Lun is located on the northern top of the Lun peninsula that stretches from the city of Novalja, from cape Gaj to cape Lun (northern end point of Pag island), where you can find the ruins of St. Martin’s church. Many people call that place Punta Luna.
There is a settlement at Punta Luna, called Selo by the natives. Selo is the center of Lun and with its church and other institutions it is often only called Lun.
The Name Lun itself probably has its origins in the Roman name Ponta Lone or Ponta Loni for peninsula. Later Ponta (lat. cape) was simply left out and today the name Lun is used for actually three locations: the peninsula, the settlement and the parish (established in 1870).
Today Lun (in broader meaning) has 10 settlements : Polje, Selo (Lun in the narrowest sense), Stanišće, Gager, Dudići (Kaljac and Mulobedanj), Gurijel, Tovarnele (Porat), Mata, Jakišnica and Jadrišnica.
The Area of Lun from St. Martin’s church to Novalja has been administrated by the municipality of Rab from mid 11th century. The Citizens of Rab used this area, especially the nobility, for rich pasture for their stock, mostly sheep. Rab’s administration and nobility management lasted until 1945 and Lun was part of Rab’s municipality until 1992.
Lun was sparsely populated from the 11th till the 17th century. Only shepherds lived here through the season and they worked for Rab’s nobility. In 1711 the population of Lun consisted of 25 permanent ones, originating from 5 families. In 1831 the population of Lun was 196 divided in 18 families. In 2011 the population of Lun numbered 309 people. Lun has survived three major vawes of emigration. The first one at the end of the 19th century and the first three decades of the 20th century, mostly to the USA and Argentina. The second wave between two World Wars when people went to study craft and after finished education stayed in bigger cities of Yugoslavia. The third wave was after World War II, when almost everyone moved away for education and after graduation found employment outside Lun.
Selo (Lun in the narrowest sense)
Selo is the oldest bigger settlement in the parish. The exact beginning of the settlement is hard to determine, but we probably wouldn’t make a mistake if we specified its beginning at the 18th century or earliest, end of the 17th century. All houses then were built of two rows of dry stone walls for two reasons. Firstly, there was no money for better construction, it could be done without builders and the material was free. Secondly, the municipality didn’t allow construction of malt houses. The first constructed malt house was the church of St. Guardian Angel (built in 1738). The first private malt house was built in 1787.
After the Second World War many of the inhabitants sold their houses and moved to Tovarnele. During the Homeland War a new parish house was built. We will conclude the short story about Selo (Lun) with the fact that the maximum number of residents during history here has been 250 people. Today, Selo has a very low number of residents, maybe 20. However, Selo is still a center with two churches (former St. Guardian Angel and present St. Jeronim), cemetery, parish court and a school with lower classes for children from Tovarnele and Selo.
The name Tovrnele was used till the end of World War II and was subsequently changed into Tovarnele. Tovarnele is a younger settlement with a reference as second harbour (with Novalja) in existing records in Venetian documents at the western shore of Pag island. There are remains of an old house called Taberna or Oštarije in Tovarnele. Fear of pirates is the main reason for the resident’s late migration from Selo to the sea shore (Tovarnele). The first part of the waterfront was built by the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1925. The waterfront was enlarged after World War II and the last renewal of the waterfront took place a couple of years ago.
In Tovarnele you can find Olive gardens’ receptions, a new tourist office with some extra content, a post-office, a shop, an olive oil mill, 2 restaurants, a pizzeria and a cafe-bar with fast-food. Lots of houses have been built, mainly for tourist accommodation.
When migration to the sea coast started, residents also migrated to Mata. Today you can find a dozen of houses there. In the summer, Mata attracts with its beach every tourist that stays on Pag island. The population of all-year residents in Mata and Tovarnele is around 100.
Speaking of economic activities, cattle breeding has always been most important, especially sheep breeding. Sheep is the reason why Lun is populated and sheep is the reason why Lun has survived until the present day. The second economic activity is agriculture, especially viticulture. Pag is famous by its nickname as the “island of salt” (or cheese and lace, also), but Lun has never had benefit from salt and salt has never been produced in Lun’s area. Olive growing has been developing from the middle of the 19th century and it rises every year. Regarding olive trees, in 1937 the listing of trees in Lun parish has been done with results of 80000 wild trees and 20000 grafted trees. Fishing started developing in the 20th century, however, today it is declining.
The biggest economic activity today is tourism. The rise of tourism began after 1960 and everything is subordinated to it today.
The three major foundations for tourism development were: the construction of an electricity network in 1977, a paved road from Novalja to Lun in 1980 and construction of a water supply network in 2004.
The Crown jewel of tourism development is the project Olive gardens of Lun and a high-class hotel called “Luna” in Jakišnica, which opened in 2006. They have improved the tourist offer for our guests and have lifted it to a higher level.