Earth : Europe : Balkans : Croatia : Dalmatia : Šibenik
Šibenik is a city (pop. ~37,000) in Croatia, in north Dalmatia, in Šibenik-Knin County. It's most famous for its Saint James Cathedral, which is on UNESCO World heritage list. Trademark of the city is the traditional šibenik hat, coloured orange and black, as well as city's colours are. The inventor of parachute and the first man to use it, Faust Vrancic, was born here and lived here throughout 16th and 17th century. Famous basketball player Dražen Petrović, as well as Maksim Mrvica, a piano player, were born here.
Everywhere in the city is within walking distance. From bus station to the old city centre it takes only five minutes to walk. You can get to all sights on foot, and the furthest are within half an hour walk. If you come by car, there's a large parking place on the very central square Poljana, as well as there is one with 700 spots when you enter the town northbound. If you want to go to the outskirts of the city (for instance to the Dalmare shopping centre), you can take a public bus. Bus transport in Šibenik is operated by one public and three private companies.
Šibenik was mentioned for the first time under its present name in 1066 in a Charter of the Croatian King Petar Krešimir IV. For a period of time, it was a seat of the Croatian King. For that reason, Šibenik is also called "Krešimirov grad" (Krešimir's city). It is the oldest native Croatian town on the eastern shores of the Adriatic sea. You can see the statue of King Petar Krešimir IV between the park and the beginning of the promenade along the sea. Šibenik was for almost 300 years under Venetian rule, and then in Austro-Hungary, Yugoslavia and finally, Croatia. It was a very important town in Venetian-Turkish wars and it was a frontier of the western civilization an Christianity. This period left Šibenik with four beautiful fortresses: St. Michael, St. John, Šubićaevac and St. Nicholas. Old part of the town, full of churches, old noblemen palaces and typical dalmatian stone houses centuries old is very interesting. Town walls are also well preserved. One og the most interesting sights is medieval monastery garden. Famous Croatian basketball player Drazen Petrovic was born in Sibenik.
is the main sight. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Its building had started in 1431, and it was finished in 1536 due to Turkish wars. Several successive architects built it completely in stone in the 15th and 16th centuries, both in Gothic and in Renaissance style. The interlocking stone slabs of the Cathedral's roof were damaged when the city was shelled by Serbian forces in 1991. The damage has since been repaired. It has a beautiful baptistery worth seeing it, and the curiosity is it has been built with stone only, without any kind of binder. Another one is 72 human heads carved in stone on the external part which belong to unknown individuals, passers-by, sailors, merchants and peasants who posed as the cathedral was being built. Statues of Adam and Eve are also curious; Adam is covering his breasts, and Eve is covering not her breasts, but her stomach.
"Bunari" or, literally, "wells", is a complex of water reservoirs, built in 15th century for city's water supply. They are now dry and decorated as a museum/gallery and a cafe. It has 7 sections: (Šibenik's treaure, food and drink, ship wrecks around Šibenik, persons from the past...). Concerts, stand-up comedy shows etc. often take place at the cafe. Very interesting spot.
Extremely rare medieval monastery garden, restaurated in 2007 by Dragutin Kiš, who won a millenium Flora award in Japan in 2000. Won the first prize at school gardens contest in Croatia. It contains various plants, especially those used in pharmacy and as spices. It has a quiet cafe, where you can quietly enjoy the view to the Šibenik's old part and the sea, the atmosphere and the odor.
If you are in Šibenik, and looking for place to eat. Kike Pizzeria is worth a visit. (located in the ancient part of the city.)
Unfortunately, and surprisingly as well, private accommodation in Sibenik is not as popular as it is in the other cities of Croatia. Few are willing to open their houses to the travellers and no or only a few "sobe-room" signs can be seen at the doors. Eva's home however, which is located in the upper part of the old city, is an alternative with a clean room and good price. Zadarska 37, ask assistance to locate.
Also,there is a hostel Indigo located in the old part of the city.