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This tiny island in the Adriatic Sea, off the coast of Croatia, has been under a lot of attention in recent times. Located in the Sibenik archipelago on the Dalmatian coast, this small island of 1.4 square kilometer is completely covered by a web of dry stone walls. When viewed from the air, the oval-shaped island of Baljenac, (also spelled Bavljenac), looks like a giant fingerprint with long lines of low walls resembling ridges and grooves of the skin.

Like many west European nations such as Ireland, England and Scotland, much of Croatia’s countryside and the coastline is hugged by dry stone walls. These construction date back to centuries and were used historically to mark boundaries between adjacent agricultural lands. The walls are built without mortar to hold the stones together. Instead, builders carefully select stones and stack them snug together like puzzle pieces.

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Photo credit: sibenski.slobodnadalmacija.hr

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