The town Punat is situated at the eastern coast of cove Puntarska, which is more than three kilometres in length and almost two kilometres wide. It is considered one of the youngest settlements of the island of Krk. Nonetheless, according to archaeological remains (stone tools, concentric settlements constructed in dry wall, perhistoric castles, all the way to Greek and Roman settlements) the living continuity lasts from the prehistoric times. It is believed that Punat got its name from Latin word pons – bridge, because it is possible that once there was a bridge connecting the only, narrow sea passage in cove Puntarska. Punat is mentioned for the first time in two Latin documents as Villa di Ponte, from 1377.

In the Middle Ages there were several hamlets in Punat region. The resident centre is mentioned for the first time in the 15th c., as the living place of family Kolin, therefore the toponym Kolušina. It is believed that the oldest centre was a group of houses on a hill called Glavačica, in a safe distance away from the sea which often flooded the lower terrain. The settlement of Punat and the settlement of Kanajt were mentioned in the second half of the 15th c.

The remains of church of St. Peter and Kanajt Hotel
Kanajt Hotel – a former episcopal summer house

The settlement Kanajt (cane – Lat. canna, cannetum), is situated in the northern part of the cove. It is mentioned for the first time in 1419, as a settlement with the chapel of St. Peter. The settlement vanished in the 16th c., only a larger structure was left, which in the 17th c. became an episcopal summer house with a large vineyard, orchard and an olive-grove.Today a restaurant is situated there. The remains of typologically very rare, two-apse church of St. Peter have been researched, preserved and presented to the public recently.

From its centre, Punat spread diametrically, and recently it is spreading towards the sea, due to filling up of shallow sea bottom. The parish church of the Holy Trinity from 1773 was extended several times, and it got its present shape in 1934. The main altar with carvings and sculptures, a baroque work of Paulist Paulus Reidl, was made around 1750, and was once placed in Paulist church in Senj. The altar pall is from the 18th c., and at the altar of the Holy Cross there is a crucifix from the 16th c.

The bell tower of the church of The Holy Trinity

In Punat and its surroundings there used to be about a dozen churches, but most of them do not exist anymore. Around the ruins of a pre-Romanesque church in Mala Krasa there was found a cemetery and the remains of a typical old-Croatian stone plastic art. The church of St. Rok was erected at Nova Placa after the raging of the plague in 1855, and the church of St. Nicholas was built by the seamen of Punat in 1913.

The special feature of Punat is frequent usage of stone vaulting construction, and it is emphasised in the monumental evaluation of the settlement. Punat has a homogenous architectural structure. It is a settlement of a closed type. From an elevated road towards Baška, from the road towards Krk and from Košljun islet there is a complete vista of Punat and its surroundings.

Stara Baška – shelter for sheep

Since the former economical basis of Punat were agriculture, cattle breeding and especially olive growing, Punat settlement together with its surroundings of about 500 m incorporates also a wider area towards Sv. Dunat, and together with olive growes and dry walls it is all protected as a cultural monument.

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