The Pag “Atlantis” and Its Sunken Treasure

The Pag “Atlantis” and Its Sunken Treasure

When you hear the name “Pag”, your first thoughts will probably be of cheese, lamb, lace, salt, and the party beach Zrće. But only a few minutes away from the wild dancing at Croatia’s number one party destination lies the small cove of Caska. With only a handful of houses and an unusual tower that was once used for observing schools of tuna, Caska is the complete opposite of the seductive rhythms of Zrće. The only beat on this beautiful pebble and sand beach is produced by crickets, and it offers views of the Pag bay and the impressive rocks of Velebit. Those who come here for the first time find it hard to believe that a city of tens of thousands of people once thrived here.

Makol agencija / TZ Novalja

Archaeological finds suggest that Caska was the site of the largest ancient Roman settlement on the island – Cissa, which now rests at the bottom of the sea, near the cove. It probably sank as a result of a devastating earthquake that hit the area in 4th century AD. The ruins of the ancient city served as a basis for the legend of the “Atlantis of Pag” and its hidden treasure that was incorporated into the island’s folk tales.

The Cove that Hides Highly Sought-after Treasure in Its Depths

In ancient times, Cissa was a rich settlement where the resourceful and capable merchants eventually amassed a great fortune consisting of gold, jewels and large homes. Under the influence of such large profits, good people became driven by greed and began to stray from God. Therefore, one day, God decided to punish Cissa. He sent a special emissary – an angel – to try and find a single righteous man that should be spared the horrible death that loomed over everyone on the island. Disguised as a poor traveller, the angel wandered the streets of Cissa, observing people as they revelled in debauchery, fornication and greed. He begged them for assistance and food, but received only mockery and laughter in return.

Makol agencija / TZ Novalje

While he was going door to door, looking for nourishment and accommodations, he met two sisters named Bona and Mala. Bona offered the unknown traveller her hospitality, while Mala treated the angel much like the other people in Cissa – arrogantly and haughtily. God’s messenger saw that Bona was the only righteous person to be saved from the city of sin, so he warned her of the grave punishment that was to follow, and then disappeared.

Bona left town before the first light of day, and as the sun rose above the elegant palaces, the ground began to tremble, a strong wind picked up, and the sea raged with foam and waves everywhere.

 

As the storm raged, a light flashed in the sky, and a giant ball of fire fell from the dark clouds onto Cissa. The grand mansions, the expensive clothes, the brilliant jewels and gold all sank to the bottom of the sea in mere minutes.

Makol agencija / TZ Novalje

Bona met a shepherd on the south side of the island, whom she married and founded the new town of Pag with. Cissa’s treasure supposedly still lies at the bottom of the quiet Pag cove.