The oldest Croatian town on the Adriatic which is unique because of its extraordinary location in a picturesque and wide bay at the mouth of the River Krka. It lies on the slopes of the hills in the northern part of the bay, surrounded by three fortresses: St.Michael's, St.John's and Subicevac. In the old part of the town the houses are made of stone and closely built and the streets are narrow and winding with lots of steps and vaults. Little squares and numerous cultural and historical monuments testify the rich history of the town.
It was first mentioned in 1066 in a document issued by the Croatian king Petar Kresimir IV that's why it is sometimes mentioned as Kresimir's town. From the 12th ct. to the 15th ct. the town successfully resisted the repeated attacks of the Venetians but when in 1409 the King Ladislav of Neaples sold Dalmatia to the Venetians, Sibenik
had to subdue.
In 1431 the foundations of St.Jacob's cathedral - by many things unique not only among the Croatian but in the European religious monuments too, were laid. It is not known who draw the blueprint of the cathedral. After the master Bonino from Milan, Juraj Matejev Dalmatinac takes over his work but his surname is not noted anywhere. With his lively personality he introduced new forms and decorations that embellished the structure. He builds the baptistry, sacristy, Peter's and Paul's figures, angels, two boys holding the inscription mentioning the building of the cathedral, numerous decorations and a line of 34 lion's heads and 71 human heads. Each head is different because master Juraj wanted to immortalize the people of his time who came to Sibenik
from everywhere. Unfortuantely, Juraj did not finish his masterpiece. On the cathedral's square a monument, a sculpure by famous Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic, was erected in his memory by the people of Sibenik
. Nicholas from Florence continues the works designing the interior. The works were completed in 1536 and it was consacrated in 1555. It is entirely built of stone and marble and is still attractive to thousands of visitors.
From the end of the 15th ct. on, the Turks threatened very often, they even came under the town walls but they never entered it. For better protection from the sea front, in the 16th ct., at the entrance of St.Anthony's channel a fortress of St.Nicholas was built. When the Venetian Republic ceased its reign in 1797, Sibenik
becomes a part of the Austrian Empire.
At the beginning of the 19th ct. Sibenik
was a small coastal town. In the nearby fertile valleys numerous farmers grew wine grapes in their own vineyards or in the vineyards belonging to the Church or to the noblemen. As a distinctive feature they wore small red caps embroidered in black thread. Till the beginning of the World War I, the theatre, comprehensive school, hospital, railway station, waterworks, power station, and small shipyard were built. The biggest farming community on the Adriatic becomes the industrial and maritime centre of this area. The World War II, the Italian and the German occupation cause great human and material losses but when the War was over the town developed quickly. After the fall of Communism and regaining of Croatian independency, on September 16, 1991 Sibenik
was heavily attacked from the air, sea and land by the Yugoslav army. In spite of being insufficiently armed, the Croatian people and its army, stopped the enemy and in August, by brilliant operation called "Storm", defeated the Serbian occupators and liberated the teritory of the present Sibenik
-Knin County and proceeded to liberate the rest of the Croatian teritory. Thus were the foundations for post-war development laid.
Besides the industry, commerce and traffic, the economy of Sibenik
is significantly shaped by tourism. The sea, the biggest asset of this region, the Mediterranean climate, a picturesque coast with numerous islands, National Parks of Krka
River and Kornati
Islands have extraordinary tourist potential. Owing to the uniquely indented coastline a quality nautical tourism developed. Numerous marinas, of which we will mention only few ones: Hramina in Murter
, Frapa in Rogoznica
, ACI in Vodice
, Kremik in Primosten
can hold up to hundreds and thousands of smaller and bigger boats, yachts and sailing boats. The most important connection by road is the Adriatic tourist road from which the roads to Drnis
and further on towards the hinterland depart. The railway connects Sibenik
to Zagreb and Split and the air traffic operates through Split and Zadar airports. The town itself can accommodate its guests in only one hotel but the nearby Solaris hotel complex can accommodate a large number of guests. Besides the hotel rooms in Solaris you can find bungalows, camp site, small harbour and various sports equipment for the entertainment on the land and sea. Numerous restaurants and daily held cultural programmes among which the International Childrens' Festival and the Musical evenings of the Dalmatian songs, will add flavour to the tourist offer. Besides the fortresses, walls, towers and town gates, many other monuments are preserved. But to make your visit to Sibenik
even more interesting, we shall let you discover everything by yourself and enjoy the harmony of the sun, sea and stone.