Enough with the usual tourist locations! Shall we try something new and different? Then we can go to Croatia and choose a beautiful city: Zadar!
Already arriving there by ferry, we can be quite happy with our choice as it was indeed the right one: you are welcome into a unique town!! To discover the city, we can start with its port which is located on a peninsula – and in the while look for a host of islands and islets, between the blue sea and sky! Here nature is really outstanding and it very generously offers its immeasurable beauty to the eye of the travellers.
Photo CC-BY-SA 2.5 Böhringer Friedrich
Zadar is located in the central part of the Adriatic Sea, more or less in front of Ancona. It is, therefore, very easy to reach by ferry. Zadar is a very important city in Croatia, and more specifically, of Dalmatia. Its geographical location is a tricky one: if it is true that it was strategic and important, it also was the cause of the constant invasions of other peoples, starting since ancient times. The positive side of this turbulent past is that you can admire in the city today many interesting monuments which bear evidence of the different cultures.
The Romans bequeathed a fantastic road network; in VII century the city became the capital of the Byzantine province of Dalmatia, with a Roman Forum – it was built in IX century the Church of San Donato, in the Byzantine style, too. It was originally called the Church of Holy Trinity, then, in honour of Bishop Donato (the city already in IX century was the “seat” of the bishopric), it took its present name.
The Venetians, who arrived later, built the Church of San Francesco and the Church of San Domenico in the Gothic style.
There were later various political and historical changes, until 1991 when Croatia became an independent Republic.
From a cultural point of view, Zadar has nothing to envy to other best-known cities: there are many museums, monuments and churches of different styles, the walls with antique doors and, especially in summer, the cultural events that draw in many foreign tourists but also the other Croatians. Among these events we can highlight the MUSICAL EVENINGS IN SAN DONATO. The Church of San Donato is very high (27m) and it has such an exceptional acoustic qualities that every musical performance turns into an extraordinary experience.
There are other important events like the STREET ART FESTIVAL, FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC FESTIVAL and THE FULL MOON.
As for the museums, we can visit for example the ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM, the NATIONAL MUSEUM and almost unique, THE MUSEUM OF ANCIENT GLASS which was created in 2009. Then, from 1972 you can be admired many of sacred art objects that are part of a collection in the Church of Santa Maria.
The churches are so many and each is interesting for several aspects: the Church of San Donato is Byzantine in style but once there, we can also visit the remains of Roman “Foro” on which the church was built. The Church of SAN SIMEON preserves the precious sarcophagus of the saint. The SANTA ANASTASIA Cathedral boasts an Italian Romanesque style.
The part of the old city is surrounded by walls with some very beautiful antique doors: PORT SAN ROCCO, with its chapel, which separates the harbor from the market, the DOOR OF THE BRIDGE and THE DOOR OF THE SEA.
Also in the old part of the city which, remember, is a peninsula, has been created ORGAN MARINO that with its modern forms an incredibly fascinating contrast. The Sea Organ is a true work of art of the architect Nikola Basic; It is located on the bank Petar Kresimir IV, near the port. It was built in 2005 and consists of a modern staircase that descends to the sea. Of polyethylene pipes of different angles and sizes have been inserted under the steps. The sea waves produce the air then escaping from the facts holes in the pavement, it is transformed into sounds that are real melodies enchant passers.
The Zadar’s natural beauty is indisputable: it is located in front of an archipelago of main islands and countless islets, and not inhabited, forming an unforgettable show for all visitors. Just opposite the city there is the island of UGLJAN; then there are the DUGI OTOK Islands, Molat, PASMAN, IZ and Kurnati (the latter are a set of well 152 islands, large and inhabited but only tiny rock; here was established on the Kurnati National Park).
Nature is more than present in Zadar since the city is located at the center of many parks such as the National Park PLITVICE LAKES, the Park WATERFALLS KRKA, PAKLENICA the Park and Telascica Nature Park.