The arrival of Croats to the Adriatic caused big demographic changes on all islands and the Kornati were not an exception. The Roman population was forced by the Croat invasion to flee the mainland and find sanctuary on the islands.

As the sea was not for long a barrier for the Croats, there occurred a conflict between them and Venice who was trying to dominate the Adriatic. This era – the decline of Byzantium and rise of Venice and the arrival of the Croats to the Adriatic – was critical for the inhabitancy of the Kornati. The Kornati became a very unsafe area so it is surmised there were no permanent residents on the islands until the 13th century.

Middle ages
The Kornati started coming to life again in the 13th century. There are some very interesting buildings from the Middle Ages in the Park. The most impressive of them is certainly the little church of Our Lady of Tarac (Gospa od Tarca), a humble one-nave sacral building (a typical rural late Romanesque church), built in the place of the early Christian basilica, most probably with the stones of the older church. It is not clear when Gospa od Tarca was built: it is postulated that it was built in the 12th-13th century, in the 14th century, or sometime in the 15th-16th century. Masses are still celebrated in the church (every first Sunday in July), but they are no longer just religious observations as they became a tourist attraction of the area. Remains of a salt warehouse and submerged remains of salt pans in the Lavsa Bay also date to the Middle Ages (probably the latter half of the 14th century).

Piškera Settlement



Medieval written sources point to the presence of herders and peasants on the Kornati. The value of the islands rose under the increasing Turkish threat on the mainland but also because of an increasingly important role of fishing in the economy of this area. The interest in the Kornati particularly grew after a new way of fishing for sardines was introduced in 1524 (using lamps). Sali on Long Island had been an important fishing port since the Early Middle Ages and it became the most important fishing centre in the Adriatic at the beginning of the 16th century – along with Vis and Hvar – primarily because of the Kornati. The fishermen from Sali had the exclusive fishing rights in the Kornati at the time. A Venetian fortress was built on the islet of Vela Panitula at the beginning of the 16th century and it primarily served as the place where taxes on fish were collected from the Kornati fishermen.The Venetian authorities ordered the Kornati fishermen in 1532 to bring all their catch to Vela Panitula first for the taxes to be levied.   In the vicinity of the fortress, on the island of Piškera (Jadra), the fishermen built a settlements with 36 huts and warehouses, eight docks and a movable bridge between Piškera and Vela Panitula. Considering the time and the space, it was quite a big undertaking. A little one-nave church with Gothic construction elements was built in the settlement and consecrated in 1560. The fishermen used the settlement only during the summer "dark" (new moon, the best time to catch pelagic fish like sardines). When the Venetian Republic fell at the end of the 18th century, both the fortress and the Piškera settlement were most likely quickly abandoned. Today you can't even see the remains of the settlement, while there are only the remains of the remains of the fortress visible. On the other hand, the church was restored and is used even today.