Natural beauties, numerous coves and beaches, cultural and historical monuments, restaurants and hotels offering selected national specialities make Zadar and its surroundings one of the most attractive tourist regions in Croatia...
Zadar and the tourist region of Zadar are located in the very centre of the Croatian Adriatic, in the most indented part of the Adriatic archipelago. At a smaller or greater distance from Zadar are the national parks Plitvice, Paklenica, Krka and Kornati, nature parks Velebit and Telascica, as well as more than 300 islands and islets. Natural beauties, numerous coves and beaches, cultural and historical monuments, restaurants and hotels offering selected national specialities make Zadar and its surroundings one of the most attractive tourist regions in Croatia.
Tourist attraction of Zadar is also based on the combination of yachting tourism, various types of accommodation and catering services, atmosphere, charming beaches and promenades, excursions to closer and farther surroundings, as well as interesting cultural, artistic and entertainment events and programs and on especially valuable cultural and historical monuments.
The historical part of Zadar is fascinating to all those who respect historical monuments and cultural heritage. The church of St. Donat, the symbol of the city, is a must in each itinerary, as well as the museums of Zadar: the Archaeological Museum (established in 1830), one of the most important in Croatia, with about 80,000 exhibits from the Stone Age to the late Middle Ages, the National Museum with the Art Gallery and the Department of Natural Sciences, the Maritime Museum with exhibits of the development of navi-gation in northern Dalmatia, as well as the Permanent Exhibition of Sacral Art with about a thousand valuable exhibits from the past centuries, known under the popular name The Gold and Silver of Zadar (Zlato i Srebro Zadra).
In numerous restaurants and taverns of Zadar tourists should taste home-made specialities. Among drinks, the first place belongs to the famous liqueur Maraskino. As early as the 19th century, this unique drink was a favourite drink at European courts (London, Vienna, Moscow) and has been produced in Zadar since 1821.
Zadar has top conditions for sports and recreational activities. It has numerous tennis courts, as well as a football field, basketball and handball courts. It offers great opportunities for water activities, such as sailing, windsurfing, rowing, scuba--diving.
Numerous and rich cultural and artistic programs are also organized. They include the traditional Music Evenings in St. Donat, New Theatre Performances, Zadar Theatre Summer, as well as various visual arts exhibitions. The city celebrates the holiday of St. Krsevan, which is, at the same time, the day of Zadar (24th of November).
Zadar gained its urban structure as early as Roman times; in the time of Caesar the town was fortified, while in the time of Emperor Augustus, the town walls with towers and numerous gates were built on the side facing the land. On the western side of the town were the forum, the basilica and the temple with a cloister (the remains of it have been preserved), while outside the town were the amphitheatre and cemeteries. The aqueduct which was supplying the town with water from Vransko Lake has been partly preserved. Inside the ancient town, a mediaeval town had developed, when a series of churches and monasteries had been built.
During the Middle Ages, Zadar had fully gained its urban aspect, which has been maintained until today. In the bombardments during the Second World War, entire blocks were destroyed, some of the structures having been preserved. In the 16th century, Venice fortified the town with a new system of defence walls on the side facing the land; the walls were reinforced with six pentagonal bastions, while a large tower was built in front of the town (in the present-day Perivoj Vladimira Nazora). At the same time, three large public water tanks were also built. In the first half of the 16th century, architectural building in the Renaissance style was continued (the restoration of the church of St. Mary).
In the 17th and 18th centuries, between the town walls and the tower, defence trenches were built (Fosa), which were completely buried during the Italian occupation. Although in the second half of the 19th century and in the early 20th century town fortifications were destroyed, wall lines along the port and land, as well as in the foundations and around the whole town, have been preserved until today.
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