The old town of Sibenik is the biggest medieval town in Dalmatia. Looking from a distance it gives the impression of a sculpture made all in one piece. The old town is still very much thriving and lived in. It is full of narrow, colourful Meditteranean streets with squares, an open-air market, cafe bars and galleries to explore in the summer months.
It was built by Croat tribes in the 9th Century at the sunken mouth of the river Krka. From the 13th Century up to the 18th Century, it was part of the Venetian Republic. For the next two hundred years it was dominated by the Austrian Empire, then for 50 years was part of Yugoslavia before finally become a part of the state of Croatia. The traces of all this history are all around.
Sibenik and the well-known Dubrovnik are two Croatian towns which share many historical similarities and yet are also very different.
Indeed they are quite contrasting. Though throughout history they have been ruled by the same people and prospered in the same eras they are nonetheless two most different towns on the Adriatic coast. While Dubrovnik is the product and consequence of urban planning, Sibenik is an organic development following the nature of the landscape.
The most beautiful building in the town is the Cathedral of St.Jakob protected by UNESCO. On the opposite side of the square is the Renaissance Town Hall that is said to be the most beautiful in Dalmatia. On the top of the hill, there is the fort of St. Michael, the saint protector of the town. From there it is possible to see most of Šibenik and its surrounding area, the river Krka, the bay and the Šibenik archipelago. On a clear night, you can see the lights of Ancona, Italy which are 180 km away across the sea.