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DALMATIA (Croatia) -2a stage: Sibenik


Dalmatia? one of the most? beautiful Croatian regions and the most popular tourist destination popular. The Dalmatian region? located in southern Croatia, from the coast of the Adriatic Sea to the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. The heart of Dalmatia? Split (Split); but are there also other cities? of great importance and beauty such as Zadar (Zadar), Trogir, Sibenik (? ibenik), Makarska and Dubrovnik.

Many resorts in Dalmatia are included in the Unesco heritage, such as Diocletian's palace in Split, the plain in Stari Grad on the island of Hvar, the city? old town of Dubrovnik, the old town of Trogir. Dalmatia? famous in particular for its fascinating, typically Mediterranean nature, exquisite food, renowned wines and mild climate. Dalmatia is not? only sea and coast, but also history and ancient testimonies. Our trip wants above all to discover its historical riches.

1 day

SEBENIC (Sibenik)

Sibenik (pop.41000 ca.)? a city? which was not founded by the Romans, but rather? ? a city? of Croatian origin that pass? under the jurisdiction of numerous other nations such as Hungary, Byzantium, Bosnia and Venice and it was the Venetians who left numerous traces of them with the construction of numerous defense fortresses, then there was a succession of struggles for the possession of the city ?, until its total liberation in 1995. Due to these constant struggles for land possession, the economy of the city? fell into decline, especially with the destruction of the industry? aluminum.

29 May

We wake up early enough also why? the shutters on the balconies (3!) let in a lot of light. After l? abundant breakfast we go to the? tourist office to inform us how to visit the ancient fortresses of the city? and the? KRKA NATIONAL PARK? where we will find the famous waterfalls.

We decide to go immediately to the fortress of S. Michele taking advantage of the still cool temperature of the? air, the site is located at the top?

We pass through the Piazza della Loggia Vecchia where the Town Hall is located next to the famous Cathedral of S. Giacomo which we will visit calmly later. The nearby church of St. Barbara, one of the 24 present in Sibenik, greets us with the ringing of its bells! The church ? in the Gothic style with a single nave, whose construction begins? around 1400. Above the main entrance? there is a Gothic niche with a statue of San Nicola, the work of the Italian master Bonino from Milan. In the northern wall of the church stands a Gothic window, in the lower part of which? A votive statue commissioned in 1419 by a Šibenik doctor named Marko was placed. Along the way we meet the small church of All Saints and more? ahead the church and the monastery of S. Lorenzo with its famous medieval garden. This garden? a? rare attraction since? represents the only garden of a monastery of this type in Croatia but? also very rare as there are only a few in this part of Europe. The garden follows the famous medieval scheme: transverse path with a small well in the center, stalls furnished in a simple way and surrounded by box trees and beautiful fragrant roses. In four areas medicinal and aromatic herbs were planted. A special part? dedicated to the collection of thyme with beautiful colors for its leaves such as red, purple, gray, light and dark green. Another attraction of the garden are the capers. According to legend, the capers were brought to Sibenik by Juraj Dalmatinac (Giorgio Orsini), the great Italian-Croatian architect. In front of the church stands the Franciscan convent, a large architectural complex where the Palazzo Foscolo stands out, the most? beautiful example of residential architecture in Sibenik, built in the flowery gothic style by Dalmatinac himself.

We pass by the cemetery of S. Anna closed to tourists due to vandalism! We arrive at the Fortress of S. Michele. The building was built in the Middle Ages and underwent several restorations until the seventeenth century. The archaeological excavation campaigns confirmed that the construction was commissioned by the Venetian government. Archaeologists have proved that under the imposing defensive structure there is an ancient fortress, possibly belonging to the Illyrian people. Today the Fortress of San Michele is used as an outdoor theater. The interior ? bare and there aren't many signs explaining the history of the castle. However, the fact remains that from the walls you can enjoy a fantastic panorama, which grants a breathtaking view of the Sant? Antonio canal and the islands. A show! In the distance the smoke of a fire? Interesting the tanks that contained the reserves d? water. Through a passage under the walls we go out onto the road to go to the Fortress of S. Giovanni which, like the previous one, was part of the Venetian defensive system. The fortress ? disused and abandoned and we can only see it from? external as a sign warns us that to enter? at your own risk. There would be to visit the Subicevac or Baron Fortress, more? smaller than that of San Giovanni, built in 1646, the same year as the Fortress of San Giovanni, and? was important for the defense of? ibenik from the Turkish attacks of 1647. For a long time? it has been defined the Fortress of? Baron Degenfeld ?, a Venetian officer of Germanic origins and governor of Dalmatia from 1645, who defended the city until the end. against the Turks. Hence the name Subicevac, which means baron. We decide not to visit it for the distance and then we learned that it does not offer much. We go down towards the center and arrive at the Loggia Grande built in the sixteenth century. It was built in the Venetian era to house the city government. and it was part of the Doge's Palace. The main facade has two orders of columns while the ground floor? punctuated by delightful round arches, while the order of the first floor has columns that recall the Corinthian style and the environments of the eastern Mediterranean. Also unmistakable are the lion head decorations, which carry the icon of Venice in triumph: the Lion of San Marco. In the square stands the monument to? architect Juraj Dalmatinac.

The Cathedral of San Giacomo, one of the symbols of local culture and since 2000 a UNESCO site ,? L? building pi? significant of the city. A building without a bell tower and with a dome that is very reminiscent of the Italian Renaissance. The construction was begun in 1432 by Venetian craftsmen according to the rules of the Gothic style. After a momentary interruption the works resumed and some changes were made to the new project in a Renaissance key. The church was officially consecrated in 1555, 124 years after the first stone was laid. The facade? symmetrical with an arched tympanum in the central part and quarter-circle in the lateral ones. L? indoor ? with three naves and the end of the one on the right? occupied by the splendid baptistery rich in sculptures and reliefs. The baptismal font? supported by three putti. Do we decide to go to the fortress of S. Nicola? An arduous path awaits us. With a bus we arrive at Zabla? E, a small fishing village, and from there? we continue up to the first islet with the bunkers of the Second World War we walk towards the Fortress which is a long way away? of road (about an hour!) but we take advantage of it for a walk in the middle of nature? The fortress of San Nicola stands at the entrance of the Sant'Antonio canal and was built during the 35th century to protect the city? from the Ottoman attacks from the sea. It was designed by the Venetian military engineer Michele Sammichele. The lower parts were made of white stone, while the upper ones were made of brick. The fortress of San Nicola is part of the group of fortifications on the sea more? mighty ones of the Croatian Adriatic coast. After about a? now we come to a wooden walkway that takes us to a? islet from which we can see the whole fortress. Along the lagoon landscape that is very reminiscent of the Venetian ones, we admire small coves, the flight of herons and the laying of cranes on the water but also the bunkers of the Second World War. L? access ? very inaccessible and we avoid it: we made the wrong footwear, we needed trekking ones! We go back to Zabla? And but we learn that we are well in advance for the bus that will pass? between over a? Now. We find a Swedish couple and decide to return by taxi. Negligible expense: euros up to? hotel! Well deserved rest, dinner at the hotel, stroll along the seafront watching a beautiful sunset and a walk downtown.





2 day

30 May

Today visit the Krka River National Park.

The Park, with an area of ​​10.900 hectares, protects the middle and final stretch of the Krka river of karst origin that originates near Knin and along a path of 75 km to the sea. inside a suggestive canyon after having formed the suggestive waterfalls of Rog and Skradinski buk flows into the bay of Sibenik.

By bus we arrive in Skradin where we take a boat to get to the national park. The boats depart every hour and return from the national park every half hour. The one-way boat trip from Skradin to Skradinski buk (southern part of the national park) takes 25 minutes and navigates between lush greenery. From the place where the boats land, it takes a 5-minute walk to reach the foot of the falls. Skradinski buk that descends from 45 meters high with 17 jumps next to which you pass through some paths between a whirlwind of spray: one of the most? Croatia's grandiose natural environmental spectacles. We also see an annoying veschiche ..) ethnic country with water mills and a mill in operation?. For tourists. Some even take a bath but there? water ? terribly cold! What else do we do? what brings us to? Visovac island with annexed Franciscan monastery. Along a path quite uncomfortable due to the presence of a minute gravel that invariably creeps into my sandals (in this trip I convinced myself to use them) we reach there? dock 400 meters away and with a comfortable boat piloted by a nice character we reach the? island of property? of the Catholic Church which rises along the lower reaches of the Krka river, between the Rog and Skradinski buk waterfalls. Before it was populated, it was just a "white rock" in the middle of the lake. Purchase today's appearance thanks to the work of the friars, who reclaimed parts of the islet and built embankments. In this way, Visovac transformed itself? in "a little earthly paradise". Starting from the first inhabitants, the hermits of Sant'Agostino, who built the monastery and the church on the rock, each successive generation erected some new element. the parts pi? ancient, transform? or rebuilt? from the foundations there? what wars and calamities? natural had destroyed. Visovac? also the islet of the Madonna della Piet?, one of the many sanctuaries dedicated to the Virgin in the Republic of Croatia.

With the presence of novices, pilgrims and tourists, Visovac? become one of those places where culture, religion and knowledge live in close contact.

Let's go back to? landing stage and then at the Skradin pier we take the motorboat that takes us to Skradin. Tuto? proceeded well only that the timetables of the return buses are a catastrophe: arrived too early we wait almost 2 hours?

The visit to the park kept us busy most of the day but what? worth it.

Another stage ended, rest, dinner, evening walk and in bed.



3 day

31 May

Today we leave for Dubrovnik at 11:30 arriving at 18:30, a great trip!

We wake up early and occupy the hours that separate us from the trip with a further visit of the city. Knowing that in Sibenik there are 24 churches, of which 12 are at the service of God while six of them perform another function today, we set out in search of the main ones.

S. Giovanni

The church of San Giovanni? a construction in the Gothic-Renaissance style, built in the 1862th century, with the name of the Church of the Holy Trinity. The stairs in the southern part of the church are the work of the famous Šibenik builder, Ivan Pparmilavi?, Decorated with a bas-relief. At the foot of the bell tower is a Renaissance window, the work of Nikola Firentinac, and above it? placed a relief with the representation of a lamb and an angel with open wings. The bell tower? very interesting why? here is a Turkish clock with a single hand which? it was brought by Dernis, after the escape of the Turks in the th century. The dome of the bell tower has been missing since , following a strong earthquake.

San Crisogono

The church of San Crisogono? the pi? preserved ancient sacred monument, dating from the twelfth century. ? was built in the Romanesque style. Until the end of the Second World War the church was in operation, while during the war? been very damaged. After the restoration work? became an exhibition space of the Museo della Citt? of Šibenik and today it is called the San Crisogono Gallery.

Church of St. Nicholas

The church of San Nicola? It was built in the seventeenth century in Baroque style and here, in addition to various tombs, there are also various models of sailing ships, given to the church as votive gifts. The facade ends in a bell tower, while the lower part? divided by windows and the portal with simple shapes. In the baroque coffered ceiling there are representations of the saints and portraits of donors in traditional costumes and with writings representing their names.

Orthodox church once known as the Church of the Redeemer with the Benedictine abbey founded in 1390.

Church of San Crisogono

The church of San Crisogono? the pi? preserved ancient sacred monument, dating from the twelfth century. ? was built in the Romanesque style. Until the end of the Second World War the church was in operation, while during the war? been very damaged. After the restoration work? became an exhibition space of the Museo della Citt? of Šibenik and today it is called the San Crisogono Gallery.

Church of the Assumption of the Bogomatere

The Church of the Ascension of the Madonna was built in the place where, in the 1810th century, the Templars met. It is a baroque complex dating back to the th-th centuries. Until the early th century, this was a Catholic church dedicated to Saint Savior and belonged to the monastery of the Benedictine nuns. In , on the decision of Napoleon, the church was granted to the Orthodox bishop Benedikt Kraljevi ?.

Church of the Dormition of the Mother of God (Orthodox church)

In 1810 the Serbian Orthodox bought another church in Sibenik, dedicated to the Dormition of the Mother of God, which later became a cathedral replacing the Ascension Church as the main place of worship for the community. local Serb. The church was equipped with an iconostasis in 1827 and enriched with Byzantine paintings from various eras, from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century, so? as a rich treasure of liturgical objects and manuscripts.



Let's go back to the hotel and near the church of S. Barbara we see a? last performance of singers of? klapa ?.

We take our luggage and go to the bus terminal where we leave on time with a vehicle of the? great company Cazmatrans.





DUBROVNIK (Ragusa)

Apparently founded by the Roman fugitives of Epidaurum (the current Cavtat) in the seventh century, it was dominated by the Byzantines and then by Venice (1205-1358), achieving formal independence after 1382 and in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries it arrived. to have a fleet of 500 ships. Set in? Adriatic? was until the outbreak of the war in 1991 one of the tourist destinations in Dalmatia for the beauty of its monuments, the grandeur? of its walls, the pleasure of living in a welcoming and elegant environment.



We arrive in Dubrovnik at 19 past and by taxi we arrive at the Pile gate, the main entrance to the ancient center, l? access ? pedestrian only. We have to carry the luggage and alas? our mini apartment is located in the upper part. I knew about the various stairs of Dubrovnik but the reality? ? really hard how hard? the effort to climb them! The owner of the? apartment, also? it on the ground floor,? complete with everything furnished in a minimal way. The descent towards the ancient center? easy but the ascent is a good workout for our legs! We arrive in piazza della Loggia at the end of the famous Stradun, l? wide street also called Placa that crosses the city? from west to east bordered by curtain walls of buildings built after the earthquake of 1667 and today crowded with bars and cafes. Let's have dinner in a characteristic restaurant all? open near the church of S. Biagio.

C? ? so much to see, tomorrow we will discover Dubrovnik!



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