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Zadar, Croatia

Zadar is a beautiful town located in Dalmatia. It is an important cultural and industrial center and the fifth largest city in Croatia. Its history dates back to Roman times. At that time, towers and defensive walls were erected, as well as temples and an amphitheatre. Roman traces are now visible in the form of preserved ruins and archaeological excavations. The historic center is full of monuments of great cultural importance. Recently, modern attractions have been built, among which the most interesting is the famous sea organ.

Parking in Zadar

We must commend the municipal authorities for a well-thought-out parking policy. In Zadar, there is no problem with parking a car near the old town (well, unless it is the peak of the tourist season, and we arrived in the city very late). There are several parking lots, and each of them is quite large.

First of all, which does not happen in cities of this size, we have a large free parking lot (P1, GPS: 44.1094845, 15.2322337), located near the peninsula where the old town is situated. So try to park there first. If there is no more space, use the Ravnice 2 parking lot (P2, GPS: 44.1109788, 15.23227825) - it is a paid parking lot, but the prices are very moderate (2 kuna per hour).

Other parking lots near the old town are the Trg kneza Višeslava parking lot (P3; GPS: 44.110852, 15.235350) and the multi-storey parking lot, located on the other side of a narrow bay that can be crossed by a bridge (P4; GPS: 44.114316, 15.234844). Inne parkingi w pobliżu starego rynku to parking Trg kneza Višeslava (P3; GPS: 44.110852, 15.235350) oraz parking piętrowy, położony po drugiej stronie wąskiej zatoki, przez którą można przejść mostem (P4; GPS: 44.114316, 15.234844).

The Old Town of Zadar

We managed to park without any problems at the Ravnice 2 parking lot. We walked the Obala kralja Tomislava street, and then Bartola Kašića street, and then we reached a very nice square, Trg Pet Bunara (square of five wells) (A; GPS: 44.1125971, 15.2289450). As the name suggests, there are five wells. Next to it we have the remains of the city walls and a tower. This place reminds us of a Provençal town, especially when you go to the neighboring Trg Petra Zoranica square and look at the tenement house with plane trees standing there. On Petra Zoranic Square, we also notice another curiosity - a Roman column.

Narodni Trg

We walk the Elizabete Kotromanić street towards the Narodni Trg square (B; GPS: 44.1142248, 15.2274671), famous for its surrounding historic buildings. It was the main square in medieval Zadar. We happened to come across a celebration with children - it was bustling, crowded and cheerful. At the square there are the buildings of the city guard from the 16th century with a beautiful clock tower and a nice campanile, as well as the building of the town hall.

Cathedral of St. Anastasia and the Church of St. Donatus

After taking a close look at Narodni Trg, we continue walking the Široka street until we reach the bell tower belonging to the Cathedral of St. Anastasia from the turn of the 12th and 13th centuries (C; GPS: 44.1163372, 15.2244349). It is the largest building of this type in all of Dalmatia. Of course, you can climb the bell tower itself (entrance tickets are required). Next to the cathedral stands the pre-Romanesque church of St. Donatus from the 9th century (here you also need to buy a ticket to go inside).

At the church there are archaeological excavations containing the remains of Roman buildings forming the forum. It was the center of public life. One of the preserved columns (D; GPS: 44.1159908, 15.2236920) called the Pillar of Shame served as a pillory. Criminals were chained to it to be whipped and mocked. They often had a plaque around their necks with a description of the crimes they had committed. Passers-by threw rotten fruit, stones and garbage at them.

Sea Organ

The famous Sea Organ in Zadar (E; GPS: 44.1170267, 15.2201854) is a fairly new attraction - its construction was completed in 2005. The sound of the sea organ is simply fascinating. We found it mesmerizing - as we sat on the steps and started listening to it, we felt an irresistible urge to close our eyes and fall asleep. If it wasn't for the sounds caused by the tourists around us, we would definitely fall asleep 😀. Many people claim that the first contact with these sounds is a mystical and magical experience. We were in Zadar when the waves were very calm, but at some point they became bigger and the organ immediately started making more varied sounds. It's definitely worth coming here when the wind blows 😀.

Something for the flesh

When spending the whole day in Zadar, you can't forget about a meal. We visited the Bruschetta restaurant (F; GPS: 44.1138633, 15.2249605) and were very pleased with both the service and the dishes.

On the way back, we also stopped at the recommended Art Kavana cafe (G; GPS: 44.1126688, 15.2310363) and we were not disappointed! We have not encountered such a selection of cakes anywhere else in Croatia (and it is difficult in Poland as well). We especially enjoyed the local delicacy - Zadar Torte - something wonderful. We also bought it to take away to enjoy it in our apartment. For those interested - here's the recipe (translated automatically into English).

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