Church of St. Donat, Zadar, Croatia; Shutterstock ID 98671040; Your name (First / Last): Emma Sparks; GL account no.: 65050; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: Best in Europe POI updates

Shutterstock / Phant

St Donatus' Church


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 a handful of buildings from the early Croatian kingdom to have survived the Mongol invasion of the 13th century, it's a particularly important cultural relic. The simple and unadorned interior includes two complete Roman columns, recycled from the Forum. Also from the Forum are the paving slabs that were revealed after the original floor was removed.

The church hasn't been used for services for around 200 years and these days it often serves as a concert hall or exhibition space.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Zadar attractions

1. Bell Tower

0.03 MILES

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

2. Roman Forum

0.03 MILES

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…

3. Archaeological Museum

0.03 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. St Anastasia's Cathedral

0.04 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…

5. Museum of Religious Art

0.05 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

0.13 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

0.16 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

0.18 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…