"City with a Soul" Top 5 Page for this destination Zadar by BruceDunning

Zadar Travel Guide: 409 reviews and 1,365 photos

Survived a Long History of Intruders

This has been a living community for 3,000 years. First writings of the village of Jadera date back to 4th century BC and was built by a tribe of Liburns (Illyrian culture). Roman got control around the 2nd century BC. and created a town feature with the typical Roman structure of streets, bathes, markets, and the like. The town was attacked and severely damaged during the Visigoth intrusion. Later the citizens fought off the Venetians around 1200, which eventually took over control in early 1400's. Then came the Turks in 16-17tyh centuries who tried to take over the region. This caused the town to build a lot of defenses that withstood the onslaught. After Venetians lost control, the Austrians took over in 1797 and kept control for most of the time until 1918. Then Italy took over the rule until the end of WWII. After the devastation of WWII, the town had to have a major rebuild.

Red Roofs Are the Theme

The city is know for its artists and galleries. There are around a dozen major galleries, and many smaller stores along the side streets. It has a major street for everyday upscale shopping for the locals, and even some tourists with a passion to buy. It is called Spire Brusine and runs through the middle of the old town about half way where is ends at the main sites.

Donat Church Dome

One of the more fabulous sites is the Donat church from the 9th century and very much intact. The site was a Roman place for Pagan worship originally, and well built to last a long time. They have four patron saints to insure they are covered well in times of tragedy and plagues.

Besides this visit, there are a number of other church spires around town for viewing and over viewing of the terrain on the island if you get on the bell towers for the sites.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Some good sites and the walking along the water is nice
  • Cons:Grafitti is prevalent around many sites & maintained well
  • In a nutshell:Good place to take a rest and the Views
  • Last visit to Zadar: May 2010
  • Intro Updated Jun 21, 2010
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Reviews (34)

Comments (6)

  • suvanki's Profile Photo
    Oct 4, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    Hi! Just returned from a week in Zadar and I'm afraid that I have to disagree with a couple of your Warning and Dangers tips - Apart from one area at the top of the park, we didn't see any litter- we were both aware of how spotlessly clean this place was - we were constantly coming across street cleaning vans etc. on our first evening there we spotted a young chap picking up a piece of litter from the street and putting it into the nearby bin.
    Chatting to a man who had visited here from Oslo on holiday and had stayed ever since (about 20 years or so ago) he mentioned how clean the place was and that he had a problem disposing of his cigarette tab ends - whereas previously, he would have dropped them on the pavement etc, he now had to look for bins etc.
    Also, the park - we visited a few times during day and night, and had no problems.

    I guess there might have been a major clamp down since your visit on litter and 'trouble makers'

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Feb 1, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    I dont know how we didnt know this wonderful sight was here when we drove through Zadar and didnt stop on our way to Split!!..we only saw another city with many bombed and bullet holed buildings...

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Aug 9, 2010 at 5:17 PM

    Bruce, Zadar certainly seems to have lots of interesting and historic buildings and I thought the Sea Organ was quite a unique idea! A little expensive, but countryside drives are always fun too.

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Jul 25, 2010 at 11:40 AM

    Zadar looks like an interesting town to visit. Hope to make it there one day, too.

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Jun 25, 2010 at 12:34 PM

    Hi, Bruce! Congratulations on your great trip to Croatia! ><><><

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Jun 21, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    Bruce, fabulous page about Zadar and Nin. I haven't visited this part of Croatia, so your page gives me a very good idea of the places. I will keep your accomodation tip in mind.


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