Zadar is a city with exceptional history and true treasury of the archeological and monumental riches of ancient and medieval times, Renaissance and contemporary monumental achievements. From all of historical periods there are many churches and cultural monuments preserved where we can see all kinds of artistic and architectural styles. Zadar is a peaceful and safe place, you can go for a walk during the night equally as during the daytime. Except to discover beautiful ramparts of Roman times, you will find some nice shops, restaurants with affordable prices and concerts at the open air.
We recommend a walk all along the Zadar’s Riva with a special ambient due to the sea organ, unique construction in the world.
ST DONATUS CHURCH
This is the symbol of the city of Zadar and the most recognizable monumental edifice in Croatia from the early Middle Ages (9th century).
It is called St Donatus church after the bishop who had it built. The church is mentioned for the first time in the middle of the 10th century in the scriptures of the Byzantine emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos.
Today, this space is used for the different musical programs due to its exceptional acoustic features (Musical Evenings in Saint Donat).
This contemporary monument is situated on Zadar’s Riva and can be observed as a differently shaped part of the coast which consists of several stairs that descend into the sea. The stairs extend for about 70 meters along the coast, under them, at the lowest sea-tide level, 35 pipes of different length, diameter and tilts were built vertically to the coast. On the pipes there are LABIUMS (whistles) which play 7 chords and 5 tones. Above the canal there are perforated stone stairs through which the sound comes out, the air pushed by the sea.
This site is a blend of human ideas and skills and the energy of the sea, waves, tide and flood, a place for relaxation, contemplation and conversation while listening to an endless concert of mystic harmonies of the „Orchestra of Nature“. Sea organ is constructed according to the project made by architect Nikola Bašić from Zadar.
THE GREETING TO THE SUN
At the very end of the Zadar peninsula, next to the famous sea organ, shines the Greeting to the Sun.
It consists of 300 multi-layered glace plates placed on the same level with the stone-paved waterfront in the shape of a 22-meter diameter circle. The Greeting to the Sun installation, as a model of the solar system with its appertaining planets, is connected to the Sea Organs whose sound is transposed into a show of light that starts performing on the Zadar waterfront after sunset. It’s made by the project of the Zadar’s architect Nikola Bašić.
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SUNSET IN THE WORLD
The famous Alfred Hitchcock has written certainly the loveliest description of the Zadar’s legendary sunset during his visit to Zadar in May 1964. Observing the sunset and drinking Maraschino on Zadar’s Riva he wrote: “Zadar has the most beautiful sunset in the world, more beautiful than the one in Key West, in Florida, applauded at every evening.”
Numerous tourists agree with his opinion, those who enjoy at the view of the sea embracing falling sun and sky colored again every night with different colors. The citizens of Zadar consider that the most beautiful sunset in the whole world is exactly from their Riva and the best place to see it is Sea organ with unusual sounds made by waves.
For the people from Zadar this is more than a name of the main street. It is iconic place and one of the symbols of the city bringing back memories of dear moments and events as a place of meeting, amusing and divertissement, processions and public festivities, as well as the first loves. They say that in this street actually were started or finished love stories of many generations in Zadar.
During the Roman Empire Zadar was built according to the principles of the strict roman urbanization – street grid of several larger longitudinal streets and many crossing streets dividing city plan into rectangular insulas. Then already one longitudinal street led from today’s Land gate to the square of Forum, and the street parallel to this one, from today’s Petar Zoranić square to the Church of Our Lady of the Health, afterwards the main street due to the historical situation, is actually today’s Kalelarga.