Among the few cities in the world, Šibenik boasts as many as two monuments included on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the Cathedral of St. James and St. Nicholas’ Fortress. The most impressive parts of the Cathedral are the roof and the dome which, like all other parts of the cathedral, were built exclusively in stone, without binder material, which makes it unique and represents an exceptional treasure of cultural heritage.
The construction of the Cathedral began in the first half of the 15th century and lasted intermittently for 105 years. Ten years after its start, the construction process is taken over by the famous architect and sculptor, Juraj Dalmatinac. The heads on the apses of the Cathedral are considered a masterpiece of his work, and of Croatian sculpture in general. Attempts are still being made to figure out whether there are statesmen of the time or historical figures among these portraits, or just ordinary people, Juraj’s fellow citizens and passers-by.
Furthermore, Šibenik boasts three imposing fortresses, St. John’s Fortress, St. Michael’s Fortress and Barone Fortress. In the middle of the sea, at the entrance to the Channel of St. Anthony, stands St. Nicholas’ Fortress, an outstanding monument of world architectural heritage, a Renaissance building of Venetian architecture. Both monuments under UNESCO protection, the Cathedral of St. James and St Nicholas’ Fortress, together with St. John’s Fortress, served as filming locations in the fifth season of the Game of Thrones hit series.
A walk under arched passages through the streets of Šibenik that lead to sights from all periods of its history becomes a walk through history and an experience of the abundance of monumental treasures. The cultural heritage consists of numerous Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, such as St. Chrysogonus, St. Barbara, Church of the Holy Spirit, New Church, Church of St. Nicholas, St. Elizabeth, St. Gregory, St. Dominic and St. Lawrence. Reliefs of the Gothic-Renaissance Church of St. John are masterpieces of Dalmatian medieval architecture.
The monastery next to the Church of St. Francis is home to a significant part of the monumental heritage of the city. The cultural and historical artistic valuables have been collected here for centuries. The library of the monastery preserves the Šibenik Prayer (Šibenska Molitva), one of the oldest Croatian linguistic and literary works, written in Latin script in the second half of the 14th century.
Beauty of the city and its surroundings
As many as two national parks, Krka and Kornati, are part of the Šibenik-Knin County. Their natural beauty attracts visitors from all over the world. Skradinski buk is a special attraction of the Krka National Park, its longest travertine barrier and one of the most famous natural beauties of Croatia, while the uninhabited, untouched nature, wilderness and exceptional beauty of the Kornati archipelago delight with magnificent scenes and an atmosphere of peace.
Among the beautiful islands of the Šibenik archipelago, Prvić, Zlarin and Krapanj stand out. Two typical Dalmatian fishing villages on the island of Prvić are protected as cultural heritage by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia. The island is also known for one of the greatest Croatian scientists, Faust Vrančić, who has spent his childhood on Prvić, which is why it is often called Faust’s Island. Zlarin is known as a coral island, where the tradition of hand-crafting this precious jewellery has been preserved to this day. Krapanj is the smallest inhabited Croatian island, and due to the traditional processing of sponges, which the inhabitants of the island have been doing since the 18th century, the island is also known as the island of sponges.
Food lovers are always happy to return to Šibenik because of its high-quality gastronomic offer of local specialties, while younger visitors are attracted by entertainment in numerous nightclubs.
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