Did you Know … About Zadar? Fascinating Historical-Cultural Facts

Roman Forum and St Donatus Church

Get to know the city of Zadar in depth! A wall is not just any wall, a well is not just a decoration on a square, the waterfront is not just a place where the sea meets the land. Discover the stories and interesting facts behind the most famous landmarks of Zadar and have a more complete experience of the city: 

The most famous street – Kalelarga

It’s the heart of Zadar, the place to meet & greet. It’s also the street said to be even older than the city itself. Still, you won’t find it on the map. While the people of Zadar refer to it with its historical name ‘Kalelarga’, officially it is called Široka ulica. 

Defensive walls of Zadar

So much more than a neatly stacked pile of stones! Defensive walls of Zadar together with 8 gates such as the Land Gate testify to its turbulent past, full of conquering attempts, destruction and victories. Built almost half a millennium ago, the walls are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Learning about the timeline of their construction and the meaning of decorative elements on the gates gives you a well-informed insight into the history of the city.

Defensive walls of Zadar

Five Wells Square and Queen Jelena Madije Park

A place to rest and imagine life as it once was! A picturesque square named after the number of wells on it used to represent a matter of life and death 500 years ago. During the siege of the city, the wells truly served their purpose and provided fresh water for the people of Zadar.

Once the danger was gone, the nearby area of fortification was transformed into the first public park in Croatia almost two hundred years ago. Today the park bears the name of the popular early Croatian queen Jelena Madije, who is believed to have been a Zadar native. 

Stunning waterfront

The one and only Zadar sunset. The one and only Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun. As you admire the sound and sight of the city’s most famous modern attractions, consider the additional story behind them. The Greeting to the Sun represents a model of the solar system with patron saints’ names inscribed in addition to being a mini solar plant, while the sounds produced by the Sea Organ are based on the matrix of Dalmatian klapa songs.

The Greeting to the Sun

Cross the channel, one way or the other

How to reach the peninsula from the mainland or vice versa? Take a barkajoli boat ride, a tradition dating back all the way to the 14th century. You can also walk over the pedestrian bridge, the third one in almost a hundred years. Namely, the first one had been destroyed during World War II, while the second one was a pontoon bridge made of barrels and rather impractical during stronger winds.

Roman Forum and St Donatus Church

More than a few rocks! The remains of the ancient Roman Forum tell a story of a place that used to the centre of public life built more than two millennia ago. One of the two remaining pillars used to serve for public shaming during the Middle Ages, while the nearby Church of St Donatus, one of Zadar’s landmarks, was actually built on the foundations of the forum and was partially decorated by its remains. 

More than a pretty picture…

Sometimes just looking at a historical sight cannot do absolute justice to its greatness! Understanding the story behind it reveals to you the bigger picture, so get to know Zadar in detail, its story and legends for that extra special touch to your overall experience!