First settlers are considered to be Liburnians who came in 8th century BC. to this territory. Their traces from Neolithic era are still present in the areas of Puntamik and Arbanas. The name Jadera which is associated with water comes from their time which was followed by the Greek and Roman colonization. Romans ruled until the Ostrogoths came and devastated Zadar region around 5th century AD and later in addition Avars broke into area in 6th centuray AD. The era that followed and period of the Byzantine administration brought Zadar prosperity and it became strong naval force In 1069. during the reign of Petar Krešimir IV. Zadar joined the Croatian-Hungarian state and despite the frequent Venetian army intrusions period from 11th to 14th century is the golden age of art and culture in Dalmatia and Zadar.
In 14th century alongside the other Central Dalmatia territory parts because of Hungarian ruler Ladislav the Naples who sold territory for 100 000 golden ducats Zadar was joined to Venice which helped the city in the defence from the Turkish invasion in the east. At the time of Napoleon’s predominance his army defeated Venetians and French have rule over Zadar for a short period. In 1813. Austrians came to power and after the World War I Zadar territory according to Rapallo Treaty is given to Italy who then changed Zadar name to Zara. After World War II Zadar along with the rest of Croatia became a part of Yugoslavia. Only in the last decade of the 20th century after the Croatian War of Independence Zadar became important administrative, cultural and transportation autonomous centre.
In Zadar vicinity there are two National Parks Kornati and Paklenica. The city lies on the coast of north-western parts of Ravni Kotari and Zadar Canal in northern Dalmatia 73km from Šibenik. Islands Ugljan and Pašman are situated opposite to Zadar. 9 km from the town in Zemunik Donji is an international airport.
Waves give energy to this one of a kind Zadar Sea Organ so when the weather is good and sea calm there is neither sound nor melody. This natural and cultural instrument is placed next to the seaside where it can musically accompany the most beautiful sunset in the world as many have said. Alongside this Sear Organ there is another installation - a set of circular stairs that accumulate energy from the sun during the day and transmit it during evening. This installation is appropriately called Greeting to the Sun.
In 16th century Venetians build 5 sources of water and with this helped in defence from Turkish invasion given that the water supplies were at hand and close by. Today these 5 wells decorated ornamentally makes great scenery and walking trail next to the paved park in the vicinity and is popular gathering place for pedestrians.
One of the greatest symbols of Zadar is certainly this church that was built in Romanesque style in round shape tipical for the period of Byzantine influence in Dalmatia. It originated in 9th and was first called the Church of St Trinity. Although the liturgical celebrations are not held in it anymore this church is scene for traditional annual International Festival of Renaissance music – Musical Evenings in St Donat.
In 1543 Venetians built a main entrance to the city in a small harbour Foša that has a shape of a triumphal arch as a passage for vehicles and two secondary arches for pedestrians. At the entrance St Mark’s emblem is still visible and is a symbol of Venetian Republic as well as portrait of main patron saint of Zadar – Kreševan (Chrysogonus) City walls are slightly less the other historical monuments preserved but there are still traces and lots of indications how these walls once marked the largest city fortress in all of the Venetian Republic.
Zadar and the surrounding area consists of places Arbanasi, Borik, Kolovare, Puntamika, Relja, islands Ist, Pag, Dugi otok, Silba, Pašman, etc…
This International music festival that is being held since 1960 is a nice blend of music and wonderful St Donat church ambient and its acoustics. Artists regularly give special attention in their performances to the music of the Middle Ages and early Renaissance and Baroque.
Zadar, justifiably, some call the gates of National Parks due to the unique geographical position and path that literally lead to Paklenica, Krka Falls, Plitvice Lakes, Velebit and Kornati islands. National Park Kornati is made out of special group of uninhabited islands in total 89 of them where one can find rich flora and fauna as well as memorable view in the underwater world or from a lookout famous panoramic sight and its something one can definitely should not miss.
Petar Zoranić (1508-1543/1569) – author of the first novel in Croatian language, his most famous work named Mountains was written in 1536.g.
Vladan Desnica (1905-1967) – although he was a lawyer by profession he published his first literary work shortly before World War II. His most famous work “Ivan Galeb’s Spring” was written in 1957.Vladan Desnica is regarded as one of the best post war authors in Croatian prose.
Natali Dizdar (1984) – Croatian pop singer with great voice features and potential of female vocal.
Ivan Repušić (1978) – until recently he was a director of Opera Theatre in Split. He is acknowledged conductor star and one of the most successful and most awarded young Croatian musicians