The first settlement of Zadar (which the Greeks called Idassa ) was founded in the 9th century BC by the Liburnians, an ancient population that resided along the northern coasts of the Adriatic Sea. After the conquest by the Romans, Idassa changed its name to Iadera.
Over the years, the municipality became one of the most important centers of Liburnia , a region that was part of the province of Dalmatia. Having become a colony under Julius Caesar, after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Zadar passed under Byzantine rule, becoming the capital of the province of Dalmatia. After several unsuccessful attempts, the Croats succeeded in subduing all of Dalmatia.
The year 1000 is an important date for Zadar and for the whole region, because it marked the beginning of the first Venetian domination. The city was later controlled by Hungary, again by the Serenissima, by Napoleon, by the Austrians, by Italy and by the socialist Yugoslavia of Marshal Tito.
After its painful past, today Zadar is one of the most popular destinations for those who decide to spend their holidays in Dalmatia. Walking along the streets of the old town is a truly pleasant experience, also because it is precisely here that most of the monuments and symbolic places of the Dalmatian city are concentrated. In addition to the church of San Donato, you can admire the cathedral of Sant'Anastasia in all its majesty.
If this were not enough, a short distance from the two places of worship we have mentioned are the Archaeological Museum, the National Museum, the Museum of Ancient Glass, the Roman Forum and the Porta di Terraferma (the latter is part of the defense works Venetian, recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2017).
Zadar is also the city of the Sea Organ: inaugurated on April 15, 2005, the work is signed by the Croatian star architect Nikola Bašić. It is an organ made up of 35 pipes, which thanks to the wave motion always produce different sounds.
During your stay in Zadar, take some time to taste maraschino, a typical Dalmatian sweet liqueur exported all over the world.
If you are planning to spend a week or more in Zadar, we suggest you take the opportunity to see other places that are close to the city and which are easily accessible. Among them, it is impossible not to mention two national parks (Paklenica and that of Plitvice lakes) and the Krka waterfalls. Finally, other essential stops are the island of Ugljan and the archipelago of the Kornati islands.