The fortress on top of the Toreta hill catches the eye from afar. It has been there for centuries. This hill, along with the nearby field, was the centre of life in Kornati for millenniums. It is by far one of the most interesting spots in this archipelago. Tarac field seems like an oasis in the middle of a moonlike landscape. The field owes its lush greenery to Lokva – a spring of fresh water in its heart.
The Illyrian Fortress
On the top of the Toreta hill (58 m high), in the vicinity of a small but fruitful Tarac field , there was a fortified Illiryan settlement dating 3000-2000 years ago. Numerous Illyrian burial places were found in the surrounding area as the only remaining evidence of their enduring history in this part of Kornati archipelago.
The tower on the hill
It was built in the middle of the previous Illyrian fortress, probably in the 6th century. And it was used only for protection. Today you can still see its strong walls with 8 pillars. The tower used to have two floors with 50 square meters per each. It is worthwhile climbing on top of hill if you want to experience a breathtaking panorama of Kornati archipelago.
Early Christian church
This church originates also from the 6th century. Existing church was built on the same spot, except the older one was bigger which means that this place was rather populated. It was not built by local shepherds or fishermen but by Christians that found a shelter there while fleeing from the wild hordes that occupied the mainland.
The Illyrian shepherds, Romans, Christian fugitives and later shepherds were living mostly in Selo – a village under the hill Pedinka near Toreta. There are remains of stone houses with fragments that belonged to Illyrian and other people living there throughout history.
Existing church, smaller and much simpler than the previous one, was built in the late Middle Ages. It has still its original function. Once a year, on the first Sunday in July, people from the nearby islands (especially from Murter) and the mainland come with their boats to celebrate the Lady of Tarac. It is a day when we glory shepherds and fishermen from Kornati and remember their struggle to survive.