A Whirlwind Day Trip

Zadar (25 May 2013)

This day we left the wilderness and found our way back to civilisation. It is not that I disliked being at the Plitvice Lakes National Park. But returning to the city from, might I repeat, the wilderness always comforts me. As much as I enjoy being in nature, I still have the city in my blood and I need to feed on the vibes of cities frequently.

Our target that day was Šibenik, but since the bus would stop at Zadar anyway, I thought we should stop there for the day and then catch the last bus in the afternoon to Šibenik. Zadar seemed like a major tourist attraction and I wanted to see a bit of what it was all about. The weather had also improved tremendously and that put me in the mood for city exploration.

After dumping our bags at the bus station, we set off to the old city. This was quite a distance from the bus station. We finally arrived at the Land Gate, and although I did not realise its significance until much later, the sight of it indicated to me that we must be at the old city. The Land Gate was obviously Venetian because of the winged lion on a prominent position of the gate. It was indeed built by the Venetians in the 16th century and served as the main entrance into the city.

Land Gate

Land Gate

It took this gate to make me remember that the Venetian Republic had at one time controlled much of the coastal areas of present day Croatia.

We visited the Church of St Donatus first. This sounded like a very important church based on some travel literature that I had read. I was expecting to see a great many interesting features in the building but upon entering I thought it looked like an empty cylinder. I guess I cannot expect an art gallery every time I step into a church in Europe.

Empty cylinder

Empty cylinder

Church of St Donatus with remnants of the Roman forum in front

Church of St Donatus with remnants of the Roman forum in front and the cathedral’s bell tower on the right

The church is now used as a concert venue.

My time in Zadar was short but I did have time to have a look around the Archaeological Museum. This museum features Zadar’s past from prehistory to the middle ages. It was quite a good visit although I would have preferred more captions about the exhibits to read.

Zadar's Archaeological Museum is just opposite the Church of St Donatus

Zadar’s Archaeological Museum is the modern building just opposite the Church of St Donatus

Museum exhibit

Museum exhibit

Museum exhibit

Museum exhibit

This visit was terribly short and I did not do Zadar any justice. The last bus to Šibenik was scheduled at quite an early time and so we had to make the visit a short one. Nevertheless, I am not sure that I will make a special trip back to Zadar to see it more properly. The city is not that different from the multitudes of other coastal cities in Croatia unfortunately. It was definitely not a bad visit. It was just not a special visit.

View from the top level of the Church of St Donatus

View from the top level of the Church of St Donatus

Cathedral of St Anastasia

Cathedral of St Anastasia

Town Guard Loggia (Gradska Straža)

Town Guard Loggia (Gradska Straža)

Five Wells Square

Five Wells Square

Church and Monastery of St Mary

Church and Monastery of St Mary

We sort of lost our way to the bus station because we tried a different way thinking that it would be shorter than the way we had come by. But luckily we managed to catch that last bus. What is an adventure without experiences of near death from a heart attack right?

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