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The Monastery of Ćokovac is a house of God and home to a community of six Benedictine monks, the only male Benedictine monastery in Croatia. Situated on the hill of Ćokovac near Tkon (on the island of Pašman), this is a place of prayer, work and hospitality. Living the Christian life together, under the guidance of the Holy Rule of St Benedict, the monks gather seven times a day for the liturgy. They chant the Divine Office and celebrate the Holy Mass, offering a sacrifice of praise to God and interceding for the Church and for the world. The remaining hours of the day are devoted to private prayer (lectio divina), study and to work, which is another important pillar of the Benedictine way of life.

Due to its historical importance and cultural heritage, the Monastery of Ćokovac is also a national cultural monument. Its beautiful location, overlooking the canal of Pašman and the well-preserved medieval architecture of the fortified monastery, will not leave visitors indifferent. Inside the monastery complex, visitors may walk through the courtyard and enter the late gothic church of SS. Cosmas and Damian which holds an early 15th-century painted crucifix by Menegelo Ivanov de Canali and a 16th-century icon of the Virgin Mary. In the small lapidarium, there are stone fragments from various historical periods, some of which have inscriptions carved in Glagolitic script. One of the exhibits is also the facsimile of the Croatian (Church Slavonic) translation of the Rule of St Benedict, copied in the late 14th century from an earlier exemplar. As such, it belongs to the earliest translations of the Regula Benedicti.

Page from the Benedict’s Rule in Glagolitic script, 14th century
Icon of The Virgin Mary, 16th century
Glagolitic inscription on gravestone, 1531.

The lapidarium also houses the monastery gift shop where one can find religious books, Ćokovac-themed souvenirs, rosaries and other devotional items, including St Benedict medals and crucifixes. Products prepared by the monks themselves are also available: three types of liqueurs, and herbal remedies (balms, tinctures and oils), made from locally grown herbs such as calendula, sage and St John's wort.

The prehistory of the Ćokovac Monastery began in Biograd in 1060 with the founding of the Abbey of St John the Evangelist as a royal endowment, with the help of the Croatian king Petar Krešimir IV. Only half a century later, Biograd was conquered and destroyed by the Venetians, forcing the monks to relocate to the island of Pašman in 1129. They built a new Romanesque monastery on the hill of Ćokovac, near Tkon, at the site where they already owned the Chapel of SS. Cosmas and Damian. In the mid-14th century, it suffered great damage during the conflict between the Angevins and the Venetians and was subsequently rebuilt in the Gothic style. From its founding in Biograd until the second half of the fifteenth century, the Abbey of Ćokovac was considered one of the most renowned and influential Benedictine abbeys in Dalmatia. It also shared in the phenomenon specific to medieval Croatia: namely, in the use of the Croatian Church Slavonic language and Glagolitic script in the liturgy, alongside Latin. Ćokovac Abbey was closed by the government authorities in 1808, when all of Dalmatia came under French rule.

It took a little over 150 years until the Benedictine monks could once again pray and work within the walls of Ćokovac. After the arrival of the first monks a few years earlier, it was in 1965 that life in the monastery could take its regular course, continuing uninterrupted to this day.

The Monastery of Ćokovac, currently enjoying the status of a priory, is part of the wider Benedictine family of the Slav Congregation of St Adalbert, which has monasteries in Czechia, Slovenia and Croatia.

The monastery is open for visits from Monday to Saturday, from 16.00 to 18.00. It is closed on Sundays, as well as national and religious holidays.

The church of SS. Cosmas and Damian is also open daily for all who wish to attend Holy Mass or join the community for the prayer of the Divine Office (see the daily schedule of liturgical services).

In welcoming you, we ask you to be mindful that this is the home of a monastic community, hence some areas are marked as ‘private.’ We also ask you to adhere to the monastery’s dress code. For further information on this and more details about visiting the monastery, see here.

For special requests and group visits, please contact us by phone or email.