A Guide to the Historical Sites in Croatia

by Dean on February 28, 2015

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Croatia is a country in Europe with a rich history and a recent member of the European Union. There are many fascinating historic sites that stand still as testament to that fact. From pre-historic archaeological finds, to well-preserved Roman remains, from medieval old towns to Venetian palaces and Gothic churches, Croatia has much that will appeal to the history lover.

In terms of the historic urban architecture, perhaps the gems are the old cities of the coast – from Pula on the Istrian peninsula, to Zadar, Split, Sibenik and Dubrovnik to the far south of the country. Many interesting and unique historic sites are also to be found on Croatia’s many islands in the Adriatic.

Pula

Pula is home to some well-preserved Roman buildings, including one of the best preserved amphitheaters in the world. The amphitheater in Pula is not only the best preserved example of its type, it is also the sixth largest example in existence. This, along with the great wealth of medieval hilltop villages in Istria, means that this region is well worth a visit for anyone interested in history.

Pula, Croatia

image source: Croatia Board

Zadar

Zadar is also home to a number of Roman buildings, as well as many representative examples of the Medieval and Venetian periods. But perhaps the most interesting and note-worthy historic sites in Zadar are its churches, including the pre-romanesque St Donatus Church from the 9th Century and St. Anastasia’s Cathedral, the largest in Dalmatia.

Trogir

This historic city has no shortage of sites. This location has a history encompassing over 2300 years of constant occupation and sites can be seen showing the influence of the ancient Greeks, Romans and Venetians. There are a huge number of palaces, churches, towers and other important buildings here dating from a range of time periods. Trogir is one of the most important Romanesque- Gothic Complexes in Europe.

Trojir, Croatia

image source: Orvas Charter

Split and around

The popular tourist city of Split is usually reached by International travelers arriving by plane by taxi transfer from the Split Airport, and is the starting point for many historic tours of this central Dalmatian area. Split itself has a delightful historic core, which centers around the Diocletian’s Palace, a well preserved Roman palace and barracks. There are a number of other Roman sites in the town, as well as Medieval old town and architecture from other eras. Be sure to take a taxi to visit the nearby Roman ruins of Salona. From Split, you can also charter a yacht and take an independent boat trip to explore the historic sites of nearby islands.

Split, Croatia

image source: Airport Transfer Split

Sibinik

Sibenik is not as well known as some of the other cities along the coast, but it does have a pleasant old town with a number of important historical sites, not least of which is the St James Cathedral, the country’s premier Renaissance monument. Here, there are also four fortresses, and a number of other historic attractions. There are also cultural events throughout the year that help shed more light on the history of this fascinating settlement and the local people who live there.

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is perhaps the best known of Croatia’s historic cities. The old town of Dubrovnik is one of the most visited places in the country and has a huge number of extremely important historic sites including the oldest arboretum in the world, and the third oldest pharmacy in Europe. (It is still open today.) There are a lot of churches, a cathedral, palaces, fortresses and well-preserved city walls that give pleasant views over the city. Dubrovnik is another good spot from which to launch a boat expedition of the nearby islands.

Dubrovnik, Croatia
image souce: Foreign Pixel

Islands

On Hvar, off the coast from Split, there are the Plains of Stari Grad, where one can see the remains of the ancient Greek agricultural system. Hvar, as well as many other islands nearby, have historic harbour towns with a number of old buildings to see. Various islands are also home to historic monasteries and churches. The unspoiled islands show clearly the many different civilizations that have swept over these communities and influenced life in this part of the world. Chartering a yacht and sailing between many of them is the best way to get a broader sense of the history of the place.

There are many more historic sites in Croatia – this article has barely scratched the surface. So why not step back in time and come to Croatia to discover the many treasures of the past?

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