History and Culture


Zadar is an ancient city in the centre of the Croatian Adriatic coast with a rich historical and cultural heritage. A three thousand years old city with long and turbulent history, often destroyed, looted, devastated, but every time sprouted from the ruins stronger, richer and more beautiful.

Through the history Zadar is first mentioned in the 4th century B.C. as a settlement of the Illyrian tribe Liburna in the form of the name Jader. Its name later changed to Idassa (Greek sources), Jadera (Roman sources), Diadora, Zara (Venetian and Italian rule), to the present name Zadar.

The most prominent cultural landmarks of the old town are the Church of St Donat, the Forum, the St Anastasia’s Cathedral, St Simeon’s Church and Monastery of St Francis, Church and Monastery of St Mary, St Grisogono’s Church, St Andrew and St Peter's Church and Monastery of St Michael, the remains of the Church Stomorica. Among others it is worthwhile to mention the Church of Our Lady of Health, Church of St Nediljica, Church of St Dominic, Church of St Thomas, Church of St Lawrence Church of St Nicholas, Church of St Elias - the only Orthodox Church in Zadar, the Chapel of St Demetrius, the People's Square, the Three Wells Square, the Five Wells Square, the Rector's Palace, the Grisogono Palace, the Palaces Nassis and Petrizio, the city walls and many other attractions.

A new and modern structure worth mentioning is the world’s first sea organ located near the new cruiser dock, both a part of the new promenade, the Zadar Riva.

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