UNESCO heritage in Croatia
Croatia has a rich culture and history, and boasts as many as ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites. If you want to see as many UNESCO sites as possible, Split is an ideal option. Within a two-hour drive, or ferry ride, as many as six are easily accessible.
1. Diocletian's Palace and Medieval Split - In 1979, UNESCO placed Diocletian's Palace, built in the 4th century and the historic city center, on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's World Heritage List. The main parts of the palace are the Peristyle, ie the main town square and basements. This is one of the best preserved monuments of Roman architecture in the world. It was built of stone from Brač, and decorative details such as sphinxes, marble and carved decorations were brought from Egypt, Italy and Greece. The palace was surrounded by 16 ramparts, had 4 entrances, two main streets. On one side was the emperor's mausoleum, today it is the Cathedral of St. Dujam, while the other sides were 3 temples. Diocletian's Palace is perhaps the only cultural monument in the world where people still reside.
2. The Old Town of Dubrovnik - a city of unique cultural and political history, is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1979. Today, the biggest attraction is the massive walls with fortresses and towers that were built and extended from the 12th to the second half of the 17th century. From the east, the city is guarded by the Revelin Fortress, and from the west by the Lovrijenac Fortress. The main street in the Old Town - Stradun is a favorite meeting place for both locals and tourists. At the end of Stradun are the Gothic-Renaissance Sponza Palace and the Rector's Palace, which is shown in the world-famous TV series "Game of Thrones".
3. Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč - the most valuable cultural monument of the City of Poreč, built in the middle of the 6th century during the time of Bishop Euphrasius. It is an early Christian church whose interior is decorated with spectacular mosaics. The interior of the Basilica is open to the public every day and visitors are allowed to climb the bell tower of the Basilica, from where there is a beautiful view of Poreč and the surrounding area. The Euphrasian Basilica complex is one of the world's most important historical monuments and has been under UNESCO protection since 1997. The complex consists of several famous buildings: the Euphrasian Basilica, the Parish Church, the Sacristy, the Baptistery with the bell tower, the Mauro Oratory and the Episcopal Palace.
4. The historical core of Trogir - since 1997, this city only 20 kilometers away from Split, is included in the World Heritage List. The symbol of Trogir is the Kamerlengo tower, which is located at the very end of the waterfront, and was once used to accommodate the Venetian military crew. The most famous cultural monument is the Trogir Cathedral of St. Lawrence from the 13th century. Trogir is one of the best preserved Romanesque-Gothic cities in Europe. You can also see the palace of the Trogir family Ćipiko and the Rector's Palace.
5. Plitvice Lakes National Park - the oldest, largest and most visited national park in Croatia and is one of the most beautiful sights in Europe. It consists of sixteen magical turquoise lakes with numerous cascades, with rich flora and fauna. Wolves, bears and rare birds can also be seen in the forests around the park. Water flows from one lake to another in waterfalls and thus creates a magnificent phenomenon of nature in motion.
6. Cathedral of St. Jakov in Šibenik - is one of the most significant and most beautiful architectural achievements in Croatia and in 2000 it was included in the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage. It was built for more than a hundred years, and it is unique in that it is completely built of stone from quarries on the islands of Brač, Rab and Korčula, without the use of binders. The most important builders of the cathedral are Juraj Dalmatinac and Nikola Firentinac.
7. Starogradsko polje - karst field and the largest fertile plain on all Adriatic islands located in the central part of the island of Hvar. It is actually agricultural land built by the Greeks who colonized the area in the 4th century BC. What has made this area a World Heritage Site is the fact that this country has retained its original shape over the centuries. The Old Town Field, together with the historical core of the Old Town, was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2008. Today, the Old Town Field represents the best preserved ancient - Greek landscape in the Mediterranean.
8. Stećak tombstones - the stećak tombstones - medieval cemeteries of tombstones from the territories of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia - were jointly inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2016. The most common motifs that appear on stećak tombstones are depictions of people. Necropolises in Croatia are located in Cista Velika and Konavle.
9. Venetian system of defense fortifications from the 16th and 17th centuries - the defense system of Zadar and the Šibenik fortress of St. Nicholas has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2017. The defense system of Zadar, which was the military and administrative center of Dalmatia, is the largest and strongest fortress on the Adriatic and a key point of defense of the naval route between Venice and Corfu as well as from the threats of the Ottoman Empire from the mainland. Fortress of St. Nikola on the islet of Ljuljevac near Šibenik had a defensive purpose, but was never attacked. Legend has it that no one dared to attack this fortress because it looked powerful and invincible.
10. Primitive beech forests of the Carpathians and other regions of Europe - the largest area under UNESCO protection in Europe because it covers twelve countries. The Croatian part of the Carpathians consists of the Paklenica National Park and the Northern Velebit National Park, as well as the strict nature reserves Hajdučki and Rožanski kukovi. This is an outstanding example of untouched forest areas in the temperate climate zone. They have been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2017.