When in the town of Split, ten out of ten people there will tell you, Riva of Split is the most beautiful in whole of the world. Same goes for Zadar too, only they will say it is the most beautiful riva in whole of Adriatic coast.
I know well both of them and to me this one in Zadar is more beautiful. It is much longer, has nice park and more greenery and is more refreshing in the hot summer nights. The constant wind, coming from the sea, make this riva most pleasant pedestrian area one can imagine.
Favorite thing: The old core of the town, where the major historic attractions can be found, is situated on an peninsula. The medieval Zadar was completely forticiated, all around the peninsula, but the southern part of the walls was pulled down during the WW II bombing.
Favorite thing: Zadar on the other side of peninsula (mainland) is pretty much inattractive part of the town except for the Borik beach and hotels resort. More or less it is kind of monument which displaying architectual styles from the 50 years period of time when the leading ideology was socialism.
Well, Zadar is lot more than its historic peninsula. Actually, that is only its smaller part, yet the place of interest of most people who'll ever visit. Beside beaches in vicinity.
Once you'll get a bit into 'everyday' Zadar, there's whole different picture. Like industrial zones. Sport centre Višnjik. Parking places for yachts and boats. Scars from latest wars. Shopping malls. Cafes in socialist-style blocks. Dead end streets and wide main ones. Traffic and local markets. Mix of everything. Post-modernity and transition and post WWII life. For all what is positive and negative about it. Kinda symphaetic mixture because of its inhabitants. Yes, they are the soul of the city.
Favorite thing: The Church and Monastery of Saint Michael is 14th century structure built in Gothic style. It has typically simple but very charming Gothic front facade with two long side windows. The portal of a church is adorned by a relief which shows St. Michael flanked by St. Anastasia and St. Chrysogonus. The interior is simple single-nave preserving a painted wooden semirelief of Romanesque crucifxion from me 13th century. The church was built in 1389 and renewed in the 18th century.
Saint Francis church, from 1283, is the oldest Dalmatian church built in Gothic style. This style is so-called type of Gothic monastic church characterized by single nave with a raised shrine. The church was renewed in the 18th century, completely changing appearance.
The sacristy of the San Francis is very important for the Croatian history because it was there that the peace was made between the Venetian Republic and Hungarian-Croatian King Ludovik Anzuvinac and by that act the Venetians gave up their pretensions to Dalmatia.
South from the church is also a Renaissance cloister, built in 1556, with a rich library.
Since I yet have to find the place to write on bars I will make notice here, because this one was outstanding, comparing to other Zadar cafes: it's caffe bar Jazzva, in old part, in one of the back streets behind the walls.
Nice spot to have coffee or beer here. We had it only in the morning when we were waiting for the ferry so we were too early for their special offer - free hugs, which were to be 'offered' from 11 am til 1 pm, and then later in night.
Well, with or without hugs, this is lovely small place to sit down, unique, dressed in red, black and white, with vinil records as decoration, old wooden chairs, sewing machine... it shares vintage and feels seductive with its interior... and music. It's little dark inside but that only contributes to different ambience.
It's place to return.
Opened between 7 am and 12 pm at Nikole Matafara 7.
The most outstandind monument of Zadar is, unquestionably, the former church of St. Donat dedicated to the Trinity. The church was first recorded in the celebrate work by Byzantine emperor Constantine Porfirogrenetus on the management of the state.
The church has circular ground-plan and, like several other buildings of its kind built around Europe at the same period, a double space. Yet. it is a wholly original project for which there exist no prototype.
Fondest memory: The pre-Romanesque Church of St. Donatus dates back to the ninth century, and it is undoubtedly Zadar's most famous site.
Favorite thing: The Cathedral was dedicated to sv. Stošija(St. Anastasia). This triple-nave edifice was built in the 12th and 13th century, on the site of an Early-Christian basilica. On the facade there are two circular aperture or "rose", in a Gothic manner, inserted into the pediment of the central nave at later period.
The church of St. Mary is a part of Benedictine nunnery founded in 1066 by a widowed noblewoman from Zadar, Cika. It was dedicated in 1091. The nunnery archive contains a precious collection of charters related to 9th c. Croatian rules.
Fondest memory: The bell-tower of the church from 1105 is a fine example of Romanesque architecture and was built by the Croat Hungarian King Coleman.
Although it looks alike thounands of other churches, the Church of St. Simon is very important one because it houses St. Simon's chest with the saint body and is the most valuable sample of the medieval Croatian goldsmith workmanship. The Huungarian-Croatian queen Jelisava (Elisabeth) comissioned Francesco di Antonio da Sesti, goldsmith from Milan, who designed the chest and worked on it from1377-1380.
This church was first mentioned in the 5th century and it was an old christian basilica with three naves. Later on, built on the site of the previous church, raised the church of St. Stephen with the Gothic elements. It was mentioned in the documents in 1190. From 1570, when the chest was transfered to the St. Stephen, it is known as the Church of St. Simeon, rebuilt in the Baroque style.
The Church of sv. Krsevan (St. Grysogonus) belongs to Benedictine monastery. It is a characteristic example of a monumental Romanesque church of very fine proportions and decent and refined Romanesque ornaments. The church was built in the place of a former 10th century church and consecrated in 1175.
Fondest memory: This is the most beautiful church in the town of Zadar, as far as I am concerned.
The belfry of the church was started in 1485, but the work progressed very slowly and it reached the present height in 1546, though it was never completed.
Four beautiful statues in white marble were placed on the altair in 1717, representing the patron saints of the city: Anastasia, Zoilus, Grysogonus and Simeon.
Fondest memory: The look of the rear side of St. Crysogamus Church
Church of St. Zoilus is situated on the Roman capitol, just a foot from the church of Sv. Stosije. It was built in the late Baroque style at the end of the 18th century in a place of a medieval church with the same name, which at the time served the purposes of the Greek Orthodox congregation. The Greek congregation of Zadar were composed mainly by merchants, soldiers and sailors. The church preserving a wonderful collection of icons dating from the 16th to 18th century.
Fondest memory: During my last visit to Zadar, in August 2004, I have found out the church belongs to the Orthodox community of the town. Since it is under major reconstruction works now, it cannot be visited.
The small church Gospe od Zdravlja is situated about 100 meters from the church of St. Stosija. According to its simple look of the front facade it must have been built in the Romanesque style. However, the bell-tower and the Presbytery have been built in different styles
Fondest memory: Thanks to VT member Svenko, now I know the name of this church.