Zadar is famous for its old city, Romanesque Cathedral, and sea organ. Good enough reasons for me to go there for a day visit. So I did on March 16, 2019. And I expect to come back soon because I had a great time there.
How did I arrive in Zadar
I went there by car from Split. There were two options: to use highway A1 or to use sea road D8. I decided to take the second option because there was no toll on D8, and I could enjoy travelling by sea. Furthermore, there was no traffic jam which sometimes occurs in the summer season.
The ride was comfortable, and it took me about 2.5 hours to get in Zadar. I passed by many other exciting destinations like Trogir, Primosten, Sibenik and Vodice.
If you are not arriving in Croatia by car, you can take a bus to Zadar from any major Croatian city.
When I arrived there, I left my car just near the ferry port. It is the most convenient place to leave a car because the old city is just nearby, approximately 2 minutes of walking distance. The parking price was 6 kuna (0.9 euro) per hour.
Zadar old city
The first interesting thing I noticed was the old city fortification. It was built in the 16th century by Venice, for the purpose of defence against Turkish invasion. UNESCO put in on its world heritage list in 2017., together with the fortress of St. Nicholas in Sibenik. Both are categorized as Venetian works of defence between the 15th and 17th century.
Next thing that took my attention was a significant number of sacral buildings. First of them was the Church of St. Chrysogonus from Romanesque age. Unfortunately, there was no chance to see the church from inside. Here is what was written on the panel about the church: "Consecrated in 1175 it is a true masterpiece of Romanesque style, whose characteristics are exquisitely shown in the decorative design of the main apse."
Maybe you will be lucky and find it open during your visit.
Church of St. Donat is another Romanesque masterpiece of art located just a few minutes of walking from Church of St. Chrysogonus.
What you see on the photo above are remains of old Roman forum built in 1st century BC. Unfortunately, most of the remains were destroyed in the Second World War.
Among all the buildings in Zadar, the most monumental is the Cathedral. It is a three-nave Romanesque basilica. There are also elements of later styles which are the result of multiple reconstructions over time.
The Cathedral lunette is typical Romanesque style, similar to other ones built in the same age (For example cathedral in Trogir).
After visiting the old city and its sacral monuments, it was time for me to take a walk on Zadar Riva (coast). The atmosphere was great, like in other Croatian coastal towns. But there was something that made Zadar unique compared to these cities: sea organ.
It took me around 5 minutes of walking from the old city until I heard the first sounds of the sea instrument. I stayed there for a few minutes to enjoy the sea and its waves playing music.