Zadar sea organ and other architecture

Zadar Travel Blog

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St Donats, a pre-Romanesque church from the 9th century

We left Sibenik at 8 a.m. with clouds and a very strong winds accompanying us to Zadar.  Zadar is a marvelous city, the ancient capital of the Dalmatia section of Croatia.  It carries traces of all the empires that have passed through it and there were many; Romans, Venetians, Austrians, Germans, Serbians.  The result is a vibrant city with the remains of a Roman forum, a pre-Romanesque church, a late Romanesque church, Venetian decoration on many buildings and a waterfront that has to be visited to be believed.  You can find traces of almost every kind of architecture there.  Best of all the city has an exuberance; I loved this place.

 

Sonia was our guide for Zadar and she was one of the best guides we’ve had for the whole tour.  She pointed out that Zadar is on a river delta and is therefore both a farming and a fishing area, unlike most of the rest on the coastline.  We saw the Roman forum, the church of St. Donatus, an archaeological museum, a Treasury of Clerical art, and St. Anastais.  Then we saw the waterfront and the Sea Organ.  The Sea Organ was designed by Croatian architect Nickola Basic to add interest to a monotonous concrete seawall leftover from the 1950’s.  Reconstruction after WWII damage had turned the waterfront into a vast concrete wasteland.  Nickola Basic’s stroke of genius was to bury 35 pipes, each with a hollow sound chamber, in steps along this seawall.  Sounds are made, just like a giant pipe organ, as the waves roll in.  The sounds are deep, resonant and ever-changing as the speed and direction of the ocean waves change.  It sounds like music from another culture or species and you can almost find a melody, very much like listening to the haunting recording of whales’ songs.  The following link gives you an impression of what the sea organ sounds like:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KnEq0_NYas&NR=1


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St Donats, a pre-Romanesque church…
St Donats, a pre-Romanesque churc…
clouds at sunrise in Sibenik
clouds at sunrise in Sibenik
the Land Gate, built in 1543
the Land Gate, built in 1543
Sonia, our guide to Zadar
Sonia, our guide to Zadar
door handle for a tie shop
door handle for a tie shop
St Anastais, late Romanesque church
St Anastais, late Romanesque church
the sea organ is set into the seaw…
the sea organ is set into the sea…
another view of the only visible p…
another view of the only visible …
even the tour boats are special in…
even the tour boats are special i…
Zadar
photo by: vila