Zadar - Always Worth A Trip

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A beautiful coastal city that I visit every year...

Like many Croatian towns, Zadar has roots stretching back more than a thousand years - it's located between Rijeka and Split, in close proximity to Sibenik.

Serving as the capital of Dalmatia for several centuries, the town still boasts very pretty old, narrow streets.

An ancient Roman forum is situated in the middle of town, which was built in the first century A.D.

Photo Zadar from hill

I took this picture form a hill above Zadar. The city center is by the tower.

Be sure to visit St. Donatus Church - this pre-Romanesque place of worship was built in the 9th century, and is a famous spot in town. Many tourists come here every year to view the beautiful architectural elements of the building.

The city is known for its extensive collection of Romanesque churches as well – the Cathedral of St. Anastasia dates back to the thirteenth century; the Church of St. Chrysogonus and the church tower of St. Mary were built in the twelfth century.

Here's a video of the city (8:45 min)

Another unique aspect of this city is the fortification surrounding it. Encircled by fortified walls from the medieval period, Zadar is truly a sight to be seen. The ports are quite impressive as well - both date back to the sixteenth century.

Photo Zadar pedestrian zone

The historical background of this town is fascinating and vivid.

Over the centuries it was at the center of Croatian and Dalmatian culture.

The town was the location of the first Croatian university, established in 1396; the place where the first Croatian novel was penned in 1536; and the city where the first Croatian newspaper was published.

Even today Zadar is the cultural hub of Croatia, playing host to a wide variety of exciting events and attractions.

The city's permanent art exhibition is just one example of the many enriching artistic affairs going on in the city.

Here's a recap of some places you should definitely visit in Zadar:

  • Church of St. Donatus (Dating from the 9th century).
  • Roman forum built during the reign of Emperor Augustus (1st century).
    This is the largest forum on the eastern side of the Adriatic.
  • Monastery of St. Francis.
    The oldest Gothic church in Dalmatia - site of a treasury.
  • St. Stosija's Cathedral.
    Dating back to the 13th century, this church is a great example of Romanesque architecture.
    The floor mosaics are from the 5th century.
  • St. Grisogono's Church. A 12th century marvel of Romanesque architecture.
  • Bell Tower of St. Mary's Church. From 1105, this church was built by the
    Croat Hungarian King Coleman.
  • Churches of St. Peter and Andrew the Elder from the 5th-6th centuries.
  • St. Simon's casket. Contains the saint's body, and is itself an amazing example
    of medieval Croatian goldsmith expertise.
  • Fortification walls with a renaissance Land Gate from the 16th century.
  • Sea Gate with a Roman arch.
  • Ecclesiastic Art exhibition. View religious objects and relics adorned in gold.
    Here you can also take a look at pictures from all the churches here and the surrounding area.

City center map

Map of Zadar Croatia

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