ZADAR

Croatia

Zadar is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Croatia, situated on the Adriatic Sea. It is the center of Zadar County and the wider northern Dalmatian region. In the last official census of 2011 the population of Zadar was 75,082, making it the fifth largest city in the country.

Info Zadar

introduction

Zadar  is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Croatia, situated on the Adriatic Sea. It is the center of Zadar County and the wider northern Dalmatian region. In the last official census of 2011 the population of Zadar was 75,082, making it the fifth largest city in the country. Zadar is a historical center of Dalmatia as well as the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Zadar: it has a rich history dating from prehistoric times.

info
POPULATION : 75,082
FOUNDED :  Liburni settlement 9th century BC
TIME ZONE :• Time zone CET (UTC+1)
• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
LANGUAGE : Croatian
RELIGION :
AREA :• City 25 km2 (10 sq mi)
• Metro 194 km2 (75 sq mi)
ELEVATION :
COORDINATES : 44°6′51″N 15°13′40″E
SEX RATIO : Male: 
 Female: 
ETHNIC : Croat 89.6%, Serb 4.5%, other 5.9%
AREA CODE : 23
POSTAL CODE : 23000
DIALING CODE : +385 23
WEBSITE : Official Website

Tourism

Most important landmarks include:

  • Roman Forum – the largest on the eastern side of the Adriatic, founded by the first Roman Emperor Augustus, as shown by two stone inscriptions about its completion dating from the 3rd century.
  • Most Roman remains were used in the construction of the fortifications, but two squares are embellished with lofty marble columns; a Roman tower stands on the eastern side of the town; and some remains of a Roman aqueduct may be seen outside the ramparts.
  • Church of St. Donatus – a monumental round building from the 9th century in pre-Romanesque style, traditionally but erroneously said to have been erected on the site of a temple of Juno. It is the most important preserved structure of its period in Dalmatia; the massive dome of the rotunda is surrounded by a vaulted gallery in two stories which also extends around the three apses to the east. The church treasury contains some of the finest Dalmatian metalwork; notably the pastoral staff of Bishop Valaresso (1460).
  • St. Anastasia's Cathedral (Croatian: Sv. Stošija), basilica in Romanesque style built in the 12th to 13th century (high Romanesque style), the largest cathedral in Dalmatia.
  • The churches of St. Chrysogonus and St. Simeon are also architectural examples in the Romanesque style. The latter houses the ark or reliquary of St. Simeon (1380), made in gilted silver by Francesco Antonio da Milano under commission of queen Elizabeth of Hungary.
  • St Chrysogonus's Church – monumental Romanesque church of very fine proportions and refined Romanesque ornaments.
  • St Elijah's Church (Croatian: Sv. Ilija)
  • St Francis' Church, Gothic styled church, site of the signing of the Zadar Peace Treaty 1358. Its choir is home to several carved stalls, executed in 1394 by the Venetian Giovanni di Giacomo da Borgo San Sepolcro.
  • Five Wells Square
  • St Mary's Church, which retains a fine Romanesque campanile from 1105, belongs to a Benedictine Convent founded in 1066 by a noblewoman of Zadar by the name of Cika with The Permanent Ecclesiastical Art Exhibition "The Gold and Silver of Zadar"
  • The Citadel. Built in 1409 southwest of the Land gate, it has remained the same to this day.
  • The Land Gate – built to a design by the Venetian architect Michele Sanmicheli in 1543
  • The unique sea organ
  • The Great Arsenal
  • Among the other chief buildings are the Loggia del Comune, rebuilt in 1565, and containing a public library; the old palace of the priors, now the governor's residence; and the episcopal palaces.

Tourist Information Centre

Turistička zajednica Grada Zadara(Tourist Information Centre), Mihovila Klaića 1

History

Prehistory

The district of present-day Zadar has been populated since prehistoric times. The earliest evidence of human life comes from the Late Stone Age, while numerous settlements have been dated as early as the Neolithic. Before the Illyrians, the area was inhabited by an ancient Mediterranean people of a pre-Indo-European culture. They assimilated with the Indo-Europeans who settled between the 4th and 2nd millennium BC into a new ethnical unity, that of the Liburnians. Zadar was a Liburnian settlement, laid out in the 9th century BC, built on a small stone islet and embankments where the old city stands and tied to the mainland by the overflown narrow isthmus, which created a natural port in its northern strait.


Early Middle Ages

During the Migration Period and the Barbarian invasions, Zadar underwent a stagnation. In 441 and 447 Dalmatia was ravaged by the Huns, after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, in 481 Dalmatia became part of the Ostrogothic kingdom, which, besides Italy, already included the more northerly parts of Illyricum, i.e. Pannonia and Noricum.

In the 5th century, under the rule of the Ostrogothic Kingdom, Zadar became poor with many civic buildings turning into ruins due to its advanced age. About the same time (6th century) it was hit by an earthquake, which destroyed entire complexes of monumental Roman architecture, whose parts would later serve as material for building houses. This caused a loss of population and created demographic changes in the city, then gradually repopulated by the inhabitants from its hinterland. However, during six decades of Gothic rule, the Goths saved those old Roman Municipal institutions that were still in function, while religious life in Dalmatia even intensified in the last years, so that there was a need for the foundation of additional bishoprics.

In 536 the Byzantine emperor Justinian the Great started a military campaign to reconquer the territories of the former Western Empire and in 553 Zadar passed to the Byzantine Empire. In 568 Dalmatia was devastated by an Avar invasion; although further waves of attacks by Avar and Slav tribes kept up the pressure, it was the only city which survived due to its protective belt of inland plains. The Dalmatian capital Salona was captured and destroyed in the 640s, so Zadar became the new seat of the Byzantine archonty of Dalmatia, territorially reduced to a few coastal cities with their agers and municipal lands at the coast and the islands nearby. The prior of Zadar had jurisdiction over all Byzantine Dalmatia, so Zadar enjoyed metropolitan status at the eastern Adriatic coast. At this time rebuilding began to take place in the city.

At the beginning of the 9th century the Zadar bishop Donatus and the city duke Paul mediated in the dispute between the Holy Roman empire under Pepin and the Byzantine Empire. The Franks held Zadar for a short time, but the city was returned to Byzantium by a decision of the 812 Treaty of Aachen.

Zadar's economy revolved around sea, fishing and sea trade in the first centuries of the Middle Ages. Thanks to saved Antique ager, adjusted municipal structure and a new strategic position, it became the most important city between the Kvarner islands and Kaštela Bay. Byzantine Dalmatia was not territorially unified, but an alliance of city municipalities headed by Zadar, and the large degree of city autonomy allowed the development of Dalmatian cities as free communes. Forced to turn their attention seawards, the inhabitants of Zadar focused on shipping, and the city became a naval power to rival Venice. The citizens were Dalmatian language speakers, but from the 7th century Croatian language started to spread in a region, becoming predominant in the inland and the islands to the end of the 9th century.

The Mediterranean and Adriatic cities developed significantly during a period of peace from the last decades of the 9th to the middle of the 10th century. Especially favourable conditions for navigation in the Adriatic Sea occurred since the Saracen raids had finished. Also the adjustment of relations with the Croats enabled Zadar merchants to trade with its rich agriculture hinterland where the Kingdom of Croatia had formed, and trade and political links with Zadar began to develop. Croatian settlers began to arrive, becoming commonplace by the 10th century, occupying all city classes, as well as important posts, like those of prior, judge, priest and others. In 925, Tomislav, the Duke of Croatian Dalmatia, united Croatian Dalmatia and Pannonia establishing the Croatian Kingdom. He was also granted the position of protector of Dalmatia (the cities) by the Byzantine Emperor. He thus politically united the Dalmatian cities with their hinterland.

Following the dynastic struggle between the descendants of king Stjepan Držislavafter his death in 997, the city was besieged in 998 by the army of the Bulgarian emperor Samuel but managed to defend itself.


High Middle Ages

At the time of Zadar's medieval development, the city became a threat to Venice's ambitions, because of its strategic position at the centre of the eastern Adriatic coast.

In 998 Zadar sought Venetian protection against the Neretvian pirates. The Venetians were quick to fully exploit this opportunity: in 998 a fleet commanded by Doge Pietro Orseolo II, after having defeated pirates, landed in Korčula and Lastovo. Dalmatia was taken by surprise and offered little serious resistance.Trogir was the exception and was subjected to Venetian rule only after a bloody struggle, whereas Dubrovnik was forced to pay tribute. Tribute previously paid by Zadar to Croatian kings, was redirected to Venice, a state of affairs which lasted for several years.

Zadar citizens started to work for the full independence of Zadar and from the 1030s the city was formally a vassal of the Byzantine Empire. The head of this movement was the mightiest Zadar patrician family - the Madi. After negotiations with Byzantium, Zadar was attached to the Croatian state led by king Petar Krešimir IV in 1069. Later, after the death of king Dmitar Zvonimir in 1089 and ensuing dynastic run-ins, in 1105 Zadar accepted the rule of the first Croato-Hungarian king, Coloman.

In the meantime Venice developed into a true trading force in the Adriatic and started attacks on Zadar. The city was repeatedly invaded by Venice between 1111 and 1154 and then once more between 1160 and 1183, when it finally rebelled, appealing to the Pope and to the Croato-Hungarian throne for protection. 

Zadar was especially devastated in 1202 after the Venetian Doge Enrico Dandolo used the crusaders, on their Fourth Crusade to Palestine, to lay siege to the city. The crusaders were obliged to pay Venice for sea transport to Egypt. As they were not able to produce enough money, the Venetians used them to initiate the Siege of Zadar, when the city was ransacked, demolished and robbed. Emeric, king of Croatia and Hungary, condemned the crusade, because of an argument about the possible heresy committed by God's army in attacking a Christian city. Nonetheless, Zadar was devastated and captured, with the population escaped into the surrounding countryside. Pope Innocent III excommunicated the Venetians and crusaders involved in the siege.

Two years later (1204), under the leadership of the Croatian nobleman Domald from Šibenik, most of the refugees returned and liberated the city from what remained of the crusader force. In 1204 Domald was comes (duke) of Zadar, but the following year (1205) Venetian authority was re-established and a peace agreement signed with hard conditions for the citizens. The only profit which the Communal Council of Zadar derived from this was one third of the city's harbour taxes, probably insufficient even for the most indispensable communal needs.

This did not break the spirit of the city, however. Its commerce was suffering due to a lack of autonomy under Venice, while it enjoyed considerable autonomy under the much more feudal Kingdom of Croatia-Hungary. A number of insurrections followed (1242–1243, 1320s, 1345–1346 - the latter resulted in a sixteen-month-long Venetian siege) which finally resulted in Zadar coming back under the crown of King Louis I of Croatia-Hungary under the Treaty of Zadar, in 1358. After the War of Chioggia between Genoa and Venice, Chioggia concluded on 14 March 1381 an alliance with Zadar andTrogir against Venice, and finally Chioggia became better protected by Venice in 1412, because Šibenik became in 1412 the seat of the main customs office and the seat of the salt consumers office with a monopoly on the salt trade in Chioggia and on the whole Adriatic Sea. After the death of Louis, Zadar recognized the rule of king Sigismund, and after him, that of Ladislaus of Naples. During his reign Croatia-Hungary was enveloped in a bloody civil war. In 1409, Venice, seeing that Ladislaus was about to be defeated, and eager to exploit the situation despite its relative military weakness, offered to buy his "rights" on Dalmatia for a mere 100,000 ducats. Knowing he had lost the region in any case, Ladislaus accepted. Zadar was, thus sold back to the Venetians for a paltry sum.

The population of Zadar during the Medieval period was predominantly Croatian, according to numerous archival documents,  and the Croatian language was used in liturgy, as shown by the writings of cardinal Boson, who followed Pope Alexander III en route to Venice in 1177. When the papal ships took shelter in the harbour of Zadar, the inhabitants greeted the Pope by singing lauds and canticles in Croatian. Even though interspersed by sieges and destruction, the time between the 11th and 14th centuries was the golden age of Zadar. Thanks to its political and trading achievements, and also to its skilled seamen, Zadar played an important role among the cities on the east coast of the Adriatic. This affected its appearance and culture: many churches, rich monasteries and palaces for powerful families were built, together with the Chest of Saint Simeon. One of the best examples of the culture and prosperity of Zadar at that time was the founding of the University of Zadar, built in 1396 by the Dominican Order (the oldest university in present-day Croatia).


15th to 18th centuries

After the death of Louis I, Zadar came under the rule of Sigmund of Luxembourg and later Ladislaus of Naples, who, witnessing his loss of influence in Dalmatia, sold Zadar and his dynasty's rights to Dalmatia to Venice for 100,000 ducats on July 31, 1409. Venice therefore obtained control over Zadar without a fight, but was confronted by the resistance and tensions of important Zadar families. These attempts were met with persecution and confiscation. Zadar remained the administrative seat of Dalmatia, but this time under the rule of Venice, which expanded over the whole Dalmatia, except the Republic of Ragusa/Dubrovnik. During that time Giorgio da Sebenico, a renaissance sculptor and architect, famous for his work on the Cathedral of Šibenik, was born in Zadar. Other important people followed, such as Luciano and Francesco Laurana, known world-wide for their sculptures and buildings.

The 16th and 17th centuries were noted in Zadar for Ottoman attacks. Ottomans captured the continental part of Zadar at the beginning of the 16th century and the city itself was all the time in the range of Turkish artillery. Due to that threat, the construction of a new system of castles and walls began. These defense systems changed the way the city looked. To make place for the pentagon castles many houses and churches were taken down, along with an entire suburb: Varoš of St. Martin. After the 40-year-long construction Zadar became the biggest fortified city in Dalmatia, empowered by a system of castles, bastions and canals filled with seawater. The city was supplied by the water from public city cisterns. During the complete makeover of Zadar, many new civic buildings were built, such as the City Lodge and City Guard on the Gospodski Square, several army barracks, but also some large new palaces.

In contrast to the insecurity and Ottoman sieges and destruction, an important culture evolved midst the city walls. During the 16th and the 17th centuries the activity of the Croatian writers and poets became prolific (Jerolim Vidolić, Petar Zoranić, Brne Karnarutić, Juraj Baraković, Šime Budinić). Also noteworthy is the painter Andrea Meldolla (c. 1510/1515–1563), nicknamed Andrea Schiavone.

During the continuous Ottoman danger the population stagnated by a significant degree along with the economy. During the 16th and 17th centuries several large-scale epidemics of bubonic plague erupted in the city. After more than 150 years of Turkish threat Zadar was not only scarce in population, but also in material wealth. Venice sent new colonists and, under the firm hand of archbishop Vicko Zmajević, the Arbanasi (Catholic Albanian refugees) settled in the city, forming a new suburb. Despite the shortage of money, the Teatro Nobile (Theater for Nobility) was built in 1783. It functioned for over 100 years.


19th and 20th centuries

In 1797 with the Treaty of Campo Formio, the Republic of Venice, including Zadar, came under the Austrian crown. In 1806 it was briefly given to the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, until in 1809 it was added to the French Illyrian Provinces. In November 1813 an Austrian force blockaded the town with the assistance of two British Royal Navy frigates HMS Havannah and Weazle under the 3rd Earl of Cadogan. On 9th December the French garrison of Zadar capitulated, and by the end of the year all of Dalmatia was brought back under the control of the Austrian Empire. After the Congress of Vienna (1815) until 1918, the town (bilingual name Zara - Zadar ) remained part of the Austrian monarchy (Austria side after the compromise of 1867), head of the district of the same name, one of the 13 Bezirkshauptmannschaften in Dalmatia. The Italian name was officially used before 1867. It remained also the capital of Dalmatia province (Kronland).

Although during the first half of the 19th century the city population stagnated due to low natural increase, the city started to spread from the old center; citizens from the old city created the new suburb of Stanovi in the north.

During the second half of the 19th century, there was constant increase of population due to economic growth and immigration. This somehow altered the ethnic structure that previously had a Croatian majority. Under the pressure of the population increase, the city continued to spread to Voštarnica and Arbanasi quarters, and the bridge in the city port was built. Except being the administrative center of the province, agriculture, industry of liqueurs and trade were developed, many brotherhoods were established, similar to the Central European trade guilds. The southern city walls were torn down, new coastal facilities were built and Zadar became an open port. As the city developed economically, it developed culturally. A large number of printshops, new libraries, archives, and theatres sprung up. At the end of the 19th century there was also stronger industrial development, with 27 small or big factories before the WWI.

After 1848, Italian and Croatian nationalistic ideas arrived in the city, which became divided between the Croats and the Italians, both of whom founded their respective political parties.

There are conflicting sources for both sides claiming to have formed the majority in Zadar in this period. The archives of the official Austro-Hungarian censi conducted around the end of 19th century show that Italian was the primary language spoken by the majority of the people in the city (9,018 Italians and 2,551 Croatians in 1900), but only by a third of the population in the entire county (9,234 vs. 21,753 the same year).

During the 19th century, the conflict between Zadar's Italian and Croatian communities grew in intensity and changed its nature. Until the beginning of the century it had been of moderate intensity and mainly of a class nature (under Venetian rule the Italians were employed in the most profitable activities, such as trade and administration). With the development of the modern concept of national identity across Europe, national conflicts started to mark the political life of Zadar.

During the second part of the 19th century, Zadar was subject to the same policy enacted by the Austrian Empire in South-Tyrol, the Austrian Littoral and Dalmatia and consisting in fostering the local German or Croatian culture at the expense of the Italian.  In Zadar and generally throughout Dalmatia, the Austrian policy had the objective to reduce the possibility of any future territorial claim by the Kingdom of Italy.


Italy (1918–1947)

In 1915 Italy entered World War I under the provisions set in the Treaty of London. In exchange for its participation with the Triple Entente and in the event of victory, Italy was to obtain the following territory in northern Dalmatia, including Zadar, Šibenik and most of the Dalmatian islands, except Krk and Rab. At the end of the war, Italian military forces invaded Dalmatia and seized control of Zara, with Admiral Enrico Millo being proclaimed the governor of Dalmatia.  Famous Italian nationalist Gabriele d'Annunzio supported the seizure of Dalmatia, and proceeded to Zadar in an Italian warship in December 1918.

During 1918, political life in Zadar intensified. The collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy led to the renewal of national conflicts in the city. With the arrival of an Italian army of occupation in the city on 4 November 1918, the Italian faction gradually assumed control, a process which was completed on 5 December when it took over the governorship.  With the Treaty of Versailles (10 January 1920) Italian claims on Dalmatia contained in the Treaty of London were nullified, but later on the agreements between the Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes set in the Treaty of Rapallo (12 November 1920) gave Zadar with other small local territories to Italy. The Zadar enclave, a total of 104 square kilometres (40 square miles), included the city of Zadar, the municipalities of Bokanjac, Arbanasi, Crno, part of Diklo (a total of 51 km2. of territory and 17,065 inhabitants) and the islands of Lastovo and Palagruža (53 square kilometres (20 square miles), 1,710 inhabitants). The territory was organized into a small Italian province.


World War II

Germany, Italy, and other Axis Powers,invaded the Kingdom of Yugoslavia on April 6, 1941. Zadar held a force of 9,000 and was one of the starting points of the invasion. The force reached Šibenik and Split on April 15 (2 days before surrender). Civilians were previously evacuated to Ancona and Pula. Occupying Mostar and Dubrovnik, on April 17 they met invading troops that had started out from Italian-occupied Albania. On April 17 the Yugoslav government surrendered, faced with the Wehrmacht's overwhelming superiority.

Within a few weeks, Benito Mussolini required the newly formed Nazi puppet-state, the so-called Independent State of Croatia (NDH) to hand over almost all of Dalmatia (including Split) to fascist Italy under the Rome Treaties.

The city became the centre of a new Italian territorial entity, called Governorship of Dalmatia, including the provinces of Zara (now Zadar), Cattaro (now Kotor), and Spalato (Split).

Under fascist reign the Croatian population was subjected to a policy of forced assimilation. This created immense resentment among the Yugoslav people; however Yugoslav Partisan movement (which was already successfully spreading in the rest of Yugoslavia) managed to take root here since more than 70% of population of Zadar was Italian.

After Mussolini was removed from power on 25 July 1943 and arrested, the government of Pietro Badoglio signed an armistice with the Allies on 3 September 1943, which was made public only on 8 September 1943, and the Italian army collapsed. However, just four days later on 12 September 1943, "Il Duce", was rescued by a German military raid from his secret prison on the Gran Sasso mountain, and formed the Nazi-puppet Italian Social Republic in the north of the Country. The NDH proclaimed the Treaty of Rome to be void and occupied Dalmatia with German support. The Germans entered Zadar first, and on September 10 the German 114th Jäger Division took over. This avoided a temporary liberation by Partisans, as was the case in Split and Šibenik where several Italian fascist government officials were killed by an angry crowd.

During the Second World War the city was bombed by the Allies lasting from November 1943 to October 1944. Fatalities recorded range from under 1,000, up to as many as 4,000 of the city's 20,000 inhabitants. Over the course of the bombing, 60% of the city's buildings were destroyed. Zadar has been called the "Dresden of the Adriatic" because of perceived similarities to the Allied bombing that city.

The city was prevented from joining the NDH on the grounds that Zadar itself was not subject to the conditions of the Treaty of Rome. Despite this, the NDH's leader Ante Pavelić designated Zadar as the capital of the Sidraga-Ravni Kotari County, although its administrator was prevented from entering the city. Zadar remained under the local administration of the Italian Social Republic. Zadar was bombed by the Allies, with serious civilian casualties. Many died in the carpet bombings, and many landmarks and centuries old works of art were destroyed. A significant number of civilians fled the city.

In late October 1944 the German army and most of the Italian civilian administration abandoned the city. On October 31, 1944, the Partisans seized the city, until then a part of Mussolini's Italian Social Republic. At the start ofWorld War II, Zadar had a population of 24,000 and, by the end of 1944, this had decreased to 6,000.  Formally, the city remained under Italian sovereignty until September 15, 1947  (Paris Peace Treaties). The Italian exodus from the city continued and in a few years was almost total. The last stroke to the Italian presence was made by the local administration in October 1953, when the last Italian schools were closed and the students forced to move, in one day, into Croatian schools. Today the Italian community counts only a few hundreds people, gathered into a local community (Comunità degli Italiani di Zara).


SFR Yugoslavia (1947–1991)

After the bombing, the city progressively recovered and became once more an important regional city in the newly established Democratic Federal Yugoslavia. During this period Zadar underwent intensive reconstruction and revitalisation, followed by a large increase in both population and economic power. The Federal government sponsored numerous public works to this end, including the Adriatic Highway (Jadranska magistrala) which provided a modern road connection to the rest of the country. Besides the local infrastructure, the SFRY government initiated the industrialization of the city and nearly all its factories were either built or significantly revitalized and modernized in this period. In the 1970s Zadar particularly enjoyed a high standard of living as international tourism came to Dalmatia.

However, during this period the city lost its status as the capital of the region, with Split overwhelmingly surpassing Zadar in population numbers, which, though increasing throughout the 20th century, boomed in the new, post-WWII, Yugoslavia.

All in all, by the 1990s the city had not only been rebuilt after the Second World War, but had emerged as a modern and completely industrialized regional centre, with as yet unsurpassed tourist numbers, GDP and employment rates. After the death of Tito, Yugoslavia rapidly began to destabilize.

Climate

Zadar has a borderline humid subtropical (Cfa) and Mediterranean climate (Csa), since only one summer month has less than 40 millimetres (1.6 in) of rainfall, preventing it from being classified as solely humid subtropical or Mediterranean. Zadar has mild, wet winters and very warm, humid summers. Average annual rainfall is in excess of 917 mm (36.10 in). July and August are the hottest months, with an average high temperature around 30 °C (86 °F) or 29 °C (84 °F). The highest temperature ever was 36.1 °C (97 °F) on July 22, 2015 and August 2, 1998. Temperatures can consistently reach over 30 °C (86 °F) during the summer months, but during spring and autumn may also reach 30 °C (86 °F) almost every year. Temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F) are rare, and are not maintained for more than a few days. January is the coldest month, with an average temperature around 7.7 °C (46 °F). On January 23, 1963 was recorded the lowest temperature ever in Zadar, −9.1 °C (16 °F). Through July and August temperature has never dropped below 10 °C (50 °F). October and November are the wettest months, with a total precipitation of about 114 mm (4.49 in) and 119 mm (4.69 in) respectively. July is the driest month, with a total precipitation of around 35 mm (1.38 in). Winter is the wettest season, however it can rain in Zadar at any time of the year. Snow is exceedingly rare, but it may fall in December, January, February and much more rarely in March. On average Zadar has 1.4 days of snow a year, but more likely it was that the snow does not fall. Also the sea temperature is from 10 °C (50 °F) in February to 25 °C (77 °F) in July and August, but is possible to swim from May until October, sometimes even by November. Sometimes in February the sea temperature can drop to only 7 °C (45 °F) and in July exceed 29 °C (84 °F).

Climate data for Zadar 

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)17.4
(63.3)
21.2
(70.2)
22.5
(72.5)
25.8
(78.4)
32.0
(89.6)
34.6
(94.3)
36.1
(97)
36.1
(97)
32.0
(89.6)
27.2
(81)
25.0
(77)
18.7
(65.7)
36.1
(97)
Average high °C (°F)10.8
(51.4)
11.3
(52.3)
13.6
(56.5)
16.6
(61.9)
21.3
(70.3)
25.2
(77.4)
28.2
(82.8)
28.2
(82.8)
24.3
(75.7)
20.0
(68)
15.1
(59.2)
11.9
(53.4)
18.9
(66)
Daily mean °C (°F)7.3
(45.1)
7.5
(45.5)
9.7
(49.5)
12.9
(55.2)
17.5
(63.5)
21.3
(70.3)
23.9
(75)
23.7
(74.7)
19.9
(67.8)
15.9
(60.6)
11.4
(52.5)
8.5
(47.3)
14.9
(58.8)
Average low °C (°F)4.3
(39.7)
4.3
(39.7)
6.3
(43.3)
9.3
(48.7)
13.5
(56.3)
17.0
(62.6)
19.3
(66.7)
19.3
(66.7)
16.0
(60.8)
12.5
(54.5)
8.3
(46.9)
5.5
(41.9)
11.3
(52.3)
Record low °C (°F)−9.1
(15.6)
−6.4
(20.5)
−6.8
(19.8)
0.5
(32.9)
3.4
(38.1)
8.2
(46.8)
12.7
(54.9)
11.5
(52.7)
8.0
(46.4)
2.3
(36.1)
−1.8
(28.8)
−6.5
(20.3)
−9.1
(15.6)
              
Source: Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service

Geography

Zadar faces the islands of Ugljan and Pašman, from which it is separated by the narrow Zadar Strait. The promontory on which the old city stands used to be separated from the mainland by a deep moat which has since become landfilled. The harbor, to the north-east of the town, is safe and spacious.

Economy

Major industries include tourism, traffic, seaborne trade, agriculture, fishing and fish farming activities, metal manufacturing and mechanical engineering industry, chemicals and non-metal industry and banking. The headquarters of the following companies are located in Zadar:

  • Maraska (food industry)
  • Adria, Mardešić (fish production)
  • Tankerska plovidba Zadar (shipping company)
  • SAS (machine tools)
  • Aluflexpack
  • Arsenal Holdings  (Tourism)

The farmland just northeast of Zadar, Ravni Kotari, is a well known source of marasca cherries. Distilleries in Zadar have produced Maraschino since the 16th century.

Prices in Zadar

PRICES LIST - USD

MARKET / SUPERMARKET

Milk1 liter€0.78
Tomatoes1 kg€1.75
Cheese0.5 kg€6.00
Apples1 kg€1.25
Oranges1 kg€1.65
Beer (domestic)0.5 l€0.99
Bottle of Wine1 bottle€5.20
Coca-Cola2 liters€1.65
Bread1 piece€0.70
Water1.5 l€0.80

PRICES LIST - USD

RESTAURANTS

Dinner (Low-range)for 2€18.00
Dinner (Mid-range)for 2€27.00
Dinner (High-range)for 2€35.00
Mac Meal or similar1 meal€4.40
Water0.33 l€0.95
Cappuccino1 cup€1.30
Beer (Imported)0.33 l€2.00
Beer (domestic)0.5 l€1.90
Coca-Cola0.33 l€1.65
Coctail drink1 drink€0.95

PRICES LIST - USD

ENTERTAINMENT

Cinema2 tickets€9.00
Gym1 month€30.00
Men’s Haircut1 haircut€5.60
Theatar2 tickets€18.00
Mobile (prepaid)1 min.€0.13
Pack of Marlboro1 pack€3.35

PRICES LIST - USD

PERSONAL CARE

Antibiotics1 pack
Tampons32 pieces€3.00
Deodorant50 ml.€3.60
Shampoo400 ml.€2.80
Toilet paper4 rolls€1.70
Toothpaste1 tube€2.00

PRICES LIST - USD

CLOTHES / SHOES

Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)1€85.00
Dress summer (Zara, H&M)1€38.00
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)1€82.00
Leather shoes1€95.00

PRICES LIST - USD

TRANSPORTATION

Gasoline1 liter€1.27
TaxiStart€3.20
Taxi1 km€0.70
Local Transport1 ticket€1.35

Tourist (Backpacker)  

49 € per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • meals in cheap restaurant
  • public transport
  • cheap hotel

Tourist (business/regular)  

128 € per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • mid-range meals and drinks
  • transportation
  • hotel

Transportation - Get In

Transportation - Get In

By plane

Zadar Airport has domestic flights only and also operates as a commercial and air force training base. Cheap flights exist but also may be hard to find.

There is an evening flight from Zagreb. During the summer seasons there are also various tourist flights from several European cities, however, during the off season during fall and winter,

  • AdriaJet sells tickets on charter flights +385 48 240600.
  • Ryanair; operates low cost flights from London Stansted, Edinburgh, Dublin, Brussels (Charleroi), Düsseldorf (Weeze), Oslo (Rygge), Frankfurt Hahn, Karlsruhe Baden, Bari and Pisa to Zadar.

The adjacent bus and train stations are about 15 min walk from city centre. There are frequent buses and taxis.

Buses run to the Central bus station and Old town from Zadar airport terminal. These buses are clean, comfortable and efficient. Buses run in conjunction with arriving flights. Therefore they will run more frequently during weekdays than at weekends, as more flights are arriving at the airport. However, at weekends it is still possible to catch a bus. The airport bus costs 25 kuna.

The airport's website outlines the bus schedules, which run between the airport, bus station and old town.

You can also rent a car at Zadar airport. There are multiple car rental companies.

For taxi or transfers service from Zadar airport you can check prices or book at Transfer services

Transportation - Get In

By Train

A few slow trains a day run to Knin and connect into trains for Zagreb (5,5 hours or 8,5 with overnight trains) and Split (3.5 hr). Virtually nobody uses this train to get to these cities. Train to Knin is one carriage long with no A/C and can be quite uncomfortable, however the scenery is beautiful and will leave you in wonder at the numerous stations which appear to be in the middle of nowhere.

Transportation - Get In

By Bus

Frequent buses run to and from Zagreb (3h 30 min), Rijeka (change for Trieste in Italy), Pula, Sibenik, Split and on to Dubrovnik. Information  +385 23 211555.

Reservations by phone are possible with some operators.

  • Contus,   +385 23 314477.

About half the buses for Zagreb pass through the stunning Plitvice National Park.

Transportation - Get In

By boat

  • Jadrolinja, Large ferries run every few days up and down the coast between Dubrovnik and Rijeka, stopping off at ports including Zadar and islands on the way. They also run almost daily ferries in summer to and from Ancona, Italy.
  • Local boats, Zadar is a hub for local boats and hydrofoils in Northern Dalmatia. Services run to and from Olib, Mali Losinj, Ugljan, Dugi Otok,Premuda and others. Timetables and prices are available online from Jadrolinija.


Transportation - Get Around

The centre is easy enough to get around on foot. To reach the bus and train stations or Youth Hostel you will probably need to catch one of the frequent local buses, which are the only form of public transportation.

Buses in Zadar are relatively new and well maintained, and you will be able to catch a bus to any part of the city from the main hub in the city called Mala Pošta (Little Post Office); ask any local where this is and they can direct you to it. A bus ticket in one direction costs 8 kuna (cca. US$1.60) while a two way ticket costs 13 kuna (cca. US$2.50). However, 2 way tickets are only available for purchase at newspaper stands, although they are easy to find. One way tickets are available for purchase upon entering any bus.

Do not attempt to board a bus without a ticket, without purchasing a ticket or avoiding stamping a bus ticket. Bus drivers in Zadar are notoriously militant about enforcing payment, and you could get into trouble.

Also, be advised that bus services cease just after midnight during the summer, so if you plan to get back to a hotel that isn't close to the city center after that time, you might have to walk or catch a taxi.

Hotels

- BEST RATED -

Hotels

- BEST VALUE -

Shopping

Zadar has 2 major shopping areas: the old town with its numerous shops, and the Voštarnica commercial district.

  • Petar ZoranicKnezova Šubića Bribirskih 10. General purpose book store, a good place to find tourist guides.
  • University Book StoreUl. Ruđera Boškovića 5,  +385 23 200 555. Book store of the university, offering a decent selection of Croatian, English and international literature. Tourist guides for Croatia available for 100 kn.

Restaurants

  • 2Ribara (Dva Ribara), Ul. Blaža Jurjeva 1,  +385 23 213 445. 11:00-23:00.Small restaurant in the historic center of Zadar, 5 min. walk from the Roman Forum. Decent food for a fair price.
  • Hungry Eyes (Gladne Oči), Sutomiska 3,  +385 23 213 992, e-mail:. 10:00-01:00. Specialized in grilled meat and fish. Large portions, fast service, competitive prices. Suitable for large groups and lunch or dinner with kids. Outside the old town, reachable by public transport (bus 8 Diklo - Kolodvor).
  • MijoUl. Tina Ujevića 28,  +385 23 332 728. Italian restaurant specialized in sea food, pizzas and pasta. Outside the old town, but close to a Borik. A romantic restaurant offering dining inside and outside, great for couples but not for families with kids. Large portions for fair prices.
  • PapicaVeslačka ul. 2,  +385 23 312 957. Specializes in quality burgers served with fries, but with a Mediterranean flavor. Quick service, no-nonsense. Suitable for families with kids. Easily reachable by public transport (bus 8 direction Diklo).
  • KornatLiburnska Obala 6,  +385 23 254 501. Upscale Croatian Mediterranean cuisine, high prices. Making a reservation is necessary. Next to a busy road, so not recommendable if you're looking to dine outside.

Sights & Landmarks

Walk around the atmospheric streets of the old town, located on the peninsula. There are 34 old churches situated on the peninsula, and all of them with a very rich history. The oldest is St. Simeon (Sv. Šime).

  • Crkva svetog Donata (Church of Saint Donatus). The church is one of the best preserved pre-Romanesque buildings in the world. It is pretty difficult to miss, as it has become the most recognizable symbol of Zadar. The church is no longer in use for religious ceremonies, and today is a museum. It also holds a series of classical music concerts every summer.
  • Katedrala sv. Stošije (Zadar Cathedral or Cathedral of St. Anastasia).In the cathedral there is an impressive organ that was nearly destroyed in the last war. Climb up the bell tower for a nice view over the city.
  • St. Mary & St. Simeon. St. Mary also houses a museum of antique religious relics and artifacts.
  • Sveučilište u Zadru (University of Zadar). The university in its current modern form was founded in 2002, but originally it was founded 1396, which makes it the oldest university in Croatia, and one of the oldest universities in Europe.
  • Forum Romana (Roman Forum).Remains of The Roman Forum - One of the best preserves Roman Forums in existence. This is a common place for locals to stroll, sit down among the ruins and enjoy a nice summer day. free.
  • Kopnena Vrata (Land Gate). The Land Gate – built to a design by the Venetian architect Michele Sanmicheli in 1543 free.
  • Morske orgulje (Sea Organ). This man-made organ works with the motion of the waves and 35 pipes to create a musical soundscape. A favorite for locals and tourists alike, and accompanied by a light display that creates visualisations of the sounds being produced by the organ. free.
  • Pozdrav Suncu (Greeting to the Sun). This monument of a 22 meter diameter circle made of 300 multi layered glass plate. It represents the sun. There are 8 similar proportionate (in size and distance) representing the 8 planets. The circles are illuminated during the night. free.
  • Arheološki Muzej (Archaeological Museum), Trg Opatice Čike, 23000+385 23 250 516. Houses artifacts that testify to Zadar's long and rich history.
  • Muzej antičkog stakla (Museum of Ancient Glass), Poljana Zemaljskog Odbora 1,  +385-23 36 38 33. Covers the history of glass, from early glass jewelry and decorative items, to Roman era amphorae and bottles, up to contemporary glass art. Live glass blowing demonstrations are also given before 16:00. 10-30 kn.
  • Muzej Iluzija (Museum of Illusions), Poljana Zemaljskog Odbora 2,  +385 23 316 803, e-mail: . A collection of interactive installations and optical illusions. 40-60 kn.

Things to do

  • Relax in one of the cafes and enjoy the city, the sun, and the people.
  • Swim, Take a dip in the beautiful clear waters. It's quite common to see people sunbathing and swimming along virtually the entire coast of Zadar. The most popular beaches are:
  • Kolovare, Situated close to the city centre, a favorite for locals.
  • Borik, A massive hotel complex hosting numerous activities such as parasailing, water slides and other activities.
  • Vitrenjak, Located close to Zadar's sailing club, Uskok. A beach frequented by mostly families. In the nearby sailing club you can find a lovely open terrace cafe offering refreshments and food.
  • Walk, Take a stroll along the paved seafront on a summer evening for one of the best sunsets in Europe and listen to the relaxing sounds of the rather original 'sea organ' set into the harbour wall.
  • Sail, If you wish to spend your holidays on a yacht charter, Zadar has a lot to offer.The best season for sailing is early summer with good S/SE winds in May and June, while the winds during July and August are generally calmer. Summer temperatures are between 26 to 30°C in average and the sea temperature is about 25°C.

Nightlife

  • Cocktail Bar MangoKrešimirova Obala 12,  +385 (0)91 734 0769, e-mail:. Lounge bar with a view over the bay. Large selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Comes to life in the early evening, only during the busy summer months.
  • The Garden+385 23 254509. Bedemi zadarskih pobuna, ]. A fancy open bar with a lovely view over the harbour, opened by UB40 drummer James Brown. The Garden also hosts an annual electronic music festival.
  • The Arsenal,  +385 23 253 820. Trg tri Bunara. A 17th century. Venetian Naval Warehouse, now a cool Restaurant-Bar-Club.

Safety in Zadar

 

Very High / 8.9

Safety (Walking alone - day)

High / 6.9

Safety (Walking alone - night)

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