Croatia with his 1,244 islands, clean blue sea, reefs and rocks that comprise the Adriatic Croatia is the best dream for sailing adventure. With almost ideally distances between the islands that not exceeding 10 nm, along the Croatian coastline extending up to 5,835.00 km, from Dubrovnik to Istria, islands in Croatia offer you a real challenge. With more than 1500 coves, ports and bays on the mainland and islands where you can find everything you need like drop anchor, stay overnight or berth, the Croatian Adriatic is the best place for sailing and motorboat cruising with a power boat or a luxury mega yacht.
Marinas in Croatia are almost all situated in excellent protected locations, from small coves on the Croatian islands to large city’s on the coastline. The marinas in addition of service and maintenance offer other services like restaurants, bars, showers, swimming pools, where you can enjoy excellent Croatian cuisine delicates and local drinks. If you desire a calm and little ports in the heart of the small coastal towns, Croatia has it along the all coast, from Dubrovnik Gruž to Hvar and Vis, to Korcula and Trogir and Murter to Primosten up to Lošinj, Biograd on the sea to Opatia in Istria.
Istria is called the “Terra Magica”. It is a true cultural arboretum whose heritage comes from the Histrians, the Celts, Romans through to the Byzantines, Slavs and Venetians and all the way to the Austro-Hungarian Empire! Wherever you start from, either from Pula and its magnificent Roman amphitheatre, Rovinj that is called the small Venice, Porec’s Euphrasius, the town of ghosts of Dvigrad, the beauty of Motovun or perhaps the artists town of Grožnjan in the interior, one thing is for sure, Istria is a region of true wonders. In addition, 15 years ago on the seabed at Bale remains of dinosaur bones were found, which were the first, and for the moment, the only to be found in the entire Mediterranean area.
Kvarner covers the area of the mythical Absytrus islands and has unforgettable rivieras: Opatija, Crikvenica, Vinodol and Rijeka. Asides for being famous as the celebrated elite summer destination of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, the coastal Rijeka metropolis is also here. The Kvarner islands are, however, a totally different story. Called the Absytrus islands, after Medea’s brother Absytrus, the islands of Krk, Cres and Lošinj have a rich antique and medieval heritage. The Apoxiomen should definitely be mentioned here, a very famous bronze statue of an athlete found in 1999 in the sea near Lošinj, which was the work of the Greek sculptor Lizip from the 4th century B.C. The Baška tablet should also be mentioned, the first sculpted memorial of the Croatian language from 1100 found on the island of Krk.
Šibenik is town of a county Šibenik – Knin that extends over 2994 km2. Population of Šibenik is 38 000 inhabitants. Šibenik has a special position among the cities of the Adriatic. Whereas Solin, Trogir, Hvar and Vis were originally Greek, then Roman and Byzantine before they became Croatian cities, $ibenik is a “new town”, built as a counterweight to Byzantine Dalmatia. Thus Sibenik is the oldest Croatian and Slavic city on the Adriatic although there are few traces of a settlement in this area from the time of the immigration of the Croatians. The city was mentioned for the ﬁrst time in 1066 as “Castrum Sebenici” on the occasion of a visit to the city by the Croatian King Petar Kresimir 1V. At this time the medieval Croatian state was at the height of its power. After that however, gibenik remained only 50 years in an independent Croatian state for, in 1102, Croatia entered an alliance with Hungary. From that time on, Šibenik was for 243 years part of the state of Croatia-Hungary(1105-1116, 1124, 1133-1168, 1180-1322 and 1358-1412). During this time it received the rights of a municipality, and the status of city (1167), became the centre of a diocese (1298) and thus obtained the legal and political bases to become a well-developed economic, political and cultural centre in the 14th century.
Juraj Dalmatinac came to Šibenik in 1441 from Venice at the urging of Bishop luraj Sizgoric. There are many indications that in Venice he worked with the Bon brothers on the portal of the Doge’s palace (Porta clella Carta). As Well as in Venice, he also worked in Ancona during the building of the cathedral in Šibenik, and in 1451 he designed the Merchants Loggia (Loggia dei Mercati) and the portal of S. Francesco delle Scale church. In his native country his Work includes ecclesia- stical, residential and defen- sive buildings (Minceta in Dubrovnik). He also worked on urban design (Pag). He realised great and harmo- nious architectural ideas, but he never overlooked the intricate details of ﬁne moulded plastic work. He was a master of the Gothic style, but moved from Gothic to Renaissance, and in some of his compositions and ﬁgures he anticipated elements of the Baroque. He was a teacher. His pupils included Andrija Alesi and Andrija Budicic. He died in Šibenik in 1473 and his memorial was created by Ivan Mestrovic who came from the area around Šibenik (see Drniš), and was the greatest Croatian sculptor of the first half of the 20th century. The City Loggia was the seat of the City Council during the Venetian period. It was built between 1533 and l542. In the Second World War it was totally destroyed by bombing, but was restored after the war. The building is stylistically characteristic of the Sanmichelli school (Verona 1484-1559) and is considered to be the ﬁnest loggia in Dalmatia, with its impressive harmony, pillars, lions’ heads and balustrade. Inside the cathedral there are four large, evenly matched columns on which the dome rests. The builder decorated the capitals and came to arrangements with the nobles who were to ﬁnance the building of chapels, on condition that they would be free to choose their own builders. luraj Dalmatinac, with tremendous skill, combined architectural and decorative elements of the late Gothic and the Renaissance to create a uniﬁed entity.
ln 1477 the building work was taken over by Nikola Firentinac (?- Sibenik 1505), a foreigner from the Donatello school of sculpture, who developed as a sculptor and builder in Dalmatia and who is considered to be a Croatian artist. He was left with the task of completing the extensive galleries, building the vault in the central nave, placing the dome on the four completed columns and covering it with stone tiles. Master Nikola freely interpreted Juraj Dalmatinac’s plans, in the style of the Tuscan Renaissance. Although the dome of Sibenik Cathedral was built after the dome in Florence, Nikola Firentinac used an octagonal drum in its construction, before Bramante and Michelangelo, in its original function as the transition from the square base to the circular dome. The execution of the cupola was one of the supreme achievements of Renaissance architecture. Around the dome he placed statues of saints, which are his own work. The cathedral was not completed even in his lifetime, but ﬁnally by Bartolomeo da Mestre and his son Giacomo in 1536. Inside the cathedral, in the ﬁrst chapel on the right-hand side, there is the sarcophagus of the bishop, humanist and writer Iuraj giigoric (c.1420-1509) which is the work of Andrija Alesi based on a design by Juraj Dalmatinac. Alesi also created the statue of St. Elijah which stands behind the bishop’s throne. On the left-hand side is the sarcophagus of Bishop Ivan gtaﬁlié, during whose life the cathedral was completed.
Zadar is located 44° 8’ N, 15° 13’ E; centre of the zadar county, which extends over 3 643 km and has a population of 165 700. Population of the city is 72 000. Mean January temperatures: air 6.3 °c, sea 11 °c. Mean July temperatures: air 24 °c, sea 22.8 °c.
The City Gates and Fortress
Although Zadar was a fortiﬁed city in Roman times, only the towers and gates which date from the 15th and 16th centuries are still visible today. These walls protected Venetian Zadar from the Turks, who at that time held most of the Croatian interior and came right up to the gates of the city. Only two of the four city gates are still preserved and in working order. The Mainland Gate (Kopnena vrata, Porta Terraferma) is the most beautiful Renaissance monument in Zadar. It was built in 1543 by the well- known architect from Verona, Michele Sammicheli. Over the main entrance is engraved, the city coat of arms showing St. Chrysogonus (Sveti Krsevan) on horseback, and the lion of St. Mark. In front of the gate there was at one time a drawbridge over the Fosa canal. The Port Gate (Lucka vrata, Porta Marina) was built in 1573; on its outer side it is decorated with a sculpture of the Venetian lion and on its inner side, part of a Roman triumphal arch has been included. On the upper Renaissance part, the city’s coat of arms is also engraved with a plaque in memory of the victory of the Christians over the Turkish ﬂeet at Lepanto in 1571. Beside the Mainland Gate, a row of defensive structures on the land side have remained standing: the Great Fortress, the Five- Cornered Bastion and the Five-Sided Tower on the Five-Well Square (Trg pet bunara). The Great Fortress (Velika tvrdava) was built in 1560 on the site of the old suburbs, where there had also been an amphitheatre in Roman times. It was built by Sforza Pallavicino, whose coat of arms is on the outer wall. In the years 1880-1890 a wooded park was planted around the fortress, including Mediterranean and exotic plants. The Five-Cornered Bastion (Peterokutni bas- tion) although built in 1574 is still suitable for modern weapons because of its architecture.
(Sveti Donat) is considered to be the ﬁnest example of Dalmatian architecture of the Old Croatian period. It was built at the beginning of the 9th century and belongs to the preromanesque period. The Zadar Bishop and diplomat, Donat (8th-9th centuries) is credited with the building of this church. He led the representation of the Dalmatian cities to Byzantium and Charles the Great, which is why this church is similar to Charles’ court chapels, especially the one in Aachen. It was built on the Roman forum and materials from Roman buildings were used in its construction.The church is 27 in high and is characterised by simplicity and technical primitivism. Overall it gives an impression of rnonurnental strength and thus has become the undisputed symbol of Zadar. Its use has varied during its lifetime; during the rule of the Venetians and Turks it was a warehouse, and also during the French occupation and when under the Austrians. After the liberation it was an archaeological museum for a short time and it now serves as a concert hall because of its excellent acoustics.
Split population is 180 000 inhabitants. Split is second biggest city in Croatia. It is the county of a county that covers an area of 4520 km2 and has a population of 468 000. In the broader area around what is now Split, remains of pottery, weapons and jewellery have been discovered, demonstrating the existence of human life on the Split peninsula very early on in history. In the Krcine caves above Klis, remains of “impresso” ceramics (with decorations pressed into the clay) have been discovered. In Kucine there are ﬁnds from the Neolithic era, from the same period as those from Markova spilja caves (see below) on Hvar, and in the centre of Split itself a stone hammer was found dating from the middle Neolithic era.
Copper and gold items from the 2nd millennium BC conﬁrm the existence of well-developed trade routes in this region, both with the hinterland and with the Mediterranean. In the last centuries BC, the Illyrian Delmati tribe moved into the Solin-Kastela bay and Salona (Solin) became an important military base and port. The Cathedral of St. Domnius (Sveti Duje), is an octagonal building built at the same time as the palace, as a mausoleum for Emperor Diocletian. In the 7th century the mausoleum was converted into a cathedral. Thus fate played strange games with Diocletian; in the mausoleum of an Emperor who sought to wipe out Christianity, a cathedral was built, and in the main Roman temple, a baptistery. The cathedral is circular inside, divided up by four semicircular and square niches, and eight columns in the lower part on which eight smaller columns rest. Between the ﬁrst and second rows of columns there is a frieze with scenes of Eros hunting, and amongst the ﬁgures, a portrait of Diocletian with his wife Prisca. The ornate entrance is typical of Hellenistic architecture. The cathedral is crowned with a brick dome which was originally covered with mosaics. Beneath the cathedral is a crypt (St. Lucy’s Chapel; Sveta Lucija). The sixsided pulpit belongs to the late Romanesque era (the second half of the 13th century). The main altar was built in the l7th century. There are paintings on it by the prominent Croatian artist Matija Poncun (Ponzoni). The northern altar (from 1770 known as St. Domnius’ altar) is the Work of the Venetian sculptor G. M. Morlaiter from 1767. The right-hand altar (in the southeastern niche) is the old altar of St. Domnius (Sv. Duje). It was built in late-Gothic style by Bonino da Milano in 1427, and the ceiling was painted by Dujam Vuskovié in 1429. The original altar of the saint was an Early Christian sarkophagus with a depiction of the Good Shepherd. In the north- eastern niche is the altar of St. Anastasius (Sveti Stas) a martyr from Salona. The Baptistery (the pagan temple of Jupiter, converted to a baptistery in the early Middle Ages) is a square-shapecl building which originally had six pillars in the porch, and a richly decorated portal. lnside, the baptismal pool itself is cross-shaped, made up of six tiles, ﬁve of which are decorated with braided ornamentation, and the sixth with the ﬁgure of Christ. One theory says that this is the ﬁgure of King Zvonimir. Along the wall is the sarcophagus of Archbishop Iohn (Ivan), of Roman origins, restored in the 8th and 10th centuries, and next to it is a sarcophagus belonging to Archbishop Lovro. Other things to see in the palace: With the arrival of new inhabitants the palace became a living city, and a whole series of signiﬁcant houses, palaces and churches were built and ancient buildings restored. The Romanesque-Gothic palace beside the Golden Gate with 15th century Gothic additions by Juraj Dalmatinac is particularly outstanding. The most important Gothic palace in Split is the Papalic’ Palace also by Iuraj Dalmatinac. The City Museum is now housed in this palace (see below). The Dagubio family palace in Dioklecijanova street 1. was built in the 18th century. It is a Gothic and Renaissance building made by Andrija Alesi. This leading Venetian architect also certainly designed the monumental and typically Baroque Cindro Palace in Kresimirova street in about 1700. The Church of St. Philip Neri (Sveti Filip Neri) was designed by the Venetian architect Francesco Melchiori, a military engineer, in 1735. Inside there is an altarpiece by the 18th century Split artist Sebastijan Devita and a wooden Crucifix of the same time.
The Church and Monastery of St. Dominic (Sveti Dominik) stands opposite the Silver Gate. The monastery is a radically restored Baroque building. Inside the church there is a beautiful Baroque altar, and the paintings The Mystic Wedding of St. Catherine, by the Venetian master Antonio Zanchi, The Miracle in Sariarz, by Matej Poncun (Ponzoni), The Miracle of St. Vincent Ferrerius, by Sebastijan Devita, and a late Gothic illuminated cruciﬁx. The monastery houses beautiful antiphones (from the 14th and 15th centuries), a series of paintings by Vinko Draginja (1850-1926) and books from the library of Marko Marulic. Veli Varos is the largest city quarter, situated behind the Franciscan monastery. To the east it is bounded by Ielacic street and to the west by the Marjan cliffs (see below). It is characterised by irregular streets and pictu- resque architecture. The parish church of Veli Varos is Holy Cross (Sveti Kriz), built in 1681, but re—built in the 19th century. The beautiful Baroque bell-tower remains from the old church. On the main altar is a damaged but important Romanesque illuminated 13th century cruciﬁx, on the side altar an altarpiece by Sebastian Devita (18th century) and by Juraj Pavlovié (19th century) and on the facade, a large stone Gothic statue entitled Mourning dating from the 15th century. St. Nicholas on Stagnja (Sveti Mikul na Stagnji) is the oldest church in Veli Varos. lt is an early Romanesque building, built in the l2th century with square apses, a transept and a dome on a high drum. The builder, Ivan, and his wife Tiha are mentioned in an inscription over the doorway. Marjan is 178 m high hill. Marjan is the best known site for outings in Split. its unique position and beauty have inspired many poets, and thus Marjan is one of the most sung about parts of Croatia. Before Diocle- tian’s palace was built, the Romans built a temple to the goddess Diana on Marjan point. In the early Middle Ages the Statute of Split already regulated a service to take care of the area and the creation of Marjan as a place for outings began in the second half of the 19th century. The bare karst rock has been successfully cultivated, and there are now 168 hectares of Aleppo pines planted here. Some locations (the picturesque, vertical Ierolim cliffs) are nature reserves. The best way to reach the hilltop (151 in) is from Varos. Beneath the peak is the (Prirodoslovni muzej), founded in I924, with large zoology, mineralogy, botany and palaeontology collec- tions, showing items chieﬂy from the Dalmatia region. Beside the museum there is a zoo. At the foot of the southern side of Marjan (approach by the coastal road getaliste Ivan Mestrovic) is the city quarter known as Meje. On Sustipan peninsula, in the former Split graveyard there are the ruins of a Benedictine church and monastery, St. Stephen’s Under the Pines (Sveti Stjepan pod boro- vima), whose Romanesque and Gothic ruins have been included in a small church of the same name, dating from 1814. In Meje is the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments (see below) and the Ivan Mestrovic Gallery. On the way from Meje up to the hilltop is the Chapel of Our Lady of Seven Woes (Gospa od Sedam ialosti) with a sculpture entitled Mourning dating from the 15th century. Poljud is the northwestern part of the city, joined to the southern part by a tunnel running be- neath Marjan. In Topuska street, on the sea front, there is a Franciscan church and monastery. The church was built on the site of an older 10th century church. In the centre of this picturesque complex of sacred buildings there are simple Renaissance cloisters with a well and some gravestones, including ones belonging to Bishop Toma Nigris-Mrcic, Katarina Zuvic, the Alberti, Marulic, Cuteis, Capogrosso families etc. The monastery is fortiﬁed with a strong Renaissance tower and battlements. The Gothic and Renaissance singlenaved church with its two side chapels on its southern side houses several signiﬁcant works of art.
Dubrovnik is situated 2° ’ n, 18°16’ e with population 44000 inhabitants. It is the county town of the Dubrovnik and Neretva County, which stretches over 1 784 km2 and has a total of 122 900 inhabitants. Mean temperatures in January: air 8.4℃ , sea 12.4; mean temperatures in July: air 23.3 , sea 22.9 ℃.
As the area around Dubrovnik abounds in prehistoric burial mounds and earth works (Cavtat and Konavle) it is probable that there was a prehistoric settlement on the site of present-day Dubrovnik. This settlement may have been on a rock, actually the island of Lave (Lausa, Rausa] which was separated from the mainland by marshy land, a sea-arm whose position corresponded with present day Stradun (see below). The Roman Era. There are no signiﬁcant remains from the Roman era in the city itself, but it is thought that there was a ﬁshing settlement on Lave rock. There was an active and lively settlement not far away in Epidaurum (Cavtat, 12 km) originally a Greek town (Epidauros) which came under the Romans in the third century BC W and experienced a boom as a Roman trading colony; in the 6th century (530) it became a bishopric, and following the division of the Empire it became part of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium). The Migrations of the Nations. When the Avars and Slavs invaded the Balkans at the beginning of the 7th century, Epidaurum was destroyed, along with Salona (Solin) and Narona. The inhabitants ﬂed to take up residence on Lave rock and founded Rauzij – Ragusa. Until recently that was the only version of the story of the foundation of Dubrovnik. However the recent discovery of a large 6th century Byzantine church beneath the foundations of the old Romanesque cathedral.
Below the last mentioned is the Ploce Gate (Vrata od Ploca). The eastern city gate was built on the same principle as the western Pile Gate, that is with outer and inner gates, a stone bridge over the moat and a wooden draw- bridge. The outer gate was built in 1450 by Simon della Cava, and the single arched bridge was built in 1449 following the example of the old bridge in front of the Pile Gate. The inner gate and the statue of St. Blaise over it are in the Romanesque style. Another much wider gate was built beside this one during the Austrian occupation in the 19th century. The city harbour was protected by the following fortresses: St. Luke’s (one of the oldest preserved fortresses, built in the 13th century, and an important defensive point in the harbour, until Revelin Fortress was built; up to 1884 it had battlements with consoles like Minceta Fortress), St. Dominic’s (built in 1387 to the south of the Domi- nican church), Ribarnica (“ﬁsh hall”, probably built in the 13th century and demolished in 1853), Kaz- nena tvrdava (“punishment fortress”; built as part of the Rector’s Palace, served as a dungeon, probably also from the 13th century), Knezeva tvrdava (the Rector’s Fortress, part of the Rector’s Palace, mentioned in 1366).
On the site of present day Stradun, there was in the past marshy land which divided Ragusa from Dubrava. The inhabitants drained the marsh and founded a town there. Today, stretching east to west between two city gates, and bounded by two fountains and two bell towers (on the Pile side the bell tower of St. Francis and the Great Onofrio Well, and on the Ploce side by the City bell tower and the Small Well), Stradun is a favourite promenade for both local people and foreign guests. Paved with stones now worn to a shine like parquet flooring, Stradun is Dubrovnik’s “street salon”. It received its present appearance following the great earthquake in 1667 and older pictures of the city show that the palaces before the earthquake did not have their present typical appearance, but that many had arcades like Sponza and were highly decorated. Stradun Palace has much to tell about the way of life and the spirit of the people of old Dubrovnik. On the ground floor there have always been trade or business facilities. The large store room was entered from the side streets. On the ﬁrst floor there is an impressive apartment, and there are some rooms on the second ﬂoor. The kitchen and the other household rooms are in the attic. In front of Sponza Palace, Stradun broadens out into Luia Square which is the community and commercial center of Dubrovnik, and together with Stradun includes all the most important buildings inside the walls. Stradun’s polished pavement was seriously damaged in Serbian bombardments; today, many world associations are engaged on its restoration.