by cruise companies may appear to be very strange, especially since the city is unattractive. And despite the fact that other Croatian cities, with more landmarks, are located so close. In general, the coastal cities on the Adriatic are very similar - after visiting a couple of them, the rest seem to look the same. The same old defensive walls and towers, the same winged lions on the walls, the same polished pavements, the same ancient ruins, etc.
So, why do ships stop here? Everything is very simple; there are national parks near these places and many guests from cruise ships attend them via tours. During the beautiful, summer weather, you can travel from Zadar to nearby islands via boat. All of this was very, very cool. We tried it and would highly recommend it! :) But the weather was not pleasant during our visit. The first half of the day was cloudy and warm, but then the rain began...
Because of all the reasons listed above, we didn't go anywhere in the city. Instead, we decided to take a walk and see some of the sites.
And I offer for you to join us!
Perhaps, I'll start with the fact that even in the city, you can see some unusual things in certain circumstances - modern attractions that distinguish the city from others on the coast.
There are two of them - the
on the waterfront and the so-called "Sun Salutation".
Both structures are creations of the architect Nikola Bašić, built in 2005 and in 2007.
"Sun Salutation" is a disc lying on the waterfront that consists of photovoltaic cells. They accumulate energy from the sun during the day and convert the energy to produce a multi-colored glow at night.
Since we were in the city only during the day, I'll show you a picture from the Internet - it is really nice there in the evening!
So if you're in Zadar at night, do not forget to visit this place.
There was also an organ nearby; a 246 foot (75 meter) tall structure composed of blocks in the form of steps.
These steps have holes, connected by plastic pipes inside of them. Each pipe emits a certain sound based on the wind flowing through it, thus permitting the organ to 'play'.
When the weather is good, it is nice to sit by the sea and listen to the music brought by the waves and the wind :)
Unfortunately, we were not able to do that; we wanted to visit this place on the way back, but the rain stopped us.
So, we only looked at the most common attractions in the city.
The ship stopped very close to the old center of the city, which was nice and cozy, and located on a small peninsula. The main attractions here were situated close to each other.
The city of Zadar belonged to almost everyone, from the Romans and the Byzantines, to the Austrians, Turks, and Italians. This is reflected in the names of city - Idassa, Jadera, Diadora, Zara, and finally, Zadar.
Italian names especially, reminded me of that period.
Below are the city gates of Zadar, with a symbol of the former domination of Venice.
Just behind the gates (built in 1500's, but with elements of Roman architecture), the Old Town begins.
The ramparts of the city have also been well preserved. Although, it's no Dubrovnik . . .
Zadar's Old Town is located within the former boundaries of the ancient Roman town. Some ruins of ancient Roman buildings had already been excavated (though the work continues).
Below, you can see the remains of columns and buildings from the Roman Forum that once occupied this large area.
The Forum dates back to between the 1st century BC and the 3rd century AD. Some remains of buildings are decorated with images of Jupiter and Medusa. You can also see elements of the street Decumanus, and of the triumphal arch during Emperor Trajan's rule.
In addition to the piles of stones that remained in the Forum, there was also a column, standing 45.9 feet (14 meters) tall.
Everything found during the excavations is in the Archaeological Museum, which we visited.
On the one hand, the museum is similar to any other archaeological museum, but on the other hand I still managed to find something interesting here :)
Just look at these toothy foxes (or are these ancient dogs?) that existed back then!
And here are ancient lions.
The museum was small and you can see everything in about 10-15 minutes. Or you can stay there for a couple of hours, if you decide to escape there from the rain...
Here are more photos from the museum.
Opposite the museum there was another attraction, the rounded