has the label of Croatian Island Product. Kanata is a custom that has survived to this day and involves celebrating the launching of a new ship. In the last week of June, they organize the Week of Folklore and Folk Customs, during which you can experience authenticity and get acquainted with the customs of the local population.

Ova stranica koristi cookies (kolačiće) za pružanje boljeg korisničkog iskustva. Daljnjim korištenjem stranice suglasni ste s korištenjem kolačića Više detalja

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.