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Croatia  Sibenik

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Image2 Sibenik Croatia is a city and port in northern Dalmatia, not far from the estuary of the Krka river into the Bay of Sibenik, connected by narrow straits with the Sibenik Channel; population 41,012.

The city is arranged amphitheatrically around the natural harbour and on the surrounding hill slopes. The climate is mild. The average air temperature in January is 6.5°C and 24.2°C in July; around 2,750 hours of sunshine a year. Economy is based on industry (non-ferrous metals, aluminium), textiles and food processing as well as on shipbuilding and tourism. The city, with the old fortresses of St. Anne, St. John and Subicevac overlooking it, consists of the Old Town, characterized by narrow and steep alleys in the west, and the modern part in the north and south-east. Sibenik is a cultural centre: the International Child's Festival. There is a department of the Faculty of Economics of the Split University. Chief occupations in the Sibenik surroundings are viniculture, vegetable and fruit growing. Natural beauty of the region (Skradinski Buk, Roski Waterfall, the small island of Visovac on the Krka, the Kornati Archipelago) as well as the rich cultural and historical heritage of the city attract many tourists and excursionists. Sibenik lies at the intersection of the main roads Zadar - Sibenik - Split (M2, E65) and Sibenik - Drnis - Knin (M11.02); the railroad over Perkovic connects Sibenik with the railroad Zagreb - Knin - Split. Ferry connections with the neighbouring islands (Prvic, Zlarin, Zirje, Kaprije, Obonjan).
Today Sibenik is a source of new artist , and political , cultural , educational , traffic and industrial centre of the County of Sibenik-Knin , the organizer of the Sibenik International Children`s festival , the town completely devoted to cultivation of cultural and natural inheritance , but also to the tourism and its gets.

History | Sibenik was mentioned for the first time under its present name in 1066 in th Chart of Croatian king Petar Krešimir IV, and unlike other towns which were founded by the Illyrians , Greek or Romans , it is the oldest native Croatian town at the eastern shore of the Adratic Sea .

Image3 Sibenik was given the status of town and its own diocese in 1298 . Recent discoveries have shown that the settlement of Sibenik was founded on the steep and high ridge ( where today the castle of St Anna is ) long before the Croats arrival on the Adriatic . That elevation was easily defended and from it was a bird´s eye view of the surrounding country , especially of the sea and lower field . It is obvious that later on ( before the Slavs arrived on the Adriatic ) the navigable route to the Illyrian and Roman port of Scardona ( today´s Skradin ) was supervised from here. Ever since its foundation , the town had very important military and strategic role in the fights that Croatian , and later on Croatian and Hungarian rulers were leading at the Adriatic Seaagainst Byzantium and Venice . A long lasting resistance to the Venetian conquering efforts was ended by the fall under the Venetian govering in 1412 , after the town had been under the siege for three years .

From the end of the 15 th century the Turks often threatened Sibenik . Several times it was attacked by the plague . Several times the Turks arrived at the town`s walls with their army , but they never succeded in conquering it . In order to protect itself better by sea and land from the enemy , the town in the 16 th century built the fortress of St Nicholas at the entrance of the chanel ; by the 17 th century its fortifications on the land were improved by the building of the fortress of ST John ( Tanaj ) and Šubiæevac ( Barona ) . They helped Sibenik to resist attacks : the Turks never counquered it . The fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797 brought Šibenik under the authority of Austria after almost 400 years of Venetian domination , and it remained so until the fall of the Austria-Hungarian Monarchy in 1918. From 1921 till 1941 Sibenik was part of the Yugoslav state , and after a short term Italian ( 1941 - 1943 ) and German occupation ( 1943- 1944 ) it was within the borders of only apparently free SR Croatia and Yugoslavia .
Only after the multiparty elections in the spring in 1990 , Šibenik has been living in the sovereign , independent and democratic state , the Republic of Croatia.

Places worth seeing

Image4National park "River Krka" Krka is a river in Dalmatia which springs out at the western foot of the Dinara mountain, and flows into the sea near Sibenik. In limestone it forms a narrow and deep canyon, flowing over travertine barriers and forming waterfalls. In the lower part of the course is the most beautiful waterfall on the river: Skradinski Buk (37.5m). Between Skradinski Buk and Roški Slap is Visovac Lake with an islet on which there is a Franciscan monastery with a small church. Downstream of Skradinski Buk is the Krka River estuary in which freshwater mixes with saltwater. Part of the estuary is also Prokljansko Lake. The park visitors may see the water mills in which cereals are ground with millstones and taste bread made of such ground cereals. The National Park may be reached from Skradin by boat, or by car to the entrance of Lozovac. From Lozovac buses take visitors to Skradinski Buk.

The cathedral of St. James | One of the most important sights in Sibenik is the cathedral of St. James, built between 1431 and 1536 from limestone and marble. The early stages of the cathedral were designed and built by Italian masters, but between 1444 and 1447 the work was under the direction of sculptor Juraj Dalmatinac. In the same square as the cathedral is a memorial to Dalmatinac, created by the greatest Croatian sculptor of the 20th century, Ivan Mestrovic. Just to the north of the Cathedral is the Loggia, built in typical Italian style. Several other churches are worth visiting, such as the Church of St. Barbara and the Church of St. Nicholas.

In the heart of the Adriatic coast, at the mouth of the river Krka, hidden among the channels, there lies the Old Croatian fortress of St. Mihovil . In 11th century houses of a town emerged at the bottom of the fortress. The great Croatian King Petar Krešimir IV made the name of Sibenik famous ever after. That is the begining of the town history and its beauties.

As much as, or even more than any other Croatian town , the people of Sibenik provided their belonging to the West European Christian civilization . Building their great cathedral of St. Jakov for a century , they did not even know that it will become an enternal and indestructible symbol of a town , as it was shown by the recent war history . Sibenik has remained the same as it was, the mouth and the spring of historical values ; the mouth of river Krka with pleny of waterfalls in the National park which is only 10 km far from the town, a hidden port toward the open sea with ecologically preserved group of more than a hundred of islands - Kornati - another National Park, and a historical source and inspiration to the most prominent Croatian writers, sculptors, architects and musicians.

The Cathedral of Saint Jakov | The cathedral is a three-aisled basilica with three apses and a cupola (interior height 32 m). Construction of the cathedral was begun in the Venetian Gothic style, but was completed in the Toscana Renaissance style in 1555. Stone for its building was brought from the islands of Korcula, Susak, Brac, Rab and Krk. In 1444 construction works were led by Juraj (Matejev) Dalmatinac,. Nikola Firentinac continued the work and after his death in 1505, it was finally completed by Bartolomeo and Gicomo da Mestre. Sibenik Cathedral was awarded World Heritage Status by UNESCO in 2000.

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