9 Historical Landmarks in Zadar: Travel Through Centuries

Excited to embark on a journey through time? Want to discover the hidden gems and historical landmarks in Zadar? The history of this area spans centuries and overflows with landmarks and a unique glimpse into the region’s rich cultural heritage.

Get ready to explore the fascinating stories and little-known facts that bring these sites to life! It’s time for a thrilling adventure to discover some of the most awe-inspiring places.

Step Back into Ancient Roman Times and Hidden Historical Landmarks in Zadar

The Roman Forum in Zadar is the perfect place to start your historical journey. This location was the heart of public life for over two millennia! 

You can admire the preserved pillar and other remains of this once-great forum and imagine what life was like so many centuries ago. 

The forum used to include a basilica, a temple dedicated to the Roman gods, and artisan shops. All this made it one of the largest and most attractive forums on the Adriatic coast.

Zadar forum

The Forum in Zadar

Source: Zadar Tourist Board

See the Majestic City Gates of Zadar’s Land 

By entering Zadar’s land city gates, you may immerse yourself in the city’s fascinating past. When you enter, get ready to be whisked away to a bygone period where the allure of the past permeates the streets and leaves a lasting effect. 

You’ll see awe-inspiring gates with a Venetian influence, capturing the richness and magnificence of the city. The art that radiates majesty, towering columns, finely carved stones, and amazing architectural details leave everyone breathless.

Land Gate in Historical Landmarks in Zadar

Land Gate in Zadar

Source: Zadar Cruise Port

Discover the Fascinating History of Captain’s Tower

The Captain’s Tower is a remarkable archaeological marvel that brings the history of Zadar to life. This pentagonal tower took its place in the charming Five Wells Square.

Venetians built it to fortify the city against Turkish assaults, resulting in a towering and impregnable edifice. 

The tower takes its name from the adjacent residence of the Venetian captain. And today, it has the role of a unique exhibition venue, where visitors can learn more about the city’s rich history and culture.

Captain's Tower

Captain’s Tower in Zadar

Source: Zadar Tourist Board

History of St. Michael’s Fortress on the Island of Ugljan

St. Michael’s Fortress, dating back to the 13th century, stands as a testament to Ugljan’s gorgeous heritage. 

Perched at a staggering height of 265 meters above sea level, the fortress is easily visible from any part of the city. And that’s just one thing that makes it so special!

The whole surrounding fortification is still standing firm despite the harm caused by wars and invasions over time. It’s some kind of window into the past. 

Discover the fortress’s remains and learn about its fascinating past. The rich history was full of battles, triumphs, and the valor of its soldiers. You’ll also see the marks of anguish and suffering that have been inflicted on these walls.


St Michael Fortress. Ugljan island

Source: Zaton Holiday Resort

The Majesty of the Cathedral of St. Anastasia in Zadar

A masterpiece of architecture with a long past that dates to the 12th and 13th centuries is the Cathedral of St. Anastasia. It’s devoted to the venerated Roman Catholic martyr Sirmian. 

The cathedral was built over the ruins of an old structure of a Christian church. Its imposing exterior and regal interior decorations are evidence of the skill and craftsmanship of the Roman builders. Inside, visitors can expect a spacious and awe-inspiring interior, comprising three naves with remnants of frescoes in the side towers.

The architectural composition is one of the most beautiful of its kind in the country, and it continues to inspire visitors from all over the world.

Cathedral of St Anastasia - Historical Landmarks in Zadar

Cathedral of St Anastasia

Source: Zadar Tourist Board

Unlock The Historical Treasures of Nin

Nin, a small town near Zadar, used to be a significant settlement on the Croatian coast and the seat of early Croatian kings. While it may have lost some of its significance over the centuries, you can still learn about its rich past by visiting the Museum of Nin Antiquities and the remains of the Roman Temple. 

And if you venture to Kremenjača Cape near Zaton Holiday Resort during low tide, you’ll discover the remains of a breakwater and ancient walls. For a unique experience, take a short trip in a semi-submarine from the resort to the site and back.



Source: Nin

Explore The Ghost Town of Asseria

Stop by the Asseria site near Benkovac and explore the impressive remains of this once-mighty town. 

Initially, Liburnians settled in this place. And a bit later, Romans developed it with features like thick walls, a forum, and an aqueduct. Unfortunately, the town was left to decay for centuries, but its ruins still tell a story dating back several millennia.

Asseria. Benkovac

Asseria, Benkovac

Source: Wikipedia

Unravel The Mysteries of Vrana

Vrana, located near a beautiful lake in a nature park, used to be an important stronghold and the site of numerous battles until the 17th century. As the first Vatican Embassy in Croatia, it was under the rules of several orders, including the Benedictines, Knights Templar, and St. John. 

Check out the Templars’ estate with hidden treasure, as well as the reconstructed Maškovića han. You’ll also see the remains of the fortress, particularly during the Days of Vrana Knights in August.

Vrana Lake Nature Park

Vrana Lake Nature Park

Source: Zadar Tourist Board

Honor Distinctive Customs at a Sacred “Mirila” Location

Experience the unique customs and lifestyle of people who lived in the harsh mountain terrain of Velebit up to the mid-20th century. 

‘Mirila’ refers to stone monuments with engraved symbols dedicated to the memory of the deceased. These monuments are the resting place for the soul of the dead, even though their body was buried somewhere else.

Moreover, you can go on an interesting hike from Starigrad or Ljubotić village up the mountain and past mirila sites. On this tour, you’ll enjoy a fascinating story and breathtaking views.

Mirila, Historical Landmarks in Zadar


Source: Zadar Region

Time to Discover the Stories Behind Historical Landmarks in Zadar

So, take a trip through Zadar history and awaken your curiosity by exploring the numerous historical sights in this region. Discover the rise and fall of these locations and learn fascinating facts and stories about the past. 

From the Roman Forum to the ghost town of Asseria, there’s plenty to explore and uncover in the historical landmarks in Zadar.

Book your trip to Zadar today for an unforgettable experience and life-lasting memories!

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