Zadar – The weirdest instrument you’ll never play

Tourists come to Zadar like bees to honey.  Large yachts dock right near Zadar’s “Old City” port and drop off hundreds of curious vacationers.


The fastest way to get from Pula to Zadar, both cities being on Croatia’s coast, is a boat ride on the Adriatic Sea.  It is far from a luxury ride but at least they have their boat rules in order of importance.

Rule Number One for boat safety...

Rule Number 1.

Zadar’s Old City still looks almost the same as it did in the 15th Century.



With the addition of a few shopping malls and gelaterias.


The Cold Stone Creamery of gelaterias

The Cold Stone Creamery of gelaterias

During the 16th century, the Venetian inhabitants of the city built a large water cistern with five wells so they would have enough water to withstand a Turkish siege.


The cistern and wells remain in Zadar’s aptly named “Five Wells Square.”

5 Wells Square

The massive gate to the Old City also remains intact.

Old City Gate

We arrived in Zadar in June, the high season, so prices and temperatures were high.


We eventually bartered our way into getting this closet for 50 Euro/night ($67).  It was incredibly hot in the room and we had to empty the standing air conditioner every four hours during the night when the water tray would fill up.  The things I’ll do to save a buck…

50 euro closet per night

Shockingly, I found one of Zadar’s main attractions on to be its Glass Museum (this is no joke).


The museum itself was less than inspiring ( I do NOT recommend it ) but we had good enough timing to catch a guest lecturer delivering a brilliant speech.


Zadar’s two best attractions are its “pipes” and its “greeting to the sun”.


Zadar’s Sea Organ is a series of pipes located along Zadar’s boardwalk.  A system of tubes coupled with a resonating cavity turns the site into a large musical instrument, played by waves and the wind to create what no one would call a harmonic sound.

The sounds coming from the Sea Organ sounded a lot like a strangling goose to me

The sounds coming from the Sea Organ sounded a lot like a strangling goose to me

I heard rumors that since architect Nikola Bašić finished the Sea Organ in 2005, sea shells have gotten stuck in some of the pipes in the water, which may account for the unharmonious honking that the Organ was producing when I was there in June 2013.


Zadar’s “Greeting to the Sun” is a bit of a misnomer because the photovoltaic tiles only really come on at night. During the day the tiles soak up the sun’s light energy and at night, they release the energy in a flashy way.


The “Greeting to the Sun” attracts lots of tourists at sunset and we were no exception.

Enjoying an Ojusko during sunset

Enjoying an Ojusko during sunset


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