A bit of a diamond in the rough, Šibenik is a city that quietly invited us to stroll in a pleasantly-aimless fashion. Situated near Croatia’s stunning Dalmatian Coast and Krka National Park, we didn’t find an abundance of things to do in Šibenik, but that just added to its charm. Instead, our afternoon was filled mingling with locals and a friendly feline, and people watching moments from the window of a cozy café. Children skipped by with a red balloon in hand, or played on the centuries-old lions that guard the town’s famous cathedral which acted as the backdrop for the action. Šibenik is the oldest Croatian town on the eastern side of the Adriatic Sea, whereas other cities along the coast were founded by the Romans, Greeks and Illyrians.
The Cathedral of St. James is Šibenik’s crown jewel, and is considered to be one of the most important Renaissance monuments in all of Croatia. Built entirely from stone, the church also possesses quirky characteristics – most notably the more than 70 faces of adults and children from centuries past. The cathedral was built between 1431 and 1535 marrying both Gothic and Renaissance elements and it demonstrates the exchange of ideas that took place between Northern Italy, Tuscany, and Croatia’s Dalmatia region in the 15th and 16th centuries. It was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2000.
The town has four fortresses including the seaside St. Nicholas Fortress (Tvrđava Sv. Nikole), as well as the Tvrđava Sv. Mihovila (St. Michael’s), Tvrđava Sv. Ivana, and Tvrđava Šubićevac. We ascended the hill to St. Michael’s Fortress, only to find that it was undergoing construction. This allowed us to mingle with a pregnant cat in the neighboring cemetery, while taking in the area’s magnificent views of the sparkling water below.
Photography & text © by Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.