Oh, did I mention that some neighbors decided to have an all-night party next door last night? Not so bad except the noise kept the neighborhood dogs barking all night. Bleary-eyed today, I am.
Zadar is a city in Croatia on the Adriatic Sea. It is the centre of Zadar county and the wider northern Dalmatian region. Zadar faces the islands of Ugljan and Pašman, from which it is separated by the narrow Zadar Strait. The promontory on which the old city stands used to be separated from the mainland by a deep moat, which has since become landfilled. The harbor, to the north-east of the town, is safe and spacious. Zadar is the seat of a Catholic archbishop. Population of the city is 75,082 citizens (2011). All from Wikipedia, so maybe it’s somewhat correct.
Zadar has a Mediterranean climate, with very mild, humid winters and very warm, dry summers. Average January temperature is 7.7°C. Average July temperature is 24.7°C. To convert roughly to farenheit, double the number and add 32 degrees.
Defensive stone walls protect the city on three sides. They were built first by the
Venetians in the 16th century as a defense against the Turks, then reinforced at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. The oldest part of the walls is on the eastern side where a footbridge connects the old town with the newer parts. Opposite the footbridge there are four medieval gates. At the 16th century Port Gate, the Venetian lion, the symbol of Venice, still guards the entrance.
Head back in the opposite direction and you’ll come to the Trg 5 Bunara (Square of the 5 Wells) which once furnished Zadar with water.
The obala Kresimira IV, the western quay. is a tree-lined waterfront promenade that has wonderful picnic spots. It was here that Alfred Hitchcock once remarked that Zadar’s sunsets were among the world’s finest. At the end of the Western Quay is Zadar’s newest feature, the Sea Organ. This unusual
organ is powered by the wind and the sea. When the sea pushes air through the whistles, a series of melancholy chords are played, with the sound emerging through the perforated stone stairs. You have to hear it to believe it!
The Church of Saint Donat is a round pre-Romanesque church that dates from around the
9th century and has become a sort of symbol of Zadar. It’s largely empty inside but the excellent acoustics have made it Zadar’s premier concert hall.
Right in front of the Church of Saint Donat is the remains of the Roman forum begun in the 1st century BC.
The Forum in Zeleni Trg used to be 95m by 45m in size, believed to have been built between 1st century BC and 3rd century AD. Today, very little of it remains apart from the paving stones and some walls, as well as as 14m column to which, up until 1840, the town’s offenders were chained to suffer public humiliation. The Zeleni Trg, however, is still Zadar’s bustling central square.
Saint Anastasia’s Cathedral (Katedrala Sv. Stosije) is the biggest cathedral
in Dalmatia, dating mostly from the 12th century and built on the site of an early Christian church. The facade is adorned with rows of blind arcades which stress the three-aisle structure. The large rose-window is Romanesque and the smaller one above it is in the Gothic style. The relics of St Anastasia lie in a marble sarcophagus on the altar in the left apse. Bishop Donat commissioned the repository in the 9th century. The Museum of Church Art is located in the Benedictine monastery just opposite Saint Donat, this museum is devoted to all sorts of religious art including reliquaries, paintings, sculpture and embroidery. The collection is truly impressive.
Narodni Trg, or People’s Square, in Zadar, is situated at the east end of Siroka Street. Still
a central meeting place, several of the city’s sights cluster here as evidence of its long-time importance. The municipal loggia, the former watchtower-clocktower, a pre-Romanesque church, and city hall are also situated on Narodni Trg.
That’s your tour for today.