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Zadar: Enjoy the sound of the sea organ and the most beautiful sunset in the world…

Curiosities:

According to Alfred Hitchcock Zadar is the town with the most beautiful sunset in the world

Long ago, in 1964, Alfred Hitchcock honored Zadar with the attribute of having the most beautiful sunset in the world. Watching it from the window of the room 203 of the then hotel “Zagreb”, he wrote: “The Zadar sunset is the most attractive  in the world and incomparably more beautiful than the one at Key West in Florida.” The famous director’s statement has been confirmed by many visitors to the town, who have also discovered many other interesting things that make it so special and attractive. If you are exploring the streets of Zadar, you can come across the great director’s portrait on the town quay, as a witness that he used to wander along the same streets.It is the work of the well-known Zadar photoghapher Ante Brkan, and is considered to be one of Hitchock’s best portraits.

How do Zadar inhabitants greet the Sun?

The world-famous urban installation “Greeting the Sun”, an imaginative work joining a human idea and the energy of Nature, has been installed at the very edge of the peninsula, next to the widely known Sea Organ . The installation consists of 300 multi-layered glass panels set up in the same level with the stone pavement of the quay, in a form of a circle 22 meters in diameter. Under the glass panels there are photovoltage solar modules to enable the communication with Nature, with light. Simultaneously, when there begins the most beautiful sunset in the world, it starts the lighting system in the circle, producing gorgeous light play in the rhythm of the waves and sounds produced by the Sea Organ. The names and figures inscribed in the ring surrounding the installation “Greeting the Sun” are a part of St.Krševan’s calendar, written in Zadar and discovered in Bodleian Library in Oxford. The calendar,dating back to 1292 is among the oldest documents of that kind in the world and possibly the first one in which the astronomic data were written in Arabic figures. Besides the calendar part with the holidays and names of saints, there is also the astronomic part with the co-ordinates of the celestial bodies.

Unique Sea Organ

The Sea Organ, a must-to-see of Zadar and its quay, is a place for relaxation and reflection, accompanied by the continuous concert of the mystical tones of Nature’s orchestra. The Organ is recognizable by its cascade profile. The stone steps are some 70 meters long,divided into seven ten-meter-long parts, under which 35 tubes of different length, diameter and inclination have been installed. The air pressed by a wave flows from the wider profile to the narrower one in order to get acceleration and produce sounds in the pipes installed under the waterside promenade, in which there are holes to let sounds stream out into the air. As the sea energy is unpredictable, so are the sounds of the concert of the Sea Organ, unrepeatable in its numerous music variations.

…both Hitchcock and Napoleon used to drink Marascino!

It is hard to imagine visiting Zadar without having at least a sip of Marascino, that will  catch the fancy even of those that do not like alcohol. They will certainly ask for another glass! We should trust Casanova,Napoleon, Balzac, Hitchcock, the British king George IV the Russian emperor Nikolai and many others who were making history while drinking  it with enjoyment. Therefore, taste it and join a whole set of eminent people, be a part of that elite and history!Marascino –an elite drink, an originally Zadar liqueur recognized all over the world by its bitter-sweet taste and aromatic flavour, made of the ripe fruits of the Dalmatian sour-cherry marasca and the new leaves from its spring branches. The liqueur formula was first written down in the 16th cent., but in the 18th cent., on its way to the wide world, the drink was gladly accepted at all the European courts and later on in America,Canada, Australia…In 1999  The Croatian Tourist Association listed the traditionally wicker-covered Marascino bottle among the authentic Croatian souvenirs. Besides, it is on the list of the protocol of the Holy See.

The basketball legend and Krešimir Ćosić (1948-1995)

The official basketball association was founded in 1930, and the Zadar Basketball Club in 1945. The golden years of basketball in Zadar are connected with the name of legendary Krešimir Ćosić, a world-famous player and coach. He grew up in Zadar and started his career there. Besides winning all that could be won in amateur basketball, he left an indelible imprint on the American university basketball. He will always be remembered for his elegant play and excellent technque, rather unusual for a player of his height (212cm). He was one of the first world players of such a height to be able to play at any position.Besides, he charmed everyone by his goodness and heartiness and was both a sport and personal ideal to many admirers.In 1996 he entered the prestigious Hall of Fame, as the third non-American , together with another legendary Croatian basketball player Dražen Petrović. In his honour, in front of the new basketball sports hall in Zadar named after him, there was erected his life-size statue presenting him in the course of the game.

“God made a man, Zadar made basketball” is a familiar saying confirming the sports spirit and love of basketball that all the Zadar fans have shared so far.

Barkajoli (boat-ride men) – Zadar’s gondoliers

What gondoliers mean to Venice, barkajoli mean to Zadar (lat.barcatores) They still exist today,just as in the old days, witnessing the long-lasting tradition deeply rooted in this town. The tradition of the Zadar barkajoli goes as far back as the 14th cent. Rowing their small boats in any weather they have connected the two parts of the town for over 700 years. In that way they help their riders save their time. Otherwise, in order to reach the other side of the peninsula they would have to walk a long way along the quay and Zadar bridge.Many of them live on one side of the town and work on the other, so they have to commute daily, and it is easy to imagine how helpful the barkajoli are for them.

Generally about the town:

Zadar is a town of a thousand-year-old history and valuable cultural heritage. Situated in the heart of the Adriatic coast, Zadar is the urban center of North Dalmatia, a cultural, political, economic and tourist seat of the regiono of some 75000 inhabitants. Interesting and enchanting to everybody: to lovers of monuments and cultural heritage, to artists, to nature lovers, to tourists in search of recreation and good fun, to lovers of delicious foods and drinks, to students… As a town-monument with its old part on the peninsula , surrounded by historical town walls, Zadar represents a real treasury of archeological and monumental riches, as a witness of different cultures and times. With its surroundings, Zadar is a favourite destination of the boaters due to the well-indented coastline and the islands as well as to untouched nature (Nature Parks and National Parks ). No wonder that Zadar and its surroundings belong to the very top of the Croatian tourist offer.

What to visit?

  • St. Donat’s Church – a unique piece of architecture in Europe, built in the 9th cent, the best-known monument in the town and its symbol.
  • Forum – the Forum in Zadar is the best explored one on the eastern Adriatic coast. It was built by the first Roman emperor August, in the 1st cent.B.C. The inscriptions carved in stone are there to witness it.
  • St.Stošija’s Cathedral – a beautiful piece of Romanic architecture in Croatian historical heritage. It is said to be the most beautiful old church in Dalmatia. In 1893 Sir Thomas Graham Jackson,the builder working on Oxford university buildings and other British colleges, a well-known restorer and explore of history of architecture, was engaged on the final works on St.Stošija’s tower.
  • St. Krševan’s Church –  another beautiful example of Romanic architecture built in the 12th cent., the spire from the 15th cent.
  • Kalelarga  – the main street, in Italian meaning “The Broad Street”, a meeting-place of the people in Zadar. There you can have a walk, or enjoy your morning coffee, watching the people passing by or do your shopping in one of the small tastefully decorated shops.

Something more about the town:

  • Zadar is the first town in Croatia to have the University, established in 1396.
  • In 1536 the first Croatian novel “Planine” (The Mountains) by Petar Zoranić was published in Zadar
  • The first Croatian newspaper was printed in Zadar in 1806
  • The Zadar seal is the oldest town seal in Croatia and dates from the end of the 12th cent.
  • Georg Ludwig Ritter von Trapp, the head od the well-known Austrian singing family von Trapp, immortalized in the musical “My Songs, My Dreams” was born in Zadar.
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