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CITY OF ŠIBENIK

Šibenik is a  charming small town which  has become a top tourist hit in 2020.

When you come in Šibenik prepare yourself for a walk through the old town; there are so many interesting thinghs to see.

The town was first mentioned in documents of 1066, so some attractions are almost a millennium old, But most of them were built during the Venetian rule, from 1412 to 1797. 

No other city in Croatia has two UNESCO listed heritage sites.

Less touristy than many of the neighboring cities on Croatia's Dalmatian Coast, which fronts the Adriatic Sea, the city of Šibenik is the gateway to the Kornati Islands (Crowned islands) and is well worth a stop on its own merit.

If the scenery looks familiar, and you are a fan of Game of Thrones, you'll be pleased to know that the city appeared as a film location in three episodes of Season 5.

Television series aside, the history here is compelling, dating back to the 11th century, and you'll find numerous things to do. The beautifully preserved Old Town is great for wandering and filled with wonderful 15th- and 16th-century architecture.

With a location right on the Adriatic Sea, the weather in Šibenik is wonderful year-round, with mild winters and warm summers.

  • Šibenik's Cathedral of St. James (Katedrala Sv Jakova), now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the Dalmatian Coast's architectural highlights. Started in the early 15th-century, this grand cathedral took more than 100 years to complete under the initial direction of Venetian architect Antonio Dalle, a responsibility later passed to sculptor Juraj Dalmatinac and then to Nikola Firentinac.

During the course of construction, a variety of styles were incorporated, including the Gothic lower level and the Renaissance upper level. One of the most noteworthy features is the exquisite frieze on the outside of the apse with its more than 70 unique faces representing ordinary townsfolk from the 15th-century.

 - The splendid old two-story Šibenik Town Hall (Gradska vijećnica), just across the square from the cathedral, is well worth a visit. Famous for its beautiful large columns, arches, and balustrade, this superb example of Renaissance architecture dates from the middle of the 16th century and was built by well-known architect Michele Sanmicheli. Although largely destroyed during an Allied air raid on Šibenik during WWII, the building was completely rebuilt following the original plans after the war.

- Fortress Barone is located only a few hundred meters away from St. John's fortress. The interesting attraction is a high tech museum with the technology of augmented reality used to provide an experience of the battle of Sibenik that took place in 1647.

The fortress features a coffee bar with affordable prices and a small park for children. There is a panoramic view of the town and St. Anthony's channel.

Educational boards are all around.

 -During the 16th century, Šibenik was one of Europe's best protected cities with no less than five fortresses protecting it. St. John's Fortress is the city's highest fortress, perched atop a hill some 115 meters above the city center. It takes about 10 minutes of huffing and puffing uphill to reach from the old town.

The fortress dates to 1646, when it was constructed to protect Sibenik from Turkish attacks. City residents were so terrified of these invasions that they assisted in the building of the fortress, which was completed in a record six weeks. The views from the top are also stunning.

  • St. Michael's Fortress is another of the five fortresses in Sibenik and the one from which the city was born. Constructed during the Middle Ages, it sits atop a hill in the middle of the old town. From the top, you have fantastic panoramic views across the city and out to the Adriatic Sea. There is also an open-air stage that hosts concerts and other events throughout the year. If you can time your visit with a performance, it is a unique experience.

  • St Anthony's channel connects the town to the Adriatic Sea. The channel boasts exceptional natural beauty. The walking trail, located just near the channel, is a great place for recreationists and bikers. At the end of the trail, there is UNESCO masterpiece of art, Fortress of st Nicholas.

  • Built in the 16th century to defend the port of Šibenik from Turkish attack by sea, St. Nicholas Fortress (Tvrdava Sv. Nikole) is another of the five fortresses in the town and one of only three such forts still in existence in the Mediterranean (the others are in Venice and Malta). The fortress resembles an arrowhead and was built on the site of a former monastery, on a small island off the mainland. It was designed by the leading Venetian architect Hyeronimus di San Michaela and once boasted an impressive arsenal of 32 cannons.

  • Now more than 500 years old, this brick and stone fortress remains relatively well-preserved despite its years and can best be seen as part of an organized tour of the city or by private charter.

  • Just behind Šibenik Cathedral stands the pretty little Church of St. Barbara (Sv. Barbara), home to a small but noteworthy collection of sculptures and paintings dating from the 14th to 18th centuries. Built in the mid-1600s on the site of an earlier building, this single nave church is notable for its unique façade, with its irregular shaped openings, and a 15th-century statue of St. Nicholas by Bonino of Milan. The interior boasts two unique altars: one from the original church, and one that was built later but designed to compliment the first.

  • Another one of the top things to do in town is pay a visit to the Count's Palace, which is just a short stroll from Šibenik Cathedral. The late Renaissance-era Rector's Palace was originally built to serve as the governor's residence during the 16th-century time of Venetian rule.

  • Today, the palace houses the city's Civic Museum (Muzej Grada Sibenika), with its many local archeological artifacts dating from Neolithic to Roman times, including sculptures (some from the 7th century), a coin collection, and other miscellaneous items from the surrounding region.

Visit the town's website to know more about it!

City of Šibenik: Ristorazione
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