If you take a bird’s-eye view of the city of Sibenik, the photo will show arrays of tiled roofs interspersed with green trees, located on the shores of the sea bay at the confluence of the Krka River.
In 1412, like the whole of Dalmatia, the city came under the rule of Venice. Throughout the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries it was constantly besieged by the Turks, but was never taken. The buildings of the Venetian and Habsburg periods on the embankment are adjacent to modern high-rise buildings that have only grown due to the tourist boom.
The central square is the heart of the old city, the center of public and social life of Sibenik and has been right from the Middle Ages and the battlefield in 1378 during the siege of the Venetians. On the square is the city hall, several interesting historical buildings and the Cathedral of St. Jacob.
Cathedral of St. Jacob
The main feature of St. Jacob’s Cathedral is that it was entirely built using stone blocks, without the use of bricks, wooden or metal ceilings. This 32-meter building stands out with intertwined features of the architectural styles of Gothic and Renaissance. Many sculptures, stone ornaments and paintings adorn its walls, immersing visitors in the mysterious atmosphere of the Middle Ages.
The combination of Gothic and Renaissance culture makes this cathedral the greatest work of art. The close connection between Tuscany, northern Italy and Dalmatia is embodied in the masterpieces of monumental art that generously adorned the walls of the Cathedral of St. James. More than 70 stone portraits of contemporaries of the Dalmatians are located on the outer frieze, the facades are decorated with images of saints as well as Adam and Eve.
City Hall of Sibenik
On the Cathedral Square opposite The Cathedral of St James, there is another attraction of Sibenik – an old building of the city hall. Built in the middle of the sixteenth century, the two-story building is made in the Renaissance style.
The facade of the city hall is a terrace with columns and arches – a characteristic detail of ancient architecture that protects the premises from the hot southern sun. Openwork fencing of the terrace of the second floor is decorated with lion heads and floral ornaments.
Two stone staircases leading to the second floor were added to the sides of the facade 200 years after the construction of the building. In 1943, this landmark of Sibenik was damaged by bombing and in the post-war period was restored to its original form.
Now the city hall has lost its purpose, government offices and the meeting room have been converted into a marriage registration room and restaurant.
The Church of Saint Barbara
The modest stone face of the church is decorated with unusual antique clocks with a dial divided into 24 hour sectors, and a bas-relief depicting an old coat of arms. The front of the building is crowned with an open belfry housing three bells. The main thing that this church is famous for is the art museum located within its walls.
In the Church of Saint Barbarians can get into the museum, where a rich collection of church art is exhibited: icons, murals, canvases, sculptures, stone and wood carvings and more.
Channel-Harbor is a favorite place for locals and tourists alike to go on leisurely walks. It offers a magnificent view of the sea with numerous coastal islands, the old city towering above the harbor, the majestic Cathedral of St. James, the port water area with ships, yachts and boats. It is especially beautiful here at sunset, when the sun hides behind the sea horizon, illuminating Sibenik with sunset rays, the photos taken at these moments are especially beautiful.
Beaches of Sibenik
Sibenik is home to many popular and beautiful beaches. Sibenik Banj city beach is one of the most beautiful in Croatia. It is unique already in that, being in the city limits, it surprises with its extraordinary purity. For the exemplary state of the coastal part and the crystalline transparency of sea water, Banj Beach is marked with the international Blue Flag.
Tourists can also visit the gorgeous Solaris beaches. Visitors are welcome to camp on this stunning beach which is located eight kilometers from the town of Sibenik, Solaris beaches are some of the best sandy beaches in the country.
Terraneo beach is just six kilometers from the center of Sibenik and is best known for being located next to the venue of one of the best annual music festivals in Europe, which has the same name. Every July, musicians from all over Europe come to the Terranea festival, in the open air there is a real celebration of live music.
Vinotheque Vina Rak in Sibenik
Not far from Sibenik is the village of Rakovo Selo, which is widely known due to the winery there. The owners of this family owned company offer excursions into the vineyards, factory and wine cellars with wine tasting and sales.
It is advisable to allocate at least two hours to visit the Vina Rak winery. During this time, you can visit the vineyard, the garden with olive and fig trees, visit the wine bottling workshop and the wine cellars. A guided tour ends with a wine tasting, the varieties of which can be selected as desired.
Enthusiastic reviews from tourists relate not only to the quality of Rak wines, but also to the cuisine of the restaurant, which is part of this family business. The best national dishes of Croatia: olives, local cheeses and ham – all of which pair perfectly with the exquisite range of Rak wines. At the end of the tasting, you can buy selected wines at competitive prices.
Restaurant-Museum Dalmatian Ethno Village
One of Sibenik’s unusual sights is a restaurant complex stylized as a Dalmatian village, reminiscent of an ethnographic open-air museum. Here, the atmosphere of a Dalmatian village is recreated with a working water mill, village houses, real gardens and a vineyard. In the houses there are restaurants of national cuisine with stylized interiors and staff in folk costumes. A perfect way to immerse oneself in the culture and people of Croatia.