The island of Korčula – The beauty of culture and tradition

The island of Korčula, rich in vineyards, olive groves, and cultural heritage. An island that also has a magnificent old town, is the sixth-largest Adriatic island. Which stretches almost 47 km in length. The tradition is still alive and ubiquitous on Korčula. Eternal religious rites, folk music, and dances continue to be performed to the delight of the growing influx of tourists. The jewel of the island is undoubtedly the town of Korčula. A collection of exceptional Venetian-Gothic architecture on a narrow peninsula. Korčula enchants with its timeless beauty. Past times have left their mark on the stone that speaks. The island is proud of the living traditions he nurtures.

Korčula through history

The island of Korčula has been inhabited since prehistoric times. And traces of ancient life have been discovered in many places. In the 6th century BC, the island was inhabited by Greeks. In the 1st century AD, the island, like the whole of Dalmatia, was conquered by the Romans. Around the 7th century, Croats penetrated the Adriatic coast and soon established their state. Korčula has long been under the rule of the Republic of Dubrovnik, then Venice and Austria. 1806 Korčula was conquered by Napoleon, then by the English, and Austro-Hungary, under which it remained until the end of World War I. It was later conquered by the Italians and the Germans. After the disintegration of Yugoslavia, it remained a Croatian jewel on the Adriatic. The turbulent history of Korčula has remained written in stone and is visible on every piece of this unique island.

Island Korčula Town, Croatia, from aboveStaircase to Revelin Tower in Korčula, Croatia

Cultural Heritage

The rich and interesting culture will keep you on this island for a long time. Due to the specific layout of stone streets in the shape of herringbone, as well as old walls, beautiful old palaces, and cathedrals, the town of Korcula has been included on the prestigious UNESCO list. The locals proudly celebrate their heritage with knightly games like the famous Moreška. On the List of Protected Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Croatia, along with moreška, there is also a dance of sword colors – Kumpanija. Within the walls of the Old Town, people live in an “open-air museum”. You can visit the Gothic-Renaissance Cathedral of St. Mark, the Abbey Treasury, the City Museum, the Marco Polo Interpretation Center, the Revelin Tower, churches, and galleries.

Korčula museum. Veliki Revelin TowerKorčula Town Museum, Croatia

The town of Korčula

Korčula is a historic fortified town on the east coast of the island of Korčula. The town of Korčula is planned so that there are west and east sides of the town. On these two sides, the town is divided by the main street that runs right through the center of the town. It is primarily built so that there would be an excellent defense against various attacks. The town of Korčula has a geographical position that was ideal for defense. And a nightmare for all those who tried to attack and conquer this town throughout history. The city is surrounded by walls, towers, fortifications, and this lets us know that this city has historically played an important role for various rulers.

Korčula tower and wallsLarge Governor’s Tower

St. Mark’s Cathedral

St. Mark’s Cathedral is the center of religious life and one of the most significant and beautiful monuments in the old town of Korčula. The styles observed in the cathedral change from Romanesque through Gothic, Renaissance, and in shades to Baroque. It was built by Italian masters, but mostly by local builders through the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. The cathedral completes the impeccable beauty of the city and the island. The stone lady, with her dignified beauty, captivates every traveler who sees the horizons of Korčula for the first time. The facade of the cathedral is stylistically diverse and at the same time monumentally unique. It testifies to the golden age of stonemasonry and architectural skills of the town and the island of Korčula.

The Cathedral of St. Mark

 

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Korčula location

Rivers in Croatia belong to the group of the most beautiful and exciting rivers in the world. With perfectly clear water, magical waterfalls and magnificent canyons. We are all familiar with the beauty of the Adriatic, clear and clean sea and rocky shores with ancient stone towns. However, the sea is not the only wealth of Croatia, and rivers are certainly one of the most important. Apart from being pure sources of drinking water, rivers in Croatia are often areas of extremely beautiful nature. Therefore, many places surrounding watercourses have been legally declared protected nature areas, national parks, nature reserves, forest parks, nature parks, protected landscapes, or natural monuments.

 

1. Krka River

Krka River, Croatia, MillKrka, the beauty of karst, springs not far from Knin, near the Topoljski slap. After 73 kilometers, in the vicinity of Šibenik flows into the Adriatic Sea. Krka is Croatian most famous Adriatic river, especially popular with tourists. It is adorned with the beautiful Skradinski Buk, one of the most famous waterfalls in Croatia, with the enchanting nature that surrounds it, and the cultural heritage. Thanks to the constant process of saddlery, the Krka River, as a karst phenomenon, is an invaluable gift of nature to man. In addition to the amazing nature, tourists can see the old mills and other attractions of our cultural heritage.

2. Gacka River

River Gacka, Valley, CroatiaThe Gacka River is the third-longest sinkhole river in the world and is considered the second cleanest river in Europe. There are over thirty fairytale springs. Due to its picturesque landscape, it has been declared a natural monument. The Gacka River offers at the same time opportunities for active, quiet, and healthy vacations in nature. With clean mountain air, walking, hunting, and fishing for indigenous brown trout. Gacka is a valuable ethnographic locality where the abundance of true values ​​- beauty, water, landscape, tradition, authenticity, and of course gastronomy – unites in harmony.

3. Mrežnica River

Mrežnica River in CroatiaMrežnica River is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the Croatian heartland. The reason for this is its almost supernatural beauty, exceptional purity and clarity, and the richness of the animal and plant world that inhabits it. It springs near Slunj and flows into the river Korana near Karlovac. It is 64 kilometers long and is decorated with 93 travertine barriers and dozens of waterfalls. Its shores have been inhabited since ancient prehistoric times, and the ancient Romans, Illyrians, and the first Croats left behind numerous archaeological finds.

4. Zrmanja River

Zrmanja River and CanyonZrmanja is one of the wildest rivers in Croatia. It flows in rugged karst, through several canyons and karst fields, and flows into the sea over a long estuary. Along the way, it creates amazing waterfalls, ideal for rafting and canoeing. This karst beauty, almost seventy kilometers long, furrows through limestone rocks through as many as six canyons. Full of contrast and pristine beauty with an abundance of flora and fauna, on its way to the Adriatic Sea, Zrmanja will enchant you like no other. Adventurers adore the river for rafting, and when it calms down, it enchants with its exceptional beauty.

5. Cetina River

Cetina River and canyonThe last karst beauty springs on the slopes of the Dinara and flows into the sea 104 kilometers away in Omiš. The area of ​​the Cetina basin is about 4.1 thousand square kilometers, of which only a little more than a third is in Croatia. The entire watercourse of the river is located in Croatia, which makes this river interesting because most of its catchment area is located in Bosnia and Hercegovina. On this river, there are two large accumulation lakes, Buško Blato and Perućko Lake. And downstream from Peruća, there are numerous karst springs.

6. Neretva River

Neretva River CroatiaThe Neretva is a cross-border river, and out of 215 kilometers of its watercourses, only 22 are in the Republic of Croatia. The mouth of the Neretva is located in southern Dalmatia near Ploče and has the shape of a delta. Metković is the first Neretva station in Croatia. This town developed along the entire length of the river and with its 15,000 inhabitants is the center of the Neretva Valley. The Neretva is our only real delta in Croatia. It is a significant wetland area in the Mediterranean and the agricultural and traffic center of Dalmatia.

7. Plitvica River

River Plitvica, CroatiaThe Plitvica River is located in the northwestern part of the Plitvice Lakes National Park. It is about 4 kilometers long and begins with a strong karst spring, the source of Plitvice. After approximately 900 meters of flow, the Sartuk watercourse flows into the Plitvice River on the left. At the end of its course, the Plitvica River collapses down a 78 meter high limestone cliff, forming the largest waterfall in the Republic of Croatia – The Great Waterfall. The beauty of the Plitvica River is imperishable and that is why those who see it only once love it. Untouched nature provides special pleasure.

8. Dobra River

Dobra River. Old stone bridge, Novigrad, KarlovacIt flows through the Vrbovsko area for 22 kilometers. Dobra is a river with a distinct attraction, the beauty of the landscape, the diversity of the banks and riverbeds, the purity and clarity of the water. The Dobra River has another rarity – two mills are still in use today, which grind various cereals with their old millstone wheels. The property with underground and above-ground flows is unpredictable and fast. And aided by thousands of liters of leaking water from the Gojak hydroelectric power plant, it bears the title of the birthplace of rafting in Croatia.

9. Korana River

Korana River in KarlovacDuring rainy periods, the typical karst Korana River turns into a swollen river that shows its strength in numerous waterfalls along its course. In summer it is calmer and flows over beautiful cascades. Korana is a river that springs in the oldest and most famous Croatian National Park – Plitvice Lakes. It is said that this river decided to choose only the best for its source. Namely, it springs in the most popular part of the park, Veliki slap is the source of the Korana. It is a typical karst river whose course is as long as 134 kilometers, all the way to the mouth of the Kupa River.

10. Mirna River

Mirna river, Kotli, Istra, Old water millWith its 53 kilometers of flow, the Mirna is the longest Istrian river. In the upper course, it hides many charms, and in the lower, it is regulated. Hum – the smallest town in the world is located on its coast. Mirna springs in the Kotli Valley and passes through the Buzet valley and the Motovun forest, where the most famous Croatian truffle site is located. The mouth of the Mirna is a very important location for keeping birds in aquatic habitats. And the fish that most often live in the Mirna River are trout and eels.

11. Mura River

Mura river, Old watermillMura is born in Austria at the foot of the rock below the Hohe Tauern at 1898 meters above sea level in the national park of the same name. The Mura in Austria flows with its longest section of 295 kilometers. At first, it murmurs like a clear mountain rapids, but it loses some of its fall and speed and expands. Then it flows through Slovenia, where near Murska Sobota it creates a beautiful landscape and a wider floodplain with gravel banks. When it reaches the Croatian border, it has already covered 410 kilometers. The Mura is one of the last significantly preserved lowland rivers, especially in its lower course.

 

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The city of Zadar is a city of exceptional history and rich cultural heritage. Home to a historic old town of Roman ruins, medieval churches, cosmopolitan cafes, and quality museums set on a small peninsula. Zadar is an intriguing city, a city surrounded by historical ramparts. A treasury of the archaeological and monumental riches of ancient and medieval times. Renaissance and many contemporary architectural achievements such as the first Sea Organ in the world.

Zadar is a city full of memory

Old Town Zadar is ancient and lovely, a place where you can wander among Roman ruins. Zadar is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Europe, and this area has been populated since prehistoric times. Today, it is a popular tourist destination, packed with history, culture, and tons of things to see and do. While it’s not a picture-postcard kind of place from every angle. It’s a mix of ancient Antique, Ramanique, Renaissance, Habsburg elegance, and modern architecture. It’s no Dubrovnik, but it’s not a museum town either – this is a living, vibrant city, enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.

Zadar, Poluotok, PromenadeSituated in the heart of the Adriatic. Zadar is the urban center of northern Dalmatia as the administrative, economic, cultural, and political center of the region with 75,000 inhabitants. The coast is particularly indented, the islands and the untouched nature allures many boaters to these regions. The archipelago counts 24 bigger and about 300 smaller islets and rocks and 3 nature parks. Alfred Hitchcock once claimed that the sunsets in Zadar are the most beautiful in the world. If you spend one day in Zadar and make sure to venture out in the evening, you can see for yourself.

Kalelarga, Cardo, DecumanusSea organ, greeting to the sun and promenade in Zadar

The most popular sights in Zadar

 1. St. Donat’s Church

St. Donat’s Church CroatiaBuilt on remnants of the Roman Forum in the 9th century, the church was originally dedicated to the Holy Trinity and only later acquired the name of the bishop who oversaw its construction, Bishop Donatus. The Church of St. Donat is the most valuable monument of pre-Romanesque architecture of the early Middle Ages (9th century) in Croatia and the symbol of the city of Zadar. Because of its particular shape, it is one of the most important churches of its kind in Europe.

2. Saint Anastasia Cathedral

Saint Anastasia Cathedral, Zadar, CroatiaThe cathedral of Saint Anastasia in Zadar is a three-nave Romanesque building. Today’s appearance of the Romanesque cathedral was shaped in the 12th century. Its bell tower was built in the 15th and 19th centuries, mostly in the Neo-Romanesque style. The cathedral of Saint Anastasia summarizes the history of the entire Zadar archdiocese and its city. Zadar is unthinkable without a cathedral, urban and spiritual. Cathedral is one of the unavoidable components of its appearance and decoration.

3. Roman Forum

Zadar Forum, sarcophagusThe Roman Forum in Zadar is the largest on this side of the Adriatic. It was built by Emperor Augustus, as documented on two 3rd Century stone inscriptions on the site. The Forum in Zadar is located in the heart of Old Town Zadar. Where passersby can walk among the remains of the Romans. At the time of its full glory, the Forum was surrounded on three sides by a magnificent portico. Today, it is an inevitable square for strolling and one of the symbols of the city.

4. Greeting to the Sun 

The Greeting to the Sun or Monument to the SunZadar’s Greeting to the Sun is a place packed with tourists, excited children, and locals every night, especially at sunset. When the gorgeous sea views and the illuminated pavement make for a spectacular sight. This solar-powered, circular work of art comes alive after the sun sets, lighting up in an array of colors and patterns. Kids will love dancing across the glass surface, chasing the lights, and it makes for a wonderful photo with the sunset in the background.

5. Sea Organ in Zadar

Sea Organ, Zadar, CroatiaAt the same time, the revamped Greeting to the Sun will connect up to Zadar’s other bonkers attraction, its Sea Organ. This is an adjacent art installation, formed by cleverly cutting steps into a section of the concrete waterfront promenade. These have underwater pipes in them that sound musical notes when filled with water. And create a harmonica effect that sounds as if each wave is gently sighing. Created by Croatian architect and artist Nikola Bašić, the Sea Organ favorite thing among visitors to see in Zadar.

 

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Zadar location

Islands in Croatia seem to be perfectly made for romance-seekers, including honeymooners, with a wealth of romantic destinations to explore. When it comes to romantic getaways, there’s something infinitely appealing about the isolation and untouched beauty of an island. Large or small, populated or alone, islands are ideal as romantic escapes far from home. Regardless of the island you choose to visit in Croatia, you will feel free and amazed. Cross the seas to your next adventure. Explore with us the most romantic islands in Croatia.

 

1. Korčula

Korčula island and town, CroatiaRich in vineyards, olive groves, and small villages, and harboring a glorious old town. The island of Korčula is the sixth-largest island on the Adriatic. Korčula is one of the most delightful islands in Croatia. Nearly 47km long and 8km wide, it’s blanketed with dense woods and fringed with indented coves. The jewel of the island is undoubtedly Korčula town. A cluster of remarkable Venetian-gothic architecture on a narrow peninsula. Lustrous Korčula stone formed the basis for a highly refined stone-carving tradition evident in the balustrades and reliefs of Korčula town. Often called a “little Dubrovnik”, Korčula town is nowhere near as crowded as Dubrovnik.

2. Hvar

Hvar island. CroatiaHvar is proud that it has the sunniest hours of all the islands in the Adriatic Sea. Many people say for the Hvar that it is a town as from a fairy- tale. Because of its architecture, wonderful nature, and its mild climate. Everybody can find in Hvar all that gives peace to the soul and relaxation to the body. Hvar Town offers amazing hotels, elegant restaurants and it’s full of history and heritage. It is no surprise, then, that it is regularly included in the list of the most beautiful European islands. That, in equal measure, attracts both jet setters and admirers of authentic Mediterranean spirit.

3. Brač

Brač island, BolThe island of Brač is a popular destination for couples looking to enjoy an unforgettable Croatian experience. On the self-sustainable island, there is an unlimited number of recreational, educational, and simply interesting things to see and do. The most famous tourist symbol of Brač is most certainly the beach Zlatni Rat in Bol. But the whole island is full of beautiful beaches and bays. While the crystal blue sea, the unique gastronomy offer, and the hospitality of the locals give it a recognizable feel which results in more and more guests coming every year.

4. Krk

Vrbnik, Krk Island, sunsetThe location of the Krk Island is at the northernmost part of the Adriatic. It’s the “first” and the closest island for all visitors who come from the continental part of Europe in search of the Mediterranean atmosphere. It is Croatia’s largest island, and also one of the busiest. In summer, hundreds of thousands of central Europeans stream to its holiday houses, campsites, and hotels. It’s not the lushest or the most beautiful island in Croatia. Though its landscape is quite varied, ranging from forests in the west to sunburnt ridges in the east. Vrbnik, on the east coast, is a charming village away from the tourist hordes.

5. Cres

Cres island, Lubenice town, CroatiaAlthough perhaps not one of Croatia’s most popular islands in terms of visitor numbers, Cres is still a lovely place to visit. It is easily reached from both the mainland and from other nearby islands. Cres is a picturesque island in the Adriatic, situated in the northern part of the Kvarner Gulf. Close to the island of Krk, known for its immense beauty. Cres has a wild, natural allure that’s intoxicating and inspiring. Sparsely populated, it’s covered in dense primeval forests and boasts a craggy coastline of soaring cliffs, hidden coves, and ancient hilltop towns, like Lubenice.

6. Mljet

Mljet island, National Park, sunsetForest-shrouded Mljet is one of the most seductive of all the Adriatic islands. The establishment of a National Park in 1960 at its western end put the island on the tourist map, but Mljet is anything but overrun. Visitors are almost entirely drawn to the tourist enclave around Pomena. Mljet is also very rich in cultural heritage, the most prominent example being the complex of the 12th-century Benedictine monastery. The western side of the island is a National Park covering about 30% of the island. Proclaimed as National Park in 1960, it includes two saltwater lakes, dense pine forests, and a small islet of St. Mary.

7. Rab

Rab island and townEnter the land of miraculous nature and prepare to be astonished by the interesting geological features and unusual landscapes. Discover stunning sandy beaches on the Lopar peninsula, ideal for building castles and leaving traces in the sand. One of the island’s most famous attractions is certainly the town of Rab, a place of notable beauty. Medieval walls encircle the whole of the city, protecting its churches, palaces, and impressive Romanesque bell towers. Making the town resemble a huge sailboat with four masts. Owing to its amiable climate and a truly unique feel, the island has a long tradition of hospitality.

 

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Due to the vast territory, it encompassed and the incredible number of years it endured, the Roman Empire left behind a host of impressive ruins. While their heyday has long gone, these now act as important historical landmarks and popular tourist attractions. Roman ruins of Salona are located near the town of Solin, few kilometers away from Split. It is a fascinating archeological gem and a great place to visit for all those who admire the history of the Roman Empire.

 

History of Salona

In the shadow of Solin lies the ancient Salona. ​​Once the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia and the largest archaeological park in Croatia. Its size is evidenced by the imposing walls with towers and gates. The forum with temples, the amphitheater, and the cemetery with the Salonitan martyrs. A city with over 60,000 inhabitants and according to legend the birthplace of Emperor Diocletian. Wandering through this empire of ruins is an evocative journey into the age of emperors, gladiators and Christian martyrs. Although many ancient treasures in Salona are now on display in the Archaeological Museum in Split, there is a surprising amount on site. Numerous sarcophagi are scattered throughout the area known as the Monasteries.

Salona in Solin, Split, Croatia, Roman city.Salona Roman ruins, Split, Solin, Croatia

Rise and fall 

Salona is first mentioned as an Illyrian city in 119 BC and the city have walls by then. The Romans took this place in 78 BC, and under Augustus’s rule. It became the administrative seat of the Dalmatian province of the empire. When the emperor Diocletian built his palace in Split at the end of the 3rd century AD, he was attracted by the proximity of Salona. This great history all broke down in the 7th century when the city was razed by the invading Avars and then the Slavs. The inhabitants fled to take refuge within Diocletian’s old palace walls and to the neighboring islands, leaving Salona to perish.

Salona, Solin, Croatia, Roman street and pillarsSalona amphitheatre. Split, Solin, Croatia

The ruins of Salona

The extraordinary Roman ruins of Salona are located directly in front of Solin, a sleepy suburb only 5 km northeast of Split. Now as part of an archeological park, the ruins of Salona are vast. Testifying the importance of this colony under Roman rule. The ruins of the ancient city of Salona, ​​located at the foot of the mountains northeast of Split, are the most archaeologically important in Croatia. Further ruins can be found among the vineyards and orchards to the left of the trail. Including the scanty remains of the Forum, the theater, and the Temple of Dionysus. Just behind this complex, a little to the right, is the monumental 1st-century eastern city gate, Porta Caesarea, which later engulfed the city expanding eastward.

Salona, Split, Roman palace and houseRoman sarcophagus with griffins

Christianity in Salona

This is the burial place of Christian martyrs before the decriminalization of Christianity. And includes significant remains of an early basilica. From Tusculum, a road bordered by cypresses leads south to the north city wall. From here you can get an overview of the foundations of the buildings that make up the Episcopal Center. Including a 5th-century three-aisled cathedral with an octagonal baptistery and the remains of Bishop Honoriu’s basilica, with a Greek cross-shaped floor plan. The main road leading to the amphitheater follows the line of the ancient wall. To the right of the trail, there is another early Christian cemetery. On which were once buried the remains of some of those killed in the amphitheater. Along with the ruins of the Basilica of the Five Martyrs, built in their honor.

Salona, Solin, Split, Roman amphitheatre, architectureSolin roman ruins, Split, Croatia

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If you’ve been dreaming of beautiful beaches and thinking of visiting a one-of-a-kind destination, consider this your sign to book a ticket to Croatia. You may want to come simply to admire its many islands and jaw-dropping beaches, but you’ll find much more if you choose to explore this amazing country. Croatia boasts not only over a thousand idyllic islands along its coast but also some of the cleanest beaches in Europe, with beautiful crystal clear water. Croatia keeps its best beaches well hidden, in hard-to-reach places and tiny islands. Here’s where to find the most beautiful seaside spots.

1. Zlatni Rat Beach, Brač 

Zlatni Rat beach, Beaches in CroatiaThis is probably Croatia’s most famous beach, and it deserves every accolade it gets. Often referred to as the Golden Cape or Golden Horn because of its distinctive shape. It is a gloriously golden stretch of pebbles that reaches out into the Adriatic, its shape ever-altering slightly with the tide. The very tip of the Zlatni Rat keeps changing its shape constantly due to the influence of winds, waves, and sea currents, making it appear different and repeatedly interesting.

2. Nugal Beach, Makarska

Nugal Beach, Beaches in CroatiaOne of the beautiful hidden beaches that abound in the Adriatic is certainly Nugal beach in Makarska. The Internet portal European Best Destination named it the third most beautiful beach in Europe in 2019. Nugal Beach is a pebble beach located in a rocky bay. It is surrounded by stony mountains, dense greenery, warm and crystal clear sea. It is the perfect place for a family vacation, diving, snorkeling, and unity with nature. This beautiful beach is also ranked among the best secret beaches in the world.

3. Stiniva Beach, Vis 

Stiniva Beach, Beaches in CroatiaSince 1967, Stiniva Bay is a protected natural monument in Croatia, under the status of a significant landscape. Stiniva beach is located in the southern part of the island Vis – the farthest inhabited island in Croatia. Stiniva Bay is known for its unique natural beauty dominated by high cliffs that form a small “sea entrance” to this pebble beach with a clear turquoise sea. It was voted, by tourism organization European Best Destinations, as the most most beautiful beach in Europe.

4. Dubovica Beach, Hvar

Dubovica Beach, HvarFor many, it is the perfect bay. South-facing, with clear water, a fine restaurant, and along the small pebble beach, the picturesque stone buildings give the protected bay of Dubovica an additional charm. Despite being one of Hvar’s most popular beaches, Dubovica is off the beaten track and takes a bit of a hike to get to. But with its historic stone manor house, rugged coastline, and clear blue waters, this pebbly shore is well worth all the effort.

5. Podrače Beach, Brela

Podrače Beach, Croatia, BrelaThe Podrače beach in Brela is one of the most photographed beaches in Croatia. The beach is known for soft sand and clear water. You can expect plenty of tourists, locals, and families. The beach has a slightly Robinson appearance, untouched and peaceful, hidden among the rocks this Makarska riviera’s pearl is a symbol of serenity you can find only in Brela. Beach is pebbly, which makes it perfect for families with small children. We are sure it will leave you breathless as well.

6. Sakarun Beach, Dugi Otok

Sakarun Beach, Dugi otokAs the day progresses, colors change from turquoise to emerald to inky blue at this wide, south-facing bay with a shimmering white-pebble beach and pinewoods. This is Sakarun, near the northern tip of Dugi Otok island, a beach perfect for children, with a sandy seabed and shallow water – wade in far from the shore, and the sea will remain only knee-deep. This fine white sandy beach is no longer an insider tip, but this dreamlike bay is still one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia.

7. Oprna Beach, Krk

Oprna Beach, KrkThe island of Krk is known for its very clean sea. It is also called the island of blue flags, which symbolize the purity of the sea. Oprna beach is the favorite beach on the island Krk. The crystal clear water of the around 120-meter long bay attracts snorkelers and divers to this popular beach with relatively shallow shores. Pedal boat rentals and a beach bar provide some variety. It is possible to rent loungers and umbrellas.

8. Banje Beach, Dubrovnik

Banje Beach, Beaches in CroatiaOne of the most popular beaches in Croatia, if possibly only because of its location in Dubrovnik, is Banje Beach. Immediately outside Dubrovnik’s city walls, this madly popular pebble beach is lined with sunbeds and white-chiffon-draped baldachin beds and has views of the green island of Lokrum rising on the horizon. Dubrovnik also features a fascinating old town and ancient city walls, and places to dip yourself in the ocean and enjoy a day on the beach.

9. St. John’s Beach, Cres

St. John’s Beach, Beaches in CroatiaSt. John’s Beach (and sometimes Lubenice Beach), lies on the island of Cres. It is one of the strings of islands in the Istria Peninsula. Located in an attractive cove at the base of steep cliffs below Lubenice village, its 150-meter length and the pebbled surface is protected from strong winds, making it a fun place to swim with the kids.mIt can take up to 40 minutes down to the beach and an hour back up to your car.

10. St. Jacob Beach, Dubrovnik

St. Jacob Beach, DubrovnikSt. Jacob beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Dubrovnik is located in the eastern part of Dubrovnik. St. Jacob beach is one kilometer away from the center of the city, located in an isolated area below the church of St. Jacob, after which it was named. Being a lovely pebble beach with distant views of Dubrovnik Old Town this is a very popular gathering spot among locals, especially in the summer months.

11. Pasjača Beach, Konavle

Pasjača Beach, KonavlePasjača beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on the entire Adriatic. This sandy beach is located in Konavle, about thirty kilometers away from Dubrovnik. The beach is not natural. It was created by throwing stones during World War II when tunnels were dug in the surrounding villages. The sea crushed the rocks and made a beautiful beach that shyly emerges from under the huge cliffs of Konavle rocks. Unfortunately, the beach is disappearing as the sea spreads the sand.

12. Pobrizi Beach, Vrgada

Pobrizi Beach, VrgadaThe island of Vrgada hides one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia. The famous Golden Beach of Vrgada hides many charms. The locals call it Pobrizi beach. Pobrizi beach is one of the most famous sandy beaches on the Pakostane Riviera. This beautiful beach is located behind steep cliffs, and you can only reach it by going down a very steep staircase that is cut into the rock or through a small narrow path that runs through a pine forest.

13. Skala Beach, Hvar

Skala Beach, HvarSkala beach is located on the eastern coast of Sveta Nedilja and it can be easily reached by foot or by bike. There are no public parking spaces nearby, and the beach is quite full in the summer months. The clean sea attracts guests from other places on the island of Hvar. The Skala beach is surrounded by large stone blocks and rocks. When you have had enough sunbathing, you can jump into the water and cool down.

 

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For Diocletian’s Palace, the best-preserved late-ancient complex in the world. A synonym for the old town of Split, there are so many questions about the exact time of its construction and the death of Diocletian. The Roman ruler who had it built. With its size and preservation, the palace is one of the most important monuments of late Roman architecture.

Let us give you a short intro first. Diocletian was a Roman Emperor born in Salona – the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. The massive palace was built as a preparation for his retirement. So, upon returning to his homeland he moved into the expensive fortified palace. Around later on the city of Split formed. After the death of Diocletian, the palace was abandoned by the Romans. The palace was empty for several centuries when its new residents started making their homes and workshops inside the walls.

Diocletian was buried in his palace. His tomb was later turned into a Christian church. The Cathedral of St. Domnius, which is still standing nowadays. Because of the fact that Diocletian persecuted Christians, while the palace wasn’t in use anymore, they came back and destroyed all images and signs of Diocletian. Afterward, many other sights were destroyed and built upon. They replaced Roman-era imagery with Christian imagery. In November 1979 UNESCO declared the palace remains a World Heritage site as an important archeological complex.

Diocletian's Palace, sv.Dujmo zvonik, mausoleum, Split, CroatiaDiocletian’s Palace through history

Diocletian’s Palace in Split is one of the most significant ancient buildings in Croatia and one of the best-preserved monuments of Roman architecture in the world. The palace was built by Emperor Diocletian as his imperial mansion in which he intended to spend his old age. The choice of this location was prompted by the mild climate, thermal water springs and the abundance of stone for construction, as well as the excellent location.

Construction was completed probably in the late 3rd century. Due to the danger of possible barbarian raids, it was built on the model of a military camp – Castrum. In the shape of a rectangle with four large towers at the corners and four doors. The palace was surrounded by large ramparts. And the gates were the entrances to the palace – three gates on the land side and one on the seaside.

Gate and walls at Diocletian's Palace, Split CroatiaAncient walls of Diocletian's Palace, Split CroatiaFrom the palace to the city

After Diocletian’s death, the palace underwent numerous changes. But it remained beautifully preserved and is considered one of the most significant Roman monuments in the world. It is especially interesting that this is a place that has been permanently inhabited ever since. In which people live and adapt to life, so even today it is actually still developing and changing. Diocletian’s Palace was transformed into a city in a unique, creative and original way. At the time when the palace was built, the city of Split did not exist. Split arose from Diocletian’s Palace through alterations and additions.

The way that this occurred is almost fascinating. A particularly beautiful and visible example is the Peristyle. A spacious square that connects the northern and southern parts of the city. Where inside the ancient pillars are embedded facades and facades of Romanesque, Gothic, and later Renaissance and Baroque buildings and palaces. An interesting example of the conversion of the palace is the former octagonal imperial mausoleum, which was turned into a cathedral by adding a Romanesque bell tower.

Diocletian's Palace Sphinx, Split CroatiaAncient dome Vestibul at Diocletian's Palace, split croatiaPeristyle

In Roman architecture, a peristyle is an open colonnade surrounding a court. Hence the name of the central court in Diocletian’s Palace is called Peristil. It is located at the intersection of the two main streets, cardo and decumanus . The nucleus of historical sites is found here. With the protiron, sphinxes, vestibule and various palaces. Also with the imposing Cathedral of St. Domnius, and Diocletian’s mausoleum.

The peristyle is the central square of Diocletian’s Palace. Located in the part where several temples were built. It was intended for the emperor Diocletian, celebrated as the living son of Jupiter. The emperor appeared under the architrave arch of the central part of the protiron. His subjects approached him, kneeling kissing the skirts of his crimson cloak. Or falling prostrate before him, lying with his whole body on the ground.

Diocletian's Palace. Peristyle, Split, CroatiaBasements of Diocletian’s Palace

The basements of Diocletian’s Palace are one of the best-preserved ancient complexes of this kind in the world. And they are very responsible for the fact that the historic core of Split was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979. In Roman times, their function was to elevate the spaces of the emperor’s apartment on the upper floor. But they were also the storage space of the Palace. As they are structurally faithful copies of the upper rooms, they enable a quality reconstruction of the appearance of the imperial chambers. The walls served as the foundations of the imperial residential buildings. So the shapes of their rooms matched the shape of the buildings that disappeared above the surface. Basements are used today as attractive fair and exhibition spaces. And the popular television series Game of Thrones was filmed in them.

Cellars od diocletian's palace, underground, basement halls. Split croatiaCellars od diocletian's palace, underground, basement halls

Accommodation in Split

Quality accommodation in Split is easy to find. Split has something for everyone. Because of the mild climate, Split is a desirable destination in every season. The vicinity of the sea and mountains provides countless opportunities for recreational activities and entertainment for all ages. If we add to that the Diocletian’s Palace, historic old town, the amazing promenade, clean beaches, green parks, great restaurants and plenty of cultural events. We get a city created for relaxation, full of activities and entertainment opportunities.

You can find accommodation in Split on Visitteo. Compare prices of hotels, apartments, rooms, studios, villas, and many other types of accommodation.

Split, Croatia, Location, diocletian's palace

Indeed, cathedrals in Croatia, these glorious structures. Fueled by deep devotion and created by the man’s ego, are precisely where faith and superior architecture meet. Croatia is home to many cathedrals, stunning and wondrous sights to behold. Regardless of your religious affiliations, there’s something quite grand and majestic about these iconic structures. And walking inside and around the exterior is always an enthralling experience.

With their humble designs and intense aura of ancient times, the following cathedrals are among the most impressive sights in Croatia and beyond. These buildings are not only places of worship and centers of attraction for visitors. But sources of long-forgotten stories as well. Whether you prefer their Renaissance, Baroque or Gothic side. The following cathedrals will genuinely uplift the spirits. These cathedrals are not only worth a visit on their own merit. The cities in which they reside offer rich history, culture, heritage, fabulous gastronomy, and well-known tourist sites.

 1. Cathedral of St. James, Šibenik

Cathedral of St. James, Šibenik, croatiaOne of the most beautiful and most significant architectural and sacral buildings in Croatia is the cathedral of St. James in Šibenik. Which was placed under the protection of UNESCO in 2000 due to its exceptional values. What distinguishes it from all other dark and gloomy cathedrals is the unique atmosphere of light in its interior. Created in the urban structure of the city, on the site of an older church.

The cathedral forms an structure of a three-nave basilica with three apses. Gothic style is present at the beginning of construction. While the rest of the cathedral is Renaissance. It took over a hundred years to finish this glorious cathedral, during the 15th and 16th centuries. Cathedral is unique because it is completely built of stone without the use of a binder. Cathedral stands out with its imposing dome, which is today a kind of symbol of Šibenik.

2. Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Dubrovnik

Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, DubrovnikThe Dubrovnik cathedral is not only a beautiful example of Dubrovnik’s rich history and art. But also an intriguing archaeological site that raises numerous questions about Dubrovnik’s history and heritage. Today’s Dubrovnik cathedral is the third cathedral that was built on the same site. The first was from the Byzantine era. The second Romanesque cathedral, for which construction the English King Richard the Lionheart was largely responsible, was destroyed in the great earthquake in 1667. The present cathedral was built in the Baroque style by the Italian architect Andrea Buffalini. And it was completed in 1713. The interior of the cathedral is beautiful and adorned with significant works of art. Above the main altar, which is built of purple marble, is a painting of the Assumption of Mary from the 16th century by the great Italian painter Titian.

3. Cathedral of St. Anastasia, Zadar

Cathedral of St. Anastasia, Zadar, CroatiaThe cathedral of St. Anastasia in Zadar is a three-nave Romanesque building. It was built in the 12th and 13th centuries. On the foundations of an early Christian basilica from the 9th and 11th centuries. Today’s appearance of the Romanesque cathedral was shaped in the 12th century. Its bell tower was built in the 15th and 19th centuries, mostly in the Neo-Romanesque style. The cathedral of St. Anastasia summarizes the history of the entire Zadar archdiocese and its city.

The cathedral was significantly damaged in 1202 when the Venetians, with the help of the Crusaders, conquered and destroyed the city of Zadar. The cathedral embodies the wound of a destructive conquest in which it was destroyed together with Zadar. But also the will for renewal, life, and freedom. It unites the old and the new. Zadar is unthinkable without a cathedral, urban and spiritual. She is one of the unavoidable components of its appearance and decoration.

4. Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Zagreb

Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Zagreb, CroatiaZagreb cathedral is the largest and most monumental Croatian sacral building. And one of the most valuable monuments of Croatian cultural heritage. The cathedral testifies Zagreb as a strong Central European cultural center. The cathedral has been demolished and rebuilt many times. In 1242, in their invasion, the Tatars almost completely demolished the cathedral. After which in 1254 the construction of the cathedral began again. Shortly after a large bell tower was built, the cathedral was hit by two fires which caused enormous damage.

In 1880, when a great earthquake struck Zagreb, the vaults of the cathedral were demolished, and the building itself was significantly damaged. In 1902, a neo-Gothic renovation began. The cathedral gets its present appearance with two high bell towers, a high roof, new pillars in the sanctuary, new altars, and a tomb for the Zagreb archbishops behind the main altar.

5. Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul, Osijek

Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul, Osijek, croatiaOne of the most impressive Croatian sacral buildings is the cathedral of St. Peter and Paul in Osijek. Unlike other important Croatian cathedrals, this one is just over a hundred years old. At the initiative of Bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer, in 1894,  construction of St. Peter and Paul’s cathedral begin. After the demolition of the older baroque church, it took just four years to complete the cathedral. Since 1898 the panorama of Osijek is unthinkable without its 90-meter-high bell tower, today the second tallest in Croatia and Southeast Europe. Cathedral was built of red facade brick, in the neo-Gothic style. During its short history, it has unfortunately been damaged several times. Mostly during the Croatian War of Independence. The aggressor’s grenades hit it directly more than a hundred times, so in 1994 reconstruction began. The reconstruction continues to this day.

6. Cathedral of St. Peter, Đakovo

Cathedral of St. Peter, Đakovo, CroatiaThe cathedral of St. Peter in Đakovo is a construction masterpiece. Magnificent symbiosis of interior and exterior. Gothic and Romanesque styles are perfectly intertwined. Pope John XXIII. said that this is the most beautiful cathedral between Venice and Constantinople. After the first one from the 14th century, which Turks destroyed. And the second one, built in the early 18th century in the Baroque style. The cathedral was completed in 1882, after 16 years of construction. There are 7 altars and numerous sculptures in the cathedral. The entire interior of the cathedral, the walls, vaults, and pillars, are richly decorated with various ornaments. But the greatest treasure of the cathedral is its exceptional frescoes. Strossmayer hired the best painters of the time to make them. The cathedral has preserved its original appearance although it has suffered much destruction throughout history.

7. Cathedral of St. Stephen, Hvar

Cathedral of St. Stephen, Hvar, CroatiaIf you visit Hvar, all roads will take you to Hvar Square. The center of the public and social life of the city. The east side of the town square is near the cathedral of St. Stephen, built on the foundations of an early Christian church from the 6th century. It was originally the church of a Benedictine monastery. The Turks burned and demolished the cathedral in 1571. The presbytery remained, which retained its old Gothic form.

Cathedral got its present appearance through the 17th and 18th centuries and represents a synthesis of Gothic, Renaissance, Mannerist and Baroque styles with Romanesque overtones, visible in the design of the bell tower and canopy above the entrance portal. The recognizability of this church is the Renaissance bell tower, which is certainly one of the most beautiful examples of its kind in the Dalmatian area.

8. Cathedral of St. Mark, Korčula

St. Mark, KorčulaThe Cathedral of St. Mark is the center of religious life, one of the most significant and most beautiful monuments in the old town of Korčula. Cathedral complements the unmatched beauty of the town and the island. The stone lady, with her dignified beauty, captivates every traveler who sees the horizons of Korčula for the first time. Italian masters build the cathedral, but mostly by local builders through the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. The facade of the cathedral is stylistically diverse and at the same time monumentally unique. It testifies about the golden age of stonemasonry and architectural skills of the town and the island of Korčula. The styles observed in the cathedral alternate from Romanesque through Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque. Several generations of stonemasons worked at the cathedral, and each left the mark of its time.

9. Cathedral of St. Lawrence, Trogir

Cathedral of St. Lawrence, TrogirTrogir cathedral of St. Lawrence is one of the most famous monuments in Trogir and it is under UNESCO protection of world heritage. Styles from Romanesque to Baroque are noticeable on the cathedral, and there are valuable works of art in it. Construction of the cathedral began in 1213 on the foundations of an early Christian cathedral destroyed by the Saracens in 1123. Construction of the cathedral ends in the early 17th century. Like the previous one, this one is also dedicated to St. Lawrence. The bell tower shows a long period of construction. The main entrance to the cathedral leads through the famous portal. Built in 1340 and represents the most significant example of Romanesque-Gothic art in Croatia. Trogir cathedral looks enchanting, even when we look at the photos. To experience it, you definitely have to visit it.

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cathedrals croatia