The nakovana plateau has been inhabited for at least 8000 years. The earlier evidence of human occupation comes from the Spila cave. Later, during the first millenium BC, Illyrians inhabited this region. Their central settelement was on hill which is still called “Grad” (Town). Numerous stone piles “Gomila” scattered around “Grad” contain burials of Illyrian chiefs and nobles and the cave hides their shrine (sanctuary). The hill called “Grad” is an ideal natural setting for a hillfort. With its 350 meters is a very geo-strategic location, from where it can be monitored the entire Southern Adriatic. Located above a patch of fertile land, with commanding views over immediate and distant surroundings, it is almost completely encircled by cliffs up to 20 meters high.

The earliest traces of settlement on “Grad” date to the bronze age (2nd millenium BC). During the last centruries BC, it became the seat or the local Illyrian lords of Nakovana plateau. The steep southern slope provided the only access to the hillfort. It was protected by a wall and a gate, now buried under the mass of rubble.

Until the 18 century, “Grad” served as a refugee site for the people of Nakovana when they were terorized by the pirates. Illyrian buried their chiefs and nobles under stone cairnas “Gomila”. Each cairn contained one or several tombs lined with drystone walls or rock plates. Burial gifts, such as pottery vessels, jewellery and weapons, sometimes accompanied the deceased. Almost all tombs were plumdered long ago. There is about 70 “Gomilas” that sorround the illyrian settlement on “Grad” hill.

Spila cave consists of several chambers, with a total length of 65 meters. Prehistoric inhabiatnas of Nakovana plateau used the well-lit space at it’s entrance as ocassional shelter, from the early neolithic until the bronze age (from the 6th untill the 2nd millenium BC).

During the last few centuries BC, the illyrians from “Grad” used the dark, hidden cave interior as a shrine (sanctuary). They held ritual feasts and placed offerings in fornt of phallic-shaped stalagmite. Later, the entrance to the shrine was blocked, and until recently it remained unknown. It was discovered in 1999 and explored archeologycally during the year 2000.

After the roman conquest in the first millenium BC the area was temporarily abandoned. Nakovana village was founded during the middle ages, and is first mentioned in 14th century A.D. as the most developed place on Pelješac after Ston. Untill 19th century, Nakovana was a part of the Dubrovnik republic during which place was suffering from the attacts of the pirates and otrher bandits.

During the II W.W., Donja Nakovana was burned down by the Italian army. After Pelješac came under german ocupation and most of the population seeked refugee in the Sahara desert in El Shatt, Egypt.

Church of nativity of the virgin Mary in Nakovana is first mentioned in late 14th century. But it is probably few hundred years older. This church is the oldest one in this region were the ceremonies are still held. From Nakovana comes several important people such as Ivan Lupis-Vukic, inventor of  torpedo, or Pavle Lupis, the first Croatians in New Zealand.

Fairy spring NORIN


On the way to the montain St.Elijah from direction of  Nakovana in the hidden part of the hill “Piscet”is a fairy spring Norin. Water during rainy days comes out through ten holes in high cliffs pouring in to the stream bed where the two big  round stones turn around. The place is surrounded by dense forest, ivy and moss. The place it self has a special atmosphere , and why probably were born legends of fairies that have found that last resort in the world.People from Nakovana considered the water very healing and with miraculous powers, and when arrive in Norin the words to fairies should occur;

“Fajen Isus,zelene gorice,
i u vaman posestrine vile
da biste mi zdravje udilile
za me i za koga idem”

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