Croatian architecture

Croatia is a wonderful country with a turbulent history that can be explored through the variety of its architecture.

Although Croatia architecture includes immortal works dating from every epoch of the country's history, the most prolific period was the period of Roman urbanization. The Croatian town which is world-renowned for its magnificent Roman architecture is certainly Pula, graced with astonishingly well-preserved Roman Colosseum, the Triumphal Arch of the Sergi and the Temple of Augustus. One more important site is the late Antique Diocletian's Palace, located in Split, a part of "World Heritage". In the vicinity of Split lies the former capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia, known as Salona, which was destroyed by the Slavs and Avars in the 7th c. Here one can admire the impressive ruins of the 2nd-century amphitheatre, which could accommodate 18,000 spectators, public baths, and ancient churches.

Dubrovnik and Trogir are two more Croatian towns included in the World Heritage list due to their unique architecture. The first one, a former capital of a free Croatian state from the 14th to 19th c., has imposing city walls and towers, numberless grand public constructions, such as Divona, the Mint, palaces, and sacred buildings. Its architectural heritage is not less valuable and unique than that of Venice or Amsterdam. The second one, Trogir, has a multitude of Romanesque buildings and an enormous Cathedral, with the most precious Romanesque portal along the Adriatic, created by Master Radovan in the 13th c.

The Euphrasius Basilica in Porec (6th c.) is a piece of architecture also protected by UNESCO due to its uncommon value.

The cathedrals constitute a remarkable and inseparable part of Croatia architecture. The Roman cathedrals in Pula and Split, Romanesque ones in Krk, Senj, Rab, Zadar and Trogir, Gothic one in Korcula and Zagreb, and Renaissance ones in Hvar and Sibenik astound by their grandeur. The cathedral in Sibenik deserves a particular note as it is the only construction in Europe built using the assembly method of pre-carved stone elements, first suggested by Juraj Dalmatinac. Curiously, the Pre-Romanesque Chapel of Holy Cross situated in the ancient town of Nin was classified by the British architect Th. G. Jackson as the smallest Christian cathedral in the world due to its monumental architectural design.

Also worthy of mention are fortresses and castles of Hrvatsko Zagorje, such as the Renaissance fortress and palace Veliki Tabor with pentagonal tower, the majestic Renaissance fortress of Varazdin with two courtyards, a three-winged Baroque castle Zajezda with elaborately decorated vaults inside.

Finally, Croatian architecture would be unimaginable without medieval fortifications and towers of Motovan, medieval streets of Buje, aristocratic palaces and fortifications of Labin.

Thus, it's not just dazzling beaches which make Croatia an alluring destination for thousands of travelers. Architectural heritage is one more reason why visitors arrive here with cameras in hand.

About Croatia