History of Vodice:
First settlements developed in Vodice hinterland as early as the prehistoric age. Our roots and history are hidden on both sides of the road leading into town. Today Rakitnica, Mrdakovica, Pišća, Kamena and Okit are names of a fertile estate owned by our hard working farmers, and they used to be residences and villages where people lived. Numerous materials testify to continuous life on these fields since Iron Age. The settlements expanded over time, new inhabitants arrived and new cultures emerged. An important merchant route passed through this area, from Nadin to Zadar, along which many settlements sprung.
This was proven by archeological explorations in Dragisicii and Velika Mrdakovica. Remains of a pre-Roman settlement and a Liburnian necropolis from the 4th century BC were found at Velika Mrdakovica locality. Rich finds of glass tableware – probably the most valuable collection of its kind on the entire territory of the Roman Empire – speak of the fact that this was a significant settlement, which many will identify with Arauzona that Plinius wrote about. At the foot of the site is a Roman enclosure, a natural trap once used to collect rain, that is, to supply the population with drinking water.
On the fields of Vodice, which are abundant in water and fertile soil, they used to grow olives, vine and marasca cherries. Nowadays, there are just remains of residences that once accommodated people in the fields, and wells and puddles used to water cattle. In the green of the fields stand big stone drywalls, boundaries between land plots – testifying to firm Dalmatian spirit, will, strength and spite. Bunje, old traditional buildings once used as lodging for shepherds, as shelter from bad weather or tool storage, also survived over time. Farmers, hard working and pious, raised churches near graveyards, close to where they lived. In 1298, residents of Mrdakovica and Pisca built St. Elijah's church that was not consecrated until 1493.
The neighboring settlement of Rakitnica was mentioned in 1251 as part of the estate owned by the famous Subic family. However, they did not start to build the church until 1415, but construction was soon suspended due to some disputes over the estate. St. John's Parish in Rakitnica was established as late as 1448. Around 1509 on the hill above Rakitnica, they began to build Gradina, which is still well preserved today. To build a limekiln, the residents had to provide labor and pay fifty ducats, and the rest was to be supplied by the noblemen. Namely, back in the 15th century when Turkish conquests began to spread into this area, the Venetian authorities in Sibenik passed a regulation prescribing that observation forts had to be built on all major elevations near settlements to provide shelter for people and defend themselves more efficiently. There is a record of one Mate Spironic, a "bombardier" from Sibenik, who came to serve in Gradina, and defended the castle and the village for a full year.