Walking Tour of Zadar, Croatia
Zadar, Croatia, in the northern part of the Dalmatian region, was coveted, throughout its history by many empires and civilizations, because of its strategic location. It thus possesses reminders of these historical periods. The city is still heavily fortified, with extensive walls along the northeastern and southeastern edges (toward the mainland).
Wander along the marble, pedestrian-only streets of the Old Town and encounter Roman ruins along with several medieval churches. The most important church is St Donatus Church, actually built atop the ancient Roman forum (remnants are still visible).
My walk begins at the Land Gate, in the southern part of the town. Walk through the impressive Venetian porta and then straight ahead on Spire Brusine. On your right is the Church of St Mary and Museum of Sacred Art. The church dates to 1066 AD, while the museum, next door, possesses some exceptional pieces.
Beyond the church is the Roman Forum, once the Roman city’s main square. It dates to the 3rd century AD. The present square is known as Zeleni Trg. On this square are two of the town’s most important religious buildings. The Church of St Donat, formerly the Church of the Holy Trinity, is a wonderful example of Byzantine architecture. It is no longer used as a church.
The Cathedral of St Anastasia, beside St Donat, displays several architectural styles, although its facade is decidedly Romanesque. Stroll around the interior, noteworthy in many ways, before proceeding, and be sure to climb the Bell Tower for incredible views.
Now, exit the square to the northeast, on Aleksandra III, which leads to the Sea Gate, constructed from a Roman arch. Next, turn left and walk west, along the walls, on Istarska Obale. This road continues along the perimeter of the Old Town. When you find yourself walking south, the road becomes The Riva, called, in Zadar, Petra Kresimira IV. This is the place where residents go "to see and be seen."
Be on the lookout for the Sea Organ, an interesting use of wave activity to produce music, on your right. Toward the end of the walkway, turn left onto Dalmatinskog Sabora, and then right on Elizabete Kotromanic, which leads to People’s Square (Narodni Trg). You will find the Town Hall and The Loggia here.
Now, continue south to the Church of St Simeon. The silver casket of the saint can be found on the church’s altar. The intricate silverwork on the tomb is noteworthy. Then, continue south to Five Wells Square, once the water source for the city. Turn right from here to return to the Land Gate, where the walking tour started.