While other towns started their existence as the villages of old Illyrians, as the Greek colonies or Roman urban agglomeration, the existence of Sibenik is linked to the arrival of Croats on the Adriatic area at some point in the 9th or 10th century. Sibenik started its existence as a tribal fortification - castrum, built for the purpose of control and the defence of entrance to Sibenik bay and Krka canyon, which could easily be used to sail to Skradin. Sibenik is mentioned for the first time in the document of Croatian king Petar Kresimir IV, signed and firmed "in Sibinquo" 25th of December 1066. After hundred years of request, Boniface VIII gave the Bull to Sibenik, with which it got the status of free town and foundation of Sibenik diocese.
Sibenik's area is known for the best smoked hams ripened in the South Dalmatia. The most appreciated smoked hams are from Miljevci, Drnis and Pakovo Selo. It is eaten in thin slices, especially with cheese and olives. The wine is drunk with smoked ham. Fish stew (in Sibenik it is called brudet) is one of the oldest and most favourable Dalmatian food specialties. For preparing a four people dinner you need 1,6 kilograms of mixed fish (grouper, conger eel, weever, shrimp), 2,5 decagrams of red onion 1,50 decilitres of olive oil, 20 decagrams of tomatoes, 0,40 litres of white wine, salt and bay leaf. Red onions are cleaned, cut into small half-moons, the oil is added and it is fried until it gets a colour of old gold. The washed fish is also cut in small pieces, put into a vessel, the wine and water are poured over it. Then tomatoes are added, along with bay leaf and salt. It is all boiled on the strong fire until it boils. With gradual lessening of heat, it is cooked around 40 minutes.
Although this aspect of tourist offer is still in its beginning and mostly organized individually by sport enthusiasts, the Sibenik-Knin County can boast with the offer, and even more with the natural preconditions for the development of extreme sports. Lately, several cyclic paths have been arranged and in Vodice on the hill Okit there is a track for mountain-biking. The major tourist centres have already had the usual entertaining fun parks, jet skies and sailing schools, while their concessionaries often offer Parasailing. Jezera has become the destination for international competitions in Big Game Fishing. The fans of this sport will make the guests participate in tuna fishing in specially equipped boats. In the hinterland of Vodice, Paintball has been organized, while from Krapanj Island comes our world recorder in Free Diving - Kristijan Curavic, while numerous diving centres will offer an occasion for underwater sport. The fans of Climbing and Speleo sports are not left out, but for practicing these sports they will have to consult hiking clubs.
World famous International Children Festival is held at the end of June and at the beginning of July. Sibenik's cultural summer is held from the middle of July till the end of August. Veceri dalmatinske sansone are on the programme at the end of August, while Veceri sibenske klapske pjesme are also organized at the end of August. In the same month, in Sibenik there is also organized Summer organ school, in Tisno Igre na korentu, in Tribunj Donkey race, in Betina Dan brganja, in Jezera Ribarska noc, in Primosten Primostenske uzance, while in Vodice a big Vodicka festa. From all pilgrimages we can mention Chapel's Lady in Rogoznica on the 2nd July, Raselj Lady in Zlarin on the 8th July, Gospa od Karmela in Vodice and Pirovac on the 16th July, while the Feast of Assumption is celebrated in Vrpolje, Jezera and Tribunj on the 15th August. Sibenik celebrates its Saint patron, Feast of Saint Michael on the 29th September.
It is a triple nave basilica with dimensions 38x14 meters and the highest quota of 38 meters in the cupola top. It was consecrated in 1555 it is the only edifice in Europe made by the installation technique, specific for the architecture of the 19th and 20th centaury, that is to the time of concrete and iron constitution. In Sibenik's Cathedral there are graves of Sibenik's bishops - Juraj Sizgoric, Ivan Stafilic, Ivan Dominik Callegari, Luka Spingarola, Ciril Banic and Srecko Badurina. Sibenik's Cathedral and the main town nucleus were inserted on the list of World heritage of UNESCO on the 30th of November 2000.
Mussels in Sibenik local waters, especially in the estuary of the river Krka grow three to five times faster than anywhere else in the world, so it is considered a specific biological miracle of Mediterranean. The shell mussel is a common food on Sibenik menu and Sibenik caterers know how to make more than 140 different mussel food. They are most often prepared as stewed savoury mussels, while mussel risotto is also very known food. Sibenik caterers will often offer you grilled mussels, mussel paté, soup, salad, as well as the bread and cookies made of mussels. The gourmand specialty is also a date shell, shell that lives in a rock. During their lives, date shells eat out the rock and make cylindrical tunnels in it. Due to the danger of its extinction, the catch of date shells is law prohibited in Croatia.
In that time Turkish pasha Tekelija besieged the town with 20 thousand soldiers and with storms on the Fortress of Saint Joseph tried to break down the defence of Sibenik. Defeated, on the 16th September he gave up the siege of the town and withdrew toward Drnis. He lost no less than 4000 soldiers. Around 4000 mercenaries, 500 of them pontifical, then 2000 natives, 50 light horsemen, soldiers on two galleys and a warship whose commander was Ivan Miagostovic from Sibenik, and 2000 inhabitants, women and children included defended Sibenik. The commander of the defence of the Fortress of Saint Joseph and Sibenik was General Kristof Martin Degenfeld, German army leader in Venetian service.
Around a thousand passengers sailed in Sibenik, around six hundred passengers and three hundred crew members. It happened recently on the 12th October 2004 and the ship spent the whole day in Sibenik port. The ship was sailed in through the Sibenik's Channel of Saint Ante (Anthony, 120 to 300 meters wide and for this kind of colossus rather complicated) by the ship's captain, an Italian from Sicily, with the commands of Sibenik's harbour pilot. The ship sailed in and was put ashore by its own propulsion, which is a rather complicated manoeuvre, taking into consideration sailing in through the Channel of Saint Ante and the port itself, and also captain's bridge on the prow. "Delphin Renaissance" is 181 meters long, 26 meters wide, and above the sea line 40 meters high, the capacity of 30.277 BRT, which is around 25 thousand tons more from the largest passenger ship that has ever sailed in Sibenik. If compared with the largest merchant ship that has so far sailed in Sibenik (it was "Vladimir Vaslajev"), Vaslajev is 227 meters, and the capacity of 32.264 tons.
On the territory of Croatia there are two GSM operators - VIPnet (dialling code 091) and Cronet (098). Both operators can offer the parcels of different services with single telephone cards. The roaming service is also offered. Related to the fixed telephone network, the only operator is the company T-Com. For calling outside Croatia, you need to use dialling code 00, while for phoning from automatic telephone boxes you need chip cards that can be bought in the post offices or at the news-stands. You can also call from boxes placed in the post offices. They are recognizable for the yellow sign with blue logo HP. The offices offer the services of sending telegrams and faxes. The letters and postcards can be sent by post offices or can be put in letter boxes with clearly marked sign of "Hrvatske poste". The letter boxes are mostly placed near the post offices or in the places' centres.