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Zadar is the fifth city in Croatia, with a population of around one hundred thousand. It's a bit of an undiscovered gem, although not as attractive as much more crowded Dubrovnik it nonetheless exudes its own charm. It is particularly noted for its Roman ruins, and some very modern pieces of work down by the waterfront too.

I first heard of Zadar one week before going there, being one of the influx of tourists on Ryanair's new route as I was. I was simply looking for somewhere new (and cheap) to go for a weekend, and Zadar fitted the bill, a short flight from London. It was a great little trip, and by renting a car I was able to explore much of the Dalmatian coast too.

Zadar's Roman forum

All that is left of Zadar's Roman forum are some broken columns and flooring, seen here in front of St Donatus Church, which is itself over one thousand years old. The spire of St Anastasia's Cathedral behind on closer inspection had been very recently rebuilt, possibly as a result of the Balkans War in the 1990s.

Roman faces remain in the forum grounds.

Roman faces of Zadar

Roman writing

A large slab still bears some Latin script, clearly talking about someone whose name was Marc. Or possibly Marcus (Aurelias)?

St Mary's Church, on the other side of the Roman forum square from St Anastasia's Cathedral.

St Mary's Church

Rooftops of Zadar

View of old Zadar from the top of the tower of St Anastasia's Cathedral, otherwise known as Zadar Cathedral. A cruise ship sets out across the Adriatic.

The newer part of Zadar, as seen from the cathedral tower. The Dinaric Alps make a formidable omnipresent backdrop.

Zadar town

Narodni Trg

Church in Narodni Trg, one of the first squares you encounter when entering the old city of Zadar.

Another church spire appears round a corner.



Small church and bell tower in a leafier part of the old town.

There's not much to photograph at the Sea Organ, but for the people listening to the strange sound the pipes make as they are energised by the action of the sea itself. This is a unique site, there is no other like it.

The Sea Organ of Zadar

Greeting to the sun

Next to the Sea Organ is the very modern "Greeting to the Sun", a large disc of solar cells which soak up energy by day, and release it by night with colourful light show.

Close up of the solar cells in Zadar's Greeting to the Sun.

Solar cells

Old man, and the sea

Statue of an old man, and the sea. Hmm, perhaps there's a story in there somewhere…?

Typical Zadar street, and people enjoying the sun.

Zadar street

Zadar university dome

Domed building on the campus of Zadar University.

The Five Wells stand in a square in the east of the old town, another of Zadar's signature landmarks.

Five wells of Zadar

Kopnena Vrata gate

One of the old gates to Zadar, the Kopnena Vrata.

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