by Romeo Demes
Coastal towns and cities usually have a way of encompassing experiences of land life and sea life, a reason as to why most of them attract massive tourism. Sibenik is not an exception to this and even better is the fact that it is located where the Krka River flows into the Adriatic. Beauty and originality are the perfect terms to describe this town. Unlike other coastal towns in Croatia that were founded by Illyrians, Romans and Greeks, Sibenik was built by the native Croats hence considered the oldest native Croatian town. This land is home to the most ancient Croatian history as proven by the various cultural, religious and historical monuments. Sibenik often makes the most ideal destination for historians, explorers and people interested in cultural and religious findings. Here are some of the best sacred and historic sites in Sibenik, Croatia.
1. Cathedral of St. James
Completed between 1431 and 1536, this stone architectural masterpiece by Juraj Dalmatinac is listed as a UNESCO Heritage site. Otherwise known as the Cathedral of St. Jacob, this religious monument exhibits both Gothic and Renaissance styles. This cathedral holds a special place in Croatia’s history as it was once destroyed and then repaired in 1991 when Sibenik was shelled by Serbian forces. When you visit, you need to have a look at the baptistry, the 71 realistic sculptural portraits, the pentacle on the baptismal and the high altar. This cathedral is dedicated to St. James, the Greater and is both a religious and architectural monument.
2. The Sibenik Fortifications
Even during the ancient times, security was a matter of great concern in Sibenik Town. Originally, Sibenik was protected by a simple natural bay but due to security concerns, it was strengthened by raising 4 fortresses; the St. Nicholas Fortress, located at the entrance of Sibenik’s port, the Tvr?ava Sv. Mihovila, the Tvr?ava Sv. Ivana and the Tvr?ava Šubi?evac, built in the 16th, 15th-18th, 17th and 17th centuries respectively. These fortresses have been preserved in the best way possible and still stand strong, defying the passing of time, a great proof of the greatness of ancient Sibenik. It absolutely makes the most attractive site for art and history lovers.
3. City hall. (16 st)
The Renaissance town hall, built in the 16th century, is located on the main square found in the center of Sibenik. Also included on the main square are 4 water tanks built in the 15th century. This hall shares so much of Croatia’s history and it has since been converted into a museum which exhibits Sibenik’s and Croatia’s religious and cultural practices and also its deep history. It is actually the perfect place to visit if you are interested in knowing the deep seated history behind the existence of Croatia and Sibenik.
4. Churches and monasteries
Judging by the numerous churches and monasteries it hosts, Sibenik must have been Croatia’s main religious center. When visiting this town, you can never run out of religious inspiration as it has at least 24 churches and 10 monasteries. These include the St. Barbara’s Church which is the present day Sacral Museum, the St. Gregory’s Church which acts as a gallery for Juraj Dalmatinac’s artworks, the St. Krsevan which was turned into a gallery, the St. Catherine which is presently a residential area, the All-Saints which was the first museum(1925) and the St. Michael’s Church. The St. Lawrence’s Church and Monastery, the St. Francis Church and Monastery, the St. Dominic’s Church, the St. Gregory’s Church and the Holy Cross Church are also some of the churches and monasteries you have to visit in Sibenik.
Apart from being an educational, economic, political, transport and tourist hub, Sibenik also holds the position of a religious and historic heritage. It has so many historical and religious centers hence considered as Croatia’s religious center. In addition to these, the hospitality of this town’s residents is to be applauded as it not only helps to attract tourists but it also strives to keep them visiting again and again. Actually, this is the only place in the world where a visitor is never a stranger
Useful resources for visitors:
Article writen by Romeo Demes from Traveling Pride. This is his second contribution to NewAgeTravel, in case you missed his first article about fascinating sacred sites in the famous Dubrovnik, you can check it out here.