The city of Zadar is situated on the Adriatic coast, counting 75 000 inhabitants, which makes it the 5th largest city in Croatia.
Apart from beautiful nature and astonishingly clean sea, every history and culture lover will surely find something to enjoy in the vibrant city of Zadar.
Zadar’s rich history can be found on every corner: from early cultures of Illyrians and Ancient Romans through the Middle Ages, when Zadar was subject to different rulers including Republic of Venice and Croatia-Hungarian Kingdom and in the later centuries the Hapsburg Empire.
Whether you’re just passing through Zadar, or are spending your summer holidays here, these are the places you must not miss:
1. Zadar Sea Organs
The Zadar sea organs are a unique example of modern architecture.
The project was finished in 2005 and is one of this city’s most famous attractions.
The organs are the work of the Croatian architect Nikola Bašić and consist of several stairs that descend into the sea,with pipes underneath the stairs producing the sound. Whether you’re happy, sad or just nostalgic, a visit to this astonishing water concert will surely give you an unusually comforting feeling!
2. The greeting to the Sun
Another work of architect Nikola Bašić lies just behind the Sea Organs.
This installation consists of three hundred multi-layered glass plates placed in the shape of a large circle.
Solar modules under the glass plates receive sunlight during the day and with the sunset those installed elements turn on, giving an exciting show of light on the circle. It’s a way of thanking the Sun during the night for everything it does for us during the day.
3. St Donat’s Church
If we had to choose one symbol to represent Zadar, this remarkable church would definitely be it.
St Donat’s Church dates back to the 9th century and is one of the best examples of Pre-Romanesque architecture in Europe.
It was named after the bishop who started its construction. In terms of architecture, St Donat’s Church resembles the Pre-Romanesque church of San Vitale in Ravenna in Italy.
St Donat’s Church, situated next to the Roman forum and the Archaeological Museum of Zadar, hosts many Medieval and Renaissance music concerts.
This way, the Medieval structure comes to life and brings its visitors back to Medieval times.
4. St Anastasia’s Cathedral
Situated right next to the St Donat’s Church, this is the largest cathedral in Dalmatia.
It is dedicated to St Anastasia, one of the first Christian martyrs who is also the saint protector of Zadar.
Built in Romanesque style, this cathedral was constructed during the 12th and 13th century.
Today this cathedral is surrounded by many cafes and chic restaurants in the centre of Zadar’s Old Town.
If you’re spending your holidays in Zadar or are just visiting for a few days, it is worth taking some time to visit two Zadar’s museums.
The first one is Zadar’s Archaeological Museum, featuring extensive exhibition of archaeological artefacts from Croatia’s prehistory and from the Roman period. Even more interesting archaeological exhibits date back to the Middle Ages, when the early Kingdom of Croatia was flourishing.
Another museum worth visiting is Museum of Ancient Glass, remarkable for its collection of 2000 glass artefacts from the Ancient Roman period. The museum also features an interesting glass workshop, showing its visitors how the glass is made.