Small Giants Water
Stout rugged Šibenik hosts
Autor: Etnoland Dalmati

English travel writers of the 19th century Fascinated by the hosts

Stout rugged Šibenik hosts

The research of historic travelouges 

In the 19th century, the region of Šibenik-Knin County was still mainly unexplored and inaccessible, as it used to hold hundreds of years old border with the Ottoman Empire. Despite that fact, the unbelievable natural and historic wonders of the region were getting attention, along with the stories about the surprisingly corpulent hosts.

Therefore, it was very interesting to dig into the historic literature that cites and accompanies the "Šibenik region's big babies " phenomenon in yet another way.

During the 19th century, foreign travel writers began to discover the Croatian coast. They were predominantly Englishmen and were especially attracted to the Šibenik-Knin County. In these old days, tourism was not yet formed as we know it today, but travelers were on their way even then. The motives for traveling to a specific region was then, as it is mostly today, the valuable monumental heritage and unspoiled and surprisingly beautiful nature.

Stout hosts - „as carved out of stone“

The book "Where the East meets the West - English travel writers of the 19th century about Šibenik and its surroundings" by the author Marinko Šišak compiles travelogues of six writers and translations of the chapters of their books that refer to the Šibenik region to Croatian.  
The travel writers mentioned in the book are John Gardner Wilkinson, Andrew Archibald Paton, William Frederick Wingfield, John Mason Neale, Thomas Graham Jackson, and an unknown writer with initials: R. H. R.

The English travel writers were mesmerized by the beauty of the Šibenik Cathedral and the majestic Krka River.
The traditional costumes, customs and menus also captured their attention was while also there were keen on commenting on the size and appearance of the corpulent locals. 

Among other details in these travelogues, the descriptions of the interaction with the locals is especially interesting. All writers were fascinated by their physiognomy and looks, so they all write how they appear to be large and strong.
One of the citations claims that they were all impressed by the height and stoutness of the Dalmatians they encountered. We will cite just of these interesting observations, by Andrew A. Paton, who describes his fellow companion during a carriage ride as "a man of tall stature, as carved out of stone, sun-tanned, with self-conscious attitude and Venetian accent - a real Dalmatian."

Raising awareness of the local values 

As the Small Giants initiative has a goal of raising awareness of the valuable landscape of our region, which has cherished us with health by its abundance of fertile natural resources, water and sun, so it is important to raise knowledge about the historic views of these fantastic characteristics including its people. These documented observations formed a perception of the other nations carrying a voice far away into the world.

In times when technology and its further development were hardly known, in times when there was no immediate connection as we know it today, even then, the voice of this captivating region became international.
River Krka always used to fascinate its visitors and it used to quench their thirst. Today the mighty sound of its cascades falls reminds us that time flows by water in some other ways, other than those we usually perceive. 

Let's become guardians of our waters which, besides the present moment, also project our valuable past.

"Tu gdje istok susreće zapad - engleski putopisci 19. stoljeća o Šibeniku i okolici"
Matica hrvatska, Šibenik - Skradin 2019.