Top unusual attractions & sights in Zadar
Only in Zadar - Sea Organ
Can you think of a picturesque city on the Adriatic coast that magically blends the ancient with the modern urban vibe? Zadar perfectly fits the description, but it also boasts several unusual attractions that set it apart from the other coastal towns. Here’s what you can find only in Zadar:
Sea Organ & Sun Salutation
Ode to nature and universe, ode to Zadar! Situated on the promenade of the historical peninsula, Sea Organ and Sun Salutation (also known as Greeting to the Sun) happen to be among the most popular modern attractions in Croatia. Designed by Zadar-native Nikola Bašić, they invite you to take a moment to appreciate Zadar, sea & nature.
So, listen to the sound of the sea as you admire the evening light show. The Sea Organ consists of pipes underneath the promenade steps that allow the sea, waves and tide to give a never-ending, always unique performance. Right next to it you will find the Sun Salutation, a mini solar plant in the shape of a model solar system displaying a fascinating light show at sunset.
St Donatus Church
Four is the number of patron saints of Zadar (St Anastasia, St Chrysogonus, St Simon and St Zoilo), three is the number of churches dedicated to them. Yet, it is the Church of St Donatus that has turned into a widely recognizable landmark of the city. One of the best preserved monuments from the period of the early Croatian kingdom and one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture in Europe, it has an unusual circular shape. The church was built on the remains of the ancient Roman Forum, so some of its elements can be found in its interior, including an ancient pillar, altar and a statue base. On its upper floor, there is also a secret room, believed to have been used for hiding treasure. Nowadays, the Church of Saint Donatus is an excellent venue for musical performances due to its acoustics.
Right next to it, don’t miss another two fascinating sights. One is the Belltower of St Anastasia’s Cathedral, which offers the best views of the peninsula and beyond. The other is the Pillar of Shame, which was used for public shaming during the Middle Ages. In fact, the entire square is the perfect place to take a break and contemplate what life once was like.
St Donatus Church at the Roman Forum
Five Wells Square
Unique setting for a great pic! Just as its name suggests, the square is known for its wells built in the 16th century, when they were used for providing water for the peninsula during a siege. Appreciate the sight of the entire square with the Captain’s Tower (today an exhibition venue) from Queen Jelena Madije Park, Zadar’s green oasis built almost 200 years ago.
Gold and Silver of Zadar
Explore the city’s treasures in the Benedictine Convent of St Mary just a few steps away from the Roman Forum! A quick stop allows you to get an insight into the rich heritage as displayed at the Permanent Exhibition of Religious Art. (Ticket price: €5)
Museum of Ancient Glass
Check out an impressive collection of glass items dating as far back as the 1st century BC! Situated on top of the eastern city walls, the museum’s program also features glassblowing workshops and a selection of special souvenirs. (Ticket price: €6)
A love story and an urban legend in one! A replica of the Egyptian original, the Zadar Sphinx is believed to have been built along with the Villa Atilia and its park more than a century ago. Since then its existence has been veiled in mystery. According to popular belief, it was made by Giovanni Smirich, a prominent conservator in Zadar, in honour of his deceased wife, countess Atilia Spineda de Cataneis. Therefore, the sphinx is believed to grant love wishes. In order to reach it in the Brodarica neighbourhood, take a barkajoli boat ride from the peninsula to the mainland, then just continue on foot along the waterfront.
The one and only… Zadar
Explore the old, enjoy the modern. Get to know the unique story of Zadar, and create special memories every step of the way.