Exploring the Southeastern Crossroads of Europe 3: Zadar, Croatia

Filed in Gather Travel Essential by on June 30, 2012 0 Comments


Previous post in this series

Exploring the Southeastern Crossroads of Europe 2: Porec, Croatia

Leaving our hotel in Opatija, our coach heads south on a very modern highway to the town of Zadar. At Zadar, which since pre-historic times has seen many cultures inhabit it, we will see Roman and Christian structures and also a contemporary construction, a sea organ.


The modern highway we took from Porec to Zadar. Photo taken from the  moving coach


Our route mostly hugs the shoreline of the Adriatic Sea. On the way, we see the Croatian flag which, like the flag of the United States, is also red, white, and blue.


The red, white, and blue Croatian flag

After about two hours of driving, the coach begins to climb a mountain, and it gets colder and colder. Near the top, everything is covered with snow. We exit the coach to experience the snowy scene.


It’s November 19, and although there is no snow at any other place we visit, snow and ice cover trees and bushes atop a mountain on our way to Zadar, Croatia.

With everything nearby covered in a clean, icy snow and lovely far-away scenes, the view is stunning. But it’s also very cold, and not being dressed for this weather, we climb back on the coach to warm up.

Reaching Zadar, our tour leader, Brane (pronounced Brah-nee), gives us an overview of its sites and suggestions for visiting them. Zadar, partly because of its location on the Adriatic Sea, has seen many cultures and countries visit and settle it since pre-historic times, and there is much to see.

Hurrying off to explore this ancient, yet modern, city, Pam and I come to the Saint Donatus site. St. Donatus was an Irish bishop and diplomat of Zadar who began construction of the cathedral named after him.


Built in a pre-Romanesque style, the Church of Saint Donatus dates to the 9th century and has been proposed for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage Site List.

A number of other religious sites are nearby.


The bell tower of the Cathedral of St. Anastasia rises above Zadar.

Eager to see the sea organ we’ve heard so much about, Pam and I head for the shoreline and take its concrete walkway to get to it.

We realize we’ve reached the sea organ when we come upon tube holes in the concrete emitting random harmonic sounds. The movement of the waves pushing air through 35 musically tuned tubes makes the sounds, which to me have an eerie quality about them.  Nevertheless, the sea organ is fascinating. 


Created by architect Nikola Basic, the sea organ is comprised of 35 musically tuned tubes. The movement of the waves pushes air through the tubes to make random sounds.

It’s pleasant along the seaside, and Pam and I linger a bit before leaving to do sightseeing elsewhere. As a fitting end to a remarkable day, the last picture I take before we climb aboard the coach and leave Zadar is of a brilliant sunset.


Sunset over the Adriatic Sea at Zadar, Croatia

Experience more

Listen to the Sea Organ

For more views of Zadar

Croatia Traveller Sightseeing

Croatia Traveller video


Zadar on UNESCO tentative World Heritage List

Previous posts in this series

Exploring the Southeastern Crossroads of Europe 2: Porec,Croatia

Exploring the Southeastern Crossroads of Europe 1: Pula, Croatia


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I am a retired environmental, health and safety manager who has done some work in communications. I have a knowledge of and passion for sustainability issues. In temperament I am a peculiar mix of stable soul and free spirit.

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