The Cathedral of St Anastasia is a monumental Romanesque building, and it carries the name of the Sirmian martyr, to whom two popes bowed down; Alexander the III, who visited her tomb, and Pope John Paul II, who bowed down in 2003 in front of the main gate of the Cathedral.
Zadar’s Cathedral of St Anastasia was built in the 12th and 13th centuries, upon an older building from the 9th and 11th centuries, and which was erected on the site of an Early Christian Basilica, so the Cathedral’s first stages date as early as the 4th and 5th centuries. The Basilica was dedicated to St Peter the Apostle, but when the Zadar bishop Donat got the relics of the Sirmian martyr St Anastasia, in Zadar known as Stošija, at the beginning of the 9th century, the Basilica was named after her.
Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun
Zadar is a proud owner of a unique blend of architecture and music, the world-famous Sea Organ, which is located right next to another modern installation, the Greeting to the Sun. The sounds that the Sea Organ produces are a result of the release of sea energy, or rather waves and tides.
The Sea Organ was broken off and then gently shaped and returned to the sea. It stretches out over about seventy metres of the Zadar waterfront, below which, at the level of the lowest low tide, 35 pipes of various lengths, diameters and slopes have been installed. When the most beautiful sunset illuminates the waterfront, the game of lights by the Greeting to the Sun accompanies the rhythm of the waves and the sounds of the Sea Organ.
The Greeting to the Sun is overlooking the Zadar Channel, the islands and the world-famous sunset. With this installation, Zadar has got a new tourist attraction.
This contemporary installation is made of 300 multi-layered glass solar panels in the shape of a circle of a 22-meter diameter. Throughout the day, it collects the energy of the Sun and transforms it into the electricity, which is then used by and around the installation throughout the night. The Greeting to the Sun in the immediate proximity of the Sea Organ, another modern installation on the Zadar waterfront, and both have brought Zadar to the front pages of all the global media.
History of the Archaeological Museum in Zadar, is closely related to St.. Donat Church. From the year 1880 it had fifteen years of protective and restoration works, and this year is considered the foundation date of the Archaeological Museum.
Church of St. Donatus
The Church of St Donat in Zadar has long been desacralized, meaning no liturgies are held here, and from the end of the 19th century until 1954 it housed the Zadar Archaeological Museum. As St Donat has exceptional acoustic characteristics, it has been the venue for Renaissance music festivals for decades.
The monumental medieval monument was built in the 9th century on the model of early Roman (Byzantine) architecture. It was first named the Church of the Holy Trinity, and then later it bore the name of Bishop Donat who had it built. Today it is used as the venue for musical programmes. It represents the most famous monument of Zadar, to which many songs have been dedicated.
Renovated 16th-century palace, now hosting temporary exhibitions, music performances & events.
The Church of St. Chrysogonus
The Romanesque Church of St Chrysogonus got its name after one of the patron saints of Zadar, and it was consecrated by Zadar bishop Lampridius in 1175. It was built on the site of the Roman emporium and the Church of St Anthony the Hermit from the 6th century.
The Church of St Chrysogonus was built in the 10th century, with later adaptations, enlargement and consecration. Today the Church is the only part remaining of the former great Medieval male Benedictine Monastery. In 1387 the late Croatian-Hungarian Queen Elizabeth Kotromanić was buried in the Church of St Chrysogonus, and was later transferred to the Cathedral Basilica of Székesfehérvár. Together with the Cathedral of St Anastasia, this Church represents the most significant monument of Romanesque art in Dalmatia.
Foša and City Walls
Foša is a municipal little harbour in Zadar and one of the symbols of the city. Because of its centuries-old atmosphere and position next to the Renaissance ramparts, it is one of the favourite places to go for a stroll, to take photographs and to enjoy the lavish harbour colouring.
The ramparts upon this atmospheric and historical little Foša harbour were built in the 16th century, and a part of its mystical and ancient atmosphere still exists today. From the historical Land Gate to the building of the University of Zadar, the little Foša harbour is an indispensable promenade for travellers as well as tourists, and one of the recognizable symbols of the city.
Church and Monastery of St. Frances
The Church and the Monastery of St Francis in Zadar, from 1283, is the oldest Dalmatian church built in Gothic style. In 1358 the Zadar Peace Treaty was signed between the Republic of Venice and the Hungarian-Croatian king Louis I in its Sacristy.
The Church of St Francis represents a type of a Gothic monastic church, characterized by its single-nave space with an elevated Sanctuary. In the Treasury next to the famous Sacristy there is an art collection with a big number of artefacts on display, the most valuable of which is the painted wooden Crucifix from the 12th century. In the south of the Church there is a Renaissance cloister that was built in 1556 together with a rich Library.
Everything that has ever mattered in Zadar, since the Medieval period, happened or was heard of at the People’s Square. It is the centre of urban life, a source that sucks you in with its energy and beauty, and then entrusts the passers-by to some other urban sensations.
The People’s Square in Zadar is the Medieval Platea Magna, the centre of life and today’s administrative centre of the City of Zadar, together with the City Loggia. From the People’s Square, paths lead in all directions; towards Kalelarga, the Seafront (Riva), the Five Wells Square or to the market and fish market. In the City Loggia at People’s Square, which was built as early as the 13th century, Zadar citizens have been gathering and discussing the most important city matters, while on the opposite side of the Square, the City Sentinel can be found from the second half of the 16th century, with a clock tower that has been in continuous function since 1803.
The Forum in Zadar was built by the first Roman Emperor Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian, as witnessed by the stone inscriptions dating back to the 3rd century, when the construction finished. It was once enclosed by a portico with galleries on the first floor, and under the portico there used to be shops and stalls.
Since the first century B.C., the Forum was the main gathering place for Roman soldiers, religious people, administrators of the Republic and later of the Empire, as well as for traders and all Zadar citizens in Antiquity. At the time of its full glory, the Forum was surrounded on three sides by a magnificent portico. Today, it is an inevitable square for strolling and one of the symbols of the city.
From the most ancient times in Zadar, known as Via Magna, Strada Grande or Ruga Magistra, Kalelarga has been the main street of the city. To Zadar citizens it is much more than that. It is the main urban artery, a cult space and the symbol of the city, to which the most beautiful memories are associated.
It is officially called Široka ulica (meaning wide street, or Calle Larga, hence Kalelarga), and it has been sung about in numerous songs, unlike any other street or symbol of the city. It has its anthem, and it is the place of all serious city gossip or news. Great sport triumphs of Zadar clubs are celebrated along Kalelarga and at the nearby People’s Square, and so are defeats and former darlings gently mourned over the first morning coffee.
Museum of Ancient Glass
The museum is located in the renewed historicistic palace of the Cosmacendi family, dating to the second half of the 19th century, whose original architecture was enriched by an annex on the northern side because of the demands related to the museum concept of the permanent display as well as performing everyday museum activities. It is an archaeological museum, but it is specialized for ancient glass. Its display presents a unique collection of over 5000 various glass objects dating to antiquity, i.e. period from the 1st century BC to 5th century AD. Over 1500 complete glass objects are presented in the permanent display that is divided into eight thematic wholes. Except for the permanent display, various glass workshops are organized throughout the year. In the glassblowing demo workshop, replicas of ancient glass are made by using the free blowing technique. Another workshop in the museum deals with making glass jewelry with a torch and making souvenirs in the fusing technique. There is also a demo workshop for making objects of boroslicate glass with a torch. Except for a modern and well-suppled souvenir shop where you can buy a number of publications and various souvenirs made in the museum workshops, the Museum also has two multifunctional halls for occasional exhibitions, lectures, book presentations and projections of documentary films about glassmaking.