One of the most famous sights in Sibenik, St. Nicholas Fortress, and Zadar’s fortified city walls and gates have been confirmed as UNESCO protected World Heritage sites, contributing to eight UNESCO sites in Croatia.
Beech tree forests in Northern Velebit and Paklenica National Parks were named as new world heritage sites, as well.
Once the largest city-fortress in the entire Republic of Venice, Zadar’s city defence walls allowed it to keep more of its independence than most of its neighbouring cities, and meant that it was never captured by the Turks.
Built by Venetians, the city walls have had several entrances knocked through them at more secure points in Zadar’s history. Today, only portions of the walls and eight gates remain.
UNESCO has also included the 16th-century defensive fortress of St Nicholas, located on the isle of Ljuljevac, on the mouth of a narrow sea channel leading towards Sibenik.
The fortress was also built by Venice, to protect Sibenik and nearby Skradin from raids by Ottoman Turks.
The fortress, which almost completely covers the isle, has a specific triangular shape, making it an attractive feature for aerial photos.
Both Zadar and Sibenik have become popular tourist hubs on the Croatian Adriatic coast.
Ivona Grgan, director of the UK Croatia National Tourist Office explained: “According to e-visitor information from January to 10th July this year, Zadar witnessed record numbers of overnight stays from the UK, amounting to 82 per cent rise, while Sibenik continues to attract tourists and marks over 20 per cent increase in comparison to the same period last year.”
Belonging to the Middle-European and Mediterranean cultural and civilization circle and tradition, Croatia’s history is extremely rich with valuable cultural and historical heritage, pointing to the millennium old presence of Croatia in the area.
Image courtesy Velid Jakupovic Gricko