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Zadar Sights and Landmarks Guide, Croatia

Zadar Sights- Historical Buildings

Zadar has been an urban structure since the Roman Empire, but the initial city walls have been modified by earthquakes or humans. Still, there is a large Roman Forum to be visited, part of the city walls, and remaining parts of a Roman aqueduct (water pipe).

Another very old building is dating from the 9th century St. Donatus’ church (Bishop Donatus was the person who mediated the dispute for Zadar between the Roman and Byzantine Empire). In time, treasuries consisting of silver and gold were brought inside St. Donatus’ church, for instance the pastoral objects of Bishop Valaresso.

Since the Venetian sovereignty over the city, the University of Zadar has been standing as the oldest in Croatia. The buildings of the university were raised in 1396 by the Dominican order and initially housed a monastery.

In 1409, the Citadel was built and later, the Land Gate according to a design by Venetian architect Michele Sanmicheli. An important building as well is Logia del Comune, rebuilt in 1565, including a public library and old palaces. As the Ottomans were a continuous threat, many fortress walls were built. In these fortresses already existing structures were incorporated, such as a Roman arch and the above mentioned Sanmicheli’s gate. The walls were turned into promenades by the Austrians and parts of them are to be enjoyed today.

Zadar Sights - Religious Culture

No matter if you are religious or not, you have to see the beautiful Zadar sights that include the churches and cathedrals. They are mostly built in Romanesque style, between the 11th and 13th century, except a few, like the already mentioned St. Donatus, or St Francis, which is the gothic witness of the signing of Zadar Peace Treaty in 1358. The Cathedral of Zadar- St. Anastasia’s is the largest in Dalmatia. It shelters the relics of the saint Anastasia in a marble sarcophagus. The Church of Saint Simeon is first mentioned in 1190, but it was largely rebuilt in the 16th and 17th century. Worth visiting is also St Mary’s Church, belonging to a Benedictine Monastery and its permanent exhibition”The Gold and Silver of Zadar”. Don’t miss also the churches of St. Chrysogonus, St.Krsevan or St.Elijah.

Zadar Sights - A Mix of Old and New

If you are in Zadar, you can also enjoy its many museums, such as: the National Museum, the Maritime Museum, the Archaeological Museum established in 1830. A must is a walk on the Western Quay, where you can see something totally innovative. It is an incredible organ, the Sea Organ, played by the wind going through perforated stairs, a masterpiece of modern architecture and music. Another symbol for the continuous transformation is Arsenal, a club in an 18th century weapon warehouse. It is not the only club in a historical building, but it is probably the best known.

For more sights visit the nearby cities of Split and Rijeka


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