Zadar Stories and Tips

From Zagreb to Zadar

Zadar, Croatia Photo, Zadar, Croatia

Zadar was the first city I stopped on the Adriatic Sea. It was cloudy, and windy when I arrived early next morning. I left my bags in the locker, and took the bus to the main town in Zadar. In 1873, the town were converted from fortifications into elevated promenades with towers and gates which commanded an extensive seaward and landward views. Today, inside the ancient town, churches and monasteries that were first built are still left standing alongside with shops and cafes where narrow cobblestones city streets lead to well-preserved charming Renaissance style buildings.

There are four old gates to enter the ancient town. I entered through Porta di Terraferma, designed by the Veronese artist Michele Sanmicheli in the 16th century. Cafes were beginning to pack with customers, and the outdoor market was starting to open up for business. I grabbed a sandwich and began exploring this charming town.

St Donatus' Church, a monumental round building in pre-Romanesque style, is a well-preserved structure of its period in Dalmatia. The massive dome of the rotunda is surrounded by a vaulted gallery in two stories high. And, because of its massive solid structure, you could hear the echo of voices bouncing back and forth. There are remains of foundation embellished with lofty marble columns as well as some remains of a Roman aqueduct outside the church. The Roman Forum, the largest on the eastern side of the Adriatic lies in front of St Mary's Church which is directly opposite St Donatus' Church.

Other churches worth mentioning here are St Anastasia's Cathedral and Churches of St Chrysogonus and St Simeon, all Romanesque style of very fine proportions.

As the day got cloudier, I walked along the beach, and then headed to the other side of the ancient town. As I crossed the bridge, I saw floating private boats in the harbor along Zadar Channel. Streets here are a little different from the streets in Old Town as they were developed at a later stage when the town grew bigger. I headed back to the train station for my next destination which was Split on a bus.

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