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Roman Forum


One of the most intriguing things about Zadar is the way Roman ruins seem to sprout randomly from the city's streets. Nowhere is this more evident than at the site of the ancient Forum, constructed between the 1st century BC and the 3rd century AD. As in Roman times, it's the centre of civic and religious life, with St Donatus' Church dominating one side of it.

Among the ruins of temples and colonnades stands one intact Roman column, which in the Middle Ages served as a shame post where wrongdoers were chained and publicly humiliated. Nearby are more Roman remains, including altars with reliefs of the mythical figures Jupiter Ammon and Medusa. On the top you can see the hollows used in blood sacrifices. It is believed that this area was a temple dedicated to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva dating from the 1st century BC.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Zadar attractions

1. St Donatus' Church

0.03 MILES

Dating from the beginning of the 9th century, this unusual circular Byzantine-style church was named after the bishop who commissioned it. As one of only…

2. St Anastasia's Cathedral

0.06 MILES

Built in the 12th and 13th centuries, Zadar's cathedral has a richly decorated facade and an impressive three-nave interior with the remains of frescoes…

3. Archaeological Museum

0.06 MILES

A wealth of prehistoric, ancient and medieval relics, mainly from Zadar and its surrounds, awaits at this fascinating museum. Highlights include a 2.5m…

4. Bell Tower

0.06 MILES

Climb up the tower belonging to St Anastasia's Cathedral for worth-the-effort views across the city and out to sea.

5. Museum of Religious Art

0.07 MILES

This impressive museum in a Benedictine convent boasts a fine collection of reliquaries, sculpture, embroidery and paintings. Of particular note are works…

6. Franciscan Monastery

0.11 MILES

Entry to this historic monastery includes access to a lovely Renaissance cloister, the Gothic church (the oldest of its kind in Dalmatia, consecrated in…

7. Sea Gate

0.19 MILES

Also known as St Chrysogonus' Gate (Vrata Sv Krševana), this port-facing archway was built in 1573 and sports the Venetian lion and part of a Roman…

8. Narodni trg

0.21 MILES

Traditionally the centre of public life, this pretty little square is constantly abuzz with chatter from its many cafe-bars. The western side is dominated…