Varoš & Kampo Kaštelo
Zadar Travel Blog› entry 13 of 19 › view all entries
On pre-World War II pictures of Zadar, the city looks very similar to Venice or other italian cities. Zadar has been under italian rule for a long time, and that showed in the architecture. In 1943 it got heavily air-bombed by the allies, a devastation that is something like what happened to Dresden and Vukovar. Eyewitnesses were telling of enourmous destruction, thousands of people got killed. Unlike Dresden or other destroyed historic cities, Zadar wasn't built up according to its old looks. The communistic Yugoslavia didn't want any 'faschist' architecture. I guess, it never crossed their mind that beauty has nothing to do with politics. Or at least it shouldn't. So, Zadar was rebuilt in a 'modern' socialistic design. So, now we got blank socialistic cubic buildings instead of the stone built palazos.
Besides of a few houses and palazos, what remained after the bombing were the far southern part of the peninsula - the "Varoš", and the far northern part - "Kampo Kaštelo", both having a village-feel to them.
The "Varoš" is a cluster of small houses, interlaced with narrow alleys which open up to small squares. Here you'll find a lot of "Cheers"s, cafes that the neighbours use as a second living room :), places where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came …. sorry, got carried away :) ….. There are also small shops, such that still resist the invasion of globalization, shoemakers, little bakeries, fast foods, barbers. How long they'll hold nobody knows. During the morning and evening it's crowded, in the afternoon and on weekends it gets quiet and deserted. Just like being in a village.
The "Kampo Kaštelo" is the same, just that there you won't find any cafes or shops. It's entirely a housing area, a quiet place all the time. What I mostly like there, besides of the tranquil, are the 'altars' attached to house walls. Legend goes one of it is made by a sea captain as a pledge, a thanksgiving for a save return home. Another one is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, created by artist Joso Špralja.