Croatia’s beautiful cities and ports, such as Poreč, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik, are blessed with a magnificent cultural heritage. This includes Roman temples and amphitheatres, together with Early Christian, Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance churches, palaces and merchant houses. Croatia has fine classical sculpture and Byzantine mosaics and one of the world’s greatest Romanesque sculpted church portals. Here, cultural traditions derived from classical antiquity mingle with the culture of the colonising lagoon city, Venice. Pula proudly displays its Roman past, with theatres and temples, including the fine Temple of Augustus. At Split, the vast, well-preserved palace of the Emperor Diocletian metamorphosed into a medieval town. Split has an outstanding museum of antiquities, many from the extensive inland archaeological site of Salona, capital of Rome’s province of Croatia.
The Episcopal complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč rivals Ravenna as the most complete Byzantine ensemble in the world. The beautiful Venetian Renaissance Cathedral of St James in Šibenik equals Venice’s best architecture. The island city of Trogir, Greek in antiquity, boasts a masterly Romanesque portal sculpted by Dalmatia’s Master Radovan. Zadar, meanwhile, has the remains of a fine Roman aqueduct and the extraordinary, centrally planned, 9th-century Church of St Donatus. The most beautiful of Dalmatia’s trading cities is arguably high-walled Dubrovnik (Ragusa). Historic rival of Venice, it has a pristine historic urban fabric composed of masterpieces of medieval, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. These include the Gothic Rector’s Palace, Renaissance Ponza Palace and Baroque St Blaise’s Cathedral.
Dalmatia’s coasts are sheltered by a long string of beautiful islands. Hvar has grand panoramas of lavender fields, and peaceful villages nestling among pine-covered hills. Medieval Hvar town has beautifully ornamented buildings. Their fine Venetian façades are reflected in its glistening harbour waters. Within easy reach of the Dalmatian coast are Croatia’s beautiful inland Plitvice Lakes National Park, and Zagreb, Croatia’s political and cultural heart. Zagreb’s Gornji Grad (Upper Town) and Donji Grad (Lower Town) include a number of interesting museums such as the house museum of sculptor Ivan Meštrovic, and the Strossmayer Gallery of the Old Masters with works by artists such as Carpaccio, de Ribera, Dürer, Fragonard, Poussin and Delacroix.
Enjoy Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes & one of the Mediterranean’s loveliest coasts with Dalmatia’s rich heritage of classical, medieval & Venetian monuments & towns incl. Hvar Island. Read more