A Cappella Singing – Klapa
The tiny streets of Skradin have always been filled with the sounds of authentic Dalmatian klapa songs. The polyphony of such a capella singing that has a deeply-rooted tradition in the region is presented on the first Saturday of August each year, at the main cultural event of the season, the Festival of Dalmatian Klapa Singing (Susret dalmatinskih klapa). During this time, the delightful sounds of numerous voices spread out to every corner of the town on the right bank of Krka.
This klapa festival is one of the most significant and long-lasting festivals of klapa singing in Croatia. It was founded in 1976 with the aim of preserving authentic klapa singing as a piece of cultural heritage of global importance, not limited solely to Croatia. Its value has also been recognised by UNESCO, which inscribed it ion its List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Mulberries give the landscape around Skradin a distinct look and serve as witnesses of its silk-producing past. In the first half of the 19th century, Skradin was the site of the biggest silkworm and domestic silkmoth farm in Dalmatia. Among the most important silk processing plants was the Rose family silk farm, built around 1840. At the end of the century, the production of silk cocoons experienced a sharp decline because of a spreading disease that affected mulberry trees. In early 20th century, Skradin remained the only place in Dalmatia that still produced cocoons and silk. Production came to a standstill leading up to WWI because of low prices. In honour of the industry that fed the population of Skradin, the longest street in town that has a row of mulberries was named “Skradin Silk Farmers’ Avenue” (Aleja skradinskih svilara), and the town also hosts a unique summer theatre festival called “Theatre under the mulberries” (Glumište pod murvom).
The centuries-old mulberry trees in the Skradin area now offer shade and shelter to younger generations, and their fruits, leaves and bark are used to make sweets and medicinal beverages.