On the shores of Pašman Channel, surrounded by the historic town of Zadar and royal town of Biograd, there lies the picturesque small town of Sv. Filip i Jakov.
Sv. Filip i Jakov is well known for former summer residences and parks that belonged to Zadar noblemen. The one that is still famous nowadays is the Borelli family park. Thanks to the Borelli family, Sv. Filip i Jakov has a long tradition of tourism, since two parks and a summer residence where the family received friends and acquaintances, distinguished figures of that time, represent a forerunner of the present weekend houses and tourist facilities.
Nowadays, Sv. Filip i Jakov is a blend of magnificent Dalmatian nature, the sea makes it so mystical and beautiful and the vast and fertile hinterland offers it its protection. It is a blend of cultural heritage and modern lifestyle – a place where kind people live.
The settlement of Sv. Filip i Jakov sits on the location of former, small Liburni settlement erected three millennia ago and its remains are still visible nowadays in dry stone walls and tumuli. The Romans built farms and summer houses in the 1st century for their veterans.
However, it was only when the Croats arrived to this area that it became important for its location near the royal town of Biograd having its estates in the hinterland of Sv. Filip i Jakov. Croatian king Krešimir IV founded the Benedictine monastery of St. John (Samostan Sv. Ivana) in Biograd in 1059, and bestowed upon them his royal castle Rogovo with its large estate. In the nearby Rogovo, a medieval village located next to the church of St. Michael (nowadays St. Roch) and the castle Dvorine, a settlement was founded in the late medieval period forming a natural access to the sea for the rich Benedictine abbey.
In the area of the present settlement of Sv. Filip i Jakov, there used to be a homonymous church destroyed in the Hungarian-Venetian War in the 14th century. The first residential buildings in Sv. Filip i Jakov were built by the people from Rogovo at the end of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th century. The first written record of the settlement, according to archive documents, dates back to 1387 – sub Rogoua ad sanctus Philipum et Jacobum, and 1388 as “Contrada of Saint James” – positi Rogue iuxtra in contrata sancti lacobi. At the beginning of the War of Cyprus (1570 – 1573) the Ottomans gained the narrow surroundings of Sv. Filip i Jakov, and the settlement was populated by refugees from devastated Rogovo. The place was also destroyed during the Cretan War (1645 – 1647).
The Church of St. Roch from the 11th century is a Romanesque period monument, rarely preserved outside medieval littoral towns, for which reason it is categorised as the 2nd category cultural monument.
The heart of the old town, as we can see it today, was formed during the 16th and the most part of the 17th century. When entering the heart of the old town, Kaštel is visible, a 17th century castle bearing an embedded coat of arms of Rogovo abbots. Although the church of St. Michael is mentioned in the 16th century, the present church with a bell tower was built in 1707, after Ottoman devastation.
The following architectural monuments should be singled out:
- Borelli Park as a monument of park architecture in the heart of the settlement
- Remains of the Benedictine castle in Rogovo, divided in three levels
- Borelli house with Arboretum, which makes part of protected natural heritage