Zadar Local Customs

  • Local Customs
    by BruceDunning
  • Zadar (Croatia)
    Zadar (Croatia)
    by Redang
  • Zadar (Croatia)
    Zadar (Croatia)
    by Redang

Most Recent Local Customs in Zadar

  • svenko's Profile Photo

    People on Zadar riviera are...

    by svenko Written Aug 26, 2002

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    People on Zadar riviera are very friendly, especially in little villages on islands. Summers are very dry here so if you can, save the water. Water is very precious so instead of some lush gardens you can see, equally beautiful, cactuses!

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  • Milan's Profile Photo

    The cathedral in Zadar has the...

    by Milan Written Aug 24, 2002

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    The cathedral in Zadar has the same stylish characteristics, but its spatial structure is more complex. Inside the church there are galleries above the lateral apses, and under the raised sanctuary there is a crypt dug in. Besides, in the 13th century the basilica was extended, so that it became the biggest church in Dalmatia. The rich architeclural plastic art on its facade and on the lateral side outlines proportionally the disposition of the interior space.

    In distinction from the ornated facades of the Romanesque basilicas, those on the Gothic churches are modest in the simplicity of their form. They belong to the temples of the preaching monasteries of St. Dominic and St. Francis. The Cominican monastery has been destroyed and the church was redecorated later on. Yet, its original torm of a simple parallelograram-shaped space with a rectangular sanctuarium covered by a cross-ribbed arch, has been preserved. Its facade is divided by a broad rosette and other walls of the church by ornamented high pointed windows. The church was consecrated in 1280. A Franciscan monastery has been well-preserved. There is also a church here, dating from the same tirne, and of the similar form. On its facade there is an elegant bifora. This church is a real treasury of an art and cultural heritage, and this monastery, just like a Benedictinian one, was a centre of Enlightenment in Zadar. An important historical event also took place in this monastery. In a sacristy next to the church the Venetian emissaries signed the treaty of peace conceding all the claims on Zadar and Da!matia to the Croato-Hungarian King Lodowick of Anjou.

    On his arrival there was a big celebration in Zadar. The walls were ornamented by King's insignias, the sovereign was met by members of municipal authorities and Archbishop, ships crowded with people and flags stood in Zadar's harbour, and even en old sarcophagus with remains of St. Simeon was brought out in front of the King. There couldn't be any higher honours than those.

    Among the holy reliquiars in Zadar, the remains of St. Simeon is the most important one. According to the Bible he was an old man, a Jew, who took little Christ in his arms in the temple and recognized Messiah in him. In a medieval legend a Venetian merchant was mentioned, a merchant sailing from the Holy Land and carrying the Saint's remains in his ship. A storm forced him to look for a shelter in the quiet harbour of the town of Zadar. That's how the Saint got to Zadar, became its patron and one of the most honoured saints in this region. In honour to his cult and to her prays for the son, the Queen Elisabeth of Kotromanic, wife of King Lodowick of Anjou, had a magnificent sarcophagus of a gilt silver made. This already described reception of the King Lodowick in Zadar, the visit of the Royal couple and suite to the church, the Queen's gift to the Saint, many scenes of his miracles, lots of ornaments and the text telling about this order and the master - goldsmith Francis from Milan, who lived in Zadar - all these has been shown on this new, beautiful reliquiar dating from 1380.

    Like many mediterranean towns, Zadar was also a place of many pilgrimages to Holy reliquiars. The cult of St. Simeon is in any respect the most important one. His remains put in the sarcophagus previously mentioned are exposed on the main alter of the church which is also dedicated to his name and which has been for centuries visited by numerous congregations and curious people.

    But also the cult of St. Chrysogone was very important for the Town of Zadar. Reliquiars of his body parts tell us impressively about the prayers addressed to him. The treasuries of the Middle Ages in Zadar, containing the reliquiars of other well-known, but also of those less known saints, prove that the cult of reliquiars was very strong in this Town, while the simple fragment of a fresco on a lateral apse of the cathedral reminds of a saint almost forgotten with us: of a brilliant Englishman, Lord chancellor and the Bishop of Canterbury from 12th century, St. Thomas Becket - the martyr, whose cult is in Zadar brought in connection with the stay of the Pope Alexandar the Third, who proclaimed the martyrdome of St. Thomas as christian sanctity.

    The human need for travelling is usually best revealed in itineraries, containing the descriptions of interesting events and vivid recollections of the travellers who had stopped, with or without intention, in some of the towns on their trip. And so, for a long time, many foreigners were visiting Zadar and they wrote down their impressions about this town. One of those remote tourists, a certain Konrad von Gruenemberg, was walking through the streets and squares of our Town in the year 1486. With great interest he was watching the wedding procession, while the bride and bridegroom were strown all over with corn, and a bearded priest married them according to the old Slavic habit, as it was written down by Konrad. Later on, in the year 1494, a galley full of pilgrims who set out from Venice to the Holy Land, arrived to the port of Zadar. It was like today's touristic charter arrangements. Pietro Casola from Milan arrived with them. As he said, he was curiously sightseeing the beautiful buildings, monasteries and churches, with great interest he was watching the choir stalls in the churches and the sarcophagus with the remains of St. Simeon. But it seemed that most of all he admired the Town itself as a whole. It is not big, but is clean, with high city walls and paved streets, wrote the curious Casola.

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Zadar Local Customs

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