Zadar is a beautiful ancient city, built in the middle of Croatian Adriatic. Three thousand years old, a city of exceptionally interesting and dynamic history, often destructed, looted, devastated, every time emerging from the ruins stronger, richer and even more beautiful, now is a home to countless historical and cultural monuments. Zadar appeared for the first time in history in the 4th century B.C., as a settlement of Illyrian tribe Liburnians. Over the years, the name has changed many times – Jader was mentioned at first, and over years it changed into Idassa, Jadera, Diadora, Zara, up to today’s name of Zadar.
Situated in the very heart of the Adriatic, Zadar is the urban center of northern Dalmatia as an administrative, economic, cultural and political centre of the region, with over 75,000 inhabitants.
Surrounded by historical ramparts, it is a treasury of archaeological and monumental riches of ancient, medieval and Renaissance period, containing many contemporary architectural achievements, such as the first sea organs in the world. Zadar is a city monument, irresistible for those who respect and admire historical monuments and cultural heritage, artists, tourists and its citizens.
Stepping through the walls and gates of once the biggest city-fortress of the Venetian republic, into an old city core, you can walk the ways of old Romans, through Forum build in the era of emperor Augustus, now, one of the favorite meeting places in the city. Close by, another charming place attracts many locals and tourists, the Five wells square. St Donatus', a 9th century church, built in the pre-Romanesque style, traditionally, but erroneously is said to have been erected on the site from a temple of Juno. It is the most important preserved structure of its period in Dalmatia. The church treasury contains some of the finest Dalmatian metalwork, notably, the pastoral staff of Bishop Valaresso from 1460. There are many other churches of particular interest, namingly St. Mary's Church, St. Anastasia's Cathedral, churches of St. Chrysogonus and St. Simeon, St. Chrysogonus's Church, St. Elijah's Church, gothic styled St. Francis' Church and many others. Wonders go on, outside the city walls.
Sea Organ, one of its kind, is situated on the Riva. 35 pipes of different lenght, diameter and tilt, containing whistles, play 7 chords of 5 tones. As the sea waves hit the organ, they push the air out of the perforated stone stairs, producing the sound, singing the song of the waves. Just a few meters away, lies The Greeting to the Sun. It consists of three hundred multi-layered glass plates placed on the same level with the stone-paved waterfront in the shape of a 22-meter diameter circle. Under the glass plates there are solar modules, through which, symbolic communication with nature is made, with the goal of to communicating with the light, just like the Sea Organs do with the sound.
Zadar is not just a place to visit the historic sites at, the coast around the city is particularly indented, islands and the untouched nature allure many sailors to the region, as well. In the vicitinty, there is an archipelago that counts 24 bigger and about 300 smaller islets and reefs, 3 nature parks - Telascica, Velebit and Vransko jezero and 3 national parks - Paklenica, Plitvice lakes and Kornati Islands, classifying Zadar and its surroundings at the very top of the Croatian tourist offer. The city is packed with cultural and social happenings, specially during summer. Concerts, galleries and many other exhibitions guarantee every one will find something to suite their desires.