The Sea Organ

Zadar Travel Blog

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My humble attempt to capture a particularity of Zadar: the unique Sea Organ. Sorry, for the bad quality, it is one of my first videos ever. I hope you like it.

This is where my dalmatian spite-gene gets active, and I shout to my fellow Dalmatians "Only WE have the Sea Organ! Suck it up!". And the truth is: ONLY Zadar has this kind of a Sea Organ. I remember someone somewhere mentioning that San Francisco and Sydney have one, too, but nobody pointed us to it when I visited San Francisco, nor was my Sydneyan friend telling me about theirs. So, I guess, the Sea Organ in Zadar IS unique. At any rate, it is amazing and absolutely worth a visit!!!

It's located at the north end of the Riva, and there's actually nothing to see - because it is built into the pavement. What you can see are steps going into the water. In them there are pipes built in, that have one open end to the sea, and holes on top of the pavement.

(photo courtesy of Ivana Klanac-Stern)
As the waves move and the wind blows, sounds come out of the holes, sounding like a pan flute.  And here's a more accurate description by the Zadar Tourist Bord: "(The Sea Organ) can be observed as a differently shaped part of the coast which consists of several stairs that descend into the sea. The stairs extend for about 70 meters along the coast, under them, at the lowest sea-tide level, 35 pipes of different lenght, diameter and tilts were built in vertically to the coast and they raise aslant until the paved part of the shore and end in a canal (a service corridor). On the pipes there are Labiums (whistles), which play 7 chords of 5 tones. Above the canal there are perforated stone stairs through which the sound comes out, the air pushed by the sea.
(photo courtesy of Ivana Klanac-Stern)
". Can't know everything :)

What I also love about this place is how it brought people together. Before the Sea Organ was built, the north end of the Riva was dark and too far away - few would bother to walk all the way up there. There's also the border crossing, so it was a really unattractive spot. Since the Sea Organ is there, the whole area has been made up beautifully with a little park and places to sit. The border crossing is still there, and so is the cruiseship quay. About that: when a cruiser is anchored, don't bother coming - the cruiser's engine oversounds the Sea Organ. Too bad for the passengers.  Otherwise, you'll barely find yourself alone there, there's always people walking, sitting, reading, playing chess, taking photos, talking, laughing, there are children playing. The Sea Organ's song combined with the sunset makes your skin crinkle and want to sing out loud Satchmo's "What a wonderful world!" …. okay, not really, but that's just me :) 

My most memorable Sea-Organ-moment is one of my birthdays when my friends and I ended up there sometime in the night, us and a couple of students with a guitar being the only living creatures there. The warm summer night, the lights from across the islands, and us and the Sea Organ taking turns singing - unforgettable!

almond72 says:
The sounds in the video are much livelier than when I visited. Maybe the sun was too hot and the organ got tired. :D
Posted on: Jun 14, 2015
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