Roman Forum

Ruins in Zadar

Image by Inu Shutterstock

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.