Zadar is not only beautiful beaches and islands, sea and beaches. If you have heard about Zadar or if you have visited it, then you probably know that it has many secrets to tell. Read this post to find out what are 11 things that you don’t know about Zadar:
71.471 is the population in the city of Zadar, according to 2011 Census. Zadar is the second city in Dalmatia, and the fifth in the Republic of Croatia when it comes to the population.
2. The biggest plain in Dalmatia
Ravni kotari is a geographical region located in the hinterland of the city of Zadar. It is the largest agricultural area in Dalmatia characterized by a high level of nature conservation and many protected sites.
Jader is a former settlement from which the city of Zadar developed. The Jadasins as the inhabitants of Idassa or Jader are first mentioned in 384 BC. Jader is a name that was later adopted by other civilizations, so in the 1st century BC Jadera became a Roman colony (Colonia Iulia Iader).
4. Zadar was sold for 100,000 ducats to the Venetian Republic
In 1409, Ladislav the king of Naples and Croatia-Hungary sold Zadar, Novigrad, Pag, Vrana and his rights on Dalmatia to Venice for 100,000 ducats. This event was remembered in history as the ‘shameful sale of Dalmatia’. From then on, the Venetians retained power over the city until the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797.
5. Zadar hosted the Pope twice
Pope Alexander III he was the first pope to visit Croatian lands in 1177. He visited Palagruža, Vis and Rab, and in Zadar he was greeted by a crowd singing songs in Croatian. Zadar hosted a pope for the second time in 2003, when a large number of peole welcomed Pope John Paul II at the Forum in the old town.
6. 2,500 of sunshine hours per year
The annual insolation in Zadar is about 2,500 hours, which is above the Croatian average.
7. The largest Roman Forum on the eastern coast of the Adriatic
Forum Romanorum (Italian: Foro Romano) was a Roman square in Zadar and the largest area of its kind on the entire eastern Adriatic coast. Its construction began in the 1st BC and it was the main square of the Roman Zadar where the public life of the city took place.
8. The first public park in Croatia
Zadar got its first public park in 1829. It was built according to the ideas of Baron Franz Ludwig von Welden, military governor of the city and a passionate botanist, fascinated by the Dalmatian flora. The park was built on the bastion of the former military fortress near the 5 wells square, and today it is named the Park of Queen Jelena.
9. Zadar’s sphinx
Giovanni Smirich, an artist and historian and one of the most prominent citizens of the 19th century in Zadar, built a sphinx that is special in many ways. The replica of the Egyptian sphinx in Zadar has fingers instead of paws and once held a large sword, furthermore, on the mysterious Zadar sphinx are engraved letters, similar to hieroglyphs that have not been deciphered to this day.
During centuries of turbulent history, Zadar was guarded by its four “equal” patron saints: St. Simeon, St. Chrysogonus, St. Anastasia and St. Zoilus. St. Simeon is celebrated on October 8, St. Chrysogonus on November 24th, St. Anastasia on Januar 15th and St. Zoilus on December 16th. Read here 4 interesting stories about the patrons of Zadar.