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UNESCO Heritage in Croatia

Croatia has several of its important sites on Unesco’s World Heritage List. These are:

Old City of Dubrovnik


Old City of Dubrovnik – The ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, situated on the Dalmatian coast, became an important Mediterranean sea power from the 13th century onwards. Although severely damaged by an earthquake in 1667, Dubrovnik managed to preserve its beautiful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains. Damaged again in the 1990s by armed conflict, it is now the focus of a major restoration programme co-ordinated by UNESCO. Dubrovnik was founded in the 7th century and it is encompassed with 2 km long walls considered to be among the most massif defence fortifications in Europe. The city walls are 25 m high and 6 m thick and include 36 forts, towers and fortresses. They are encircled with beautiful streets consisting of houses and palaces from all periods of the famous Dubrovnik Republic……Click to find out more about Dubrovnik.

Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian


Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian – The ruins of Diocletian’s Palace, built between the late 3rd and the early 4th centuries A.D., can be found throughout the city. The cathedral was built in the Middle Ages, reusing materials from the ancient mausoleum. Twelfth- and 13th-century Romanesque churches, medieval fortifications, 15th-century Gothic palaces and other palaces in Renaissance and Baroque style make up the rest of the protected area. The Roman Emperor Diocletian spent his final years here, in a huge palace that he had built near his birthplace, Aspalthos, today called Split (Spalato)…….Click to find out more about Split

Plitvice Lakes National Park


Plitvice lakes: The Plitvice Lakes National Park and Natural World Heritage Site – The waters flowing over the limestone and chalk have, over thousands of years, deposited travertine barriers, creating natural dams which in turn have created a series of beautiful lakes, caves and waterfalls. These geological processes continue today. The forests in the park are home to bears, wolves and many rare bird species. River Korana creates a chain of about twenty limpid, green lakes and pools, arranged stepwise and punctuated by dolomite barriers formed by travertine sedimentation. The water flows down from one lake to the next over waterfalls, creating a majestic architectural phenomenon of nature in motion. The lakes are surrounded by luxuriant forests of beech, fir and spruce in which there are bears, wolves and rare birds, such as grouse and long-eared owl…..Click to find out more about Plitvice Lakes

Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Centre of Porec


Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Centre of Porec: The group of religious monuments in Porec, where Christianity was established as early as the 4th century, constitutes the complete surviving complex of its type. The basilica, atrium, baptistery and episcopal palace are outstanding examples of religious architecture, while the basilica itself combines classical and Byzantine elements in an exceptional manner.  The Episcopal complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the historic centre of Porec is an outstanding example of an early Christian episcopal ensemble that is exceptional by virtue of its completeness and its unique Basilican cathedral.

This Basilica is the most precious cultural monument in the city of Porec, comprising a 6th-century complex of sacral buildings erected during the time of Bishop Euphrasius, lies in the northeast part of the urban-historical core of the city. The Basilica, built on the foundations of a much earlier church, is dominated by a triple-naved apse, a narthex, the atrium, an octagonal baptistery, and the bishop’s palace. The edifice was added to in the 13th and 15th centuries, and a bell-tower was erected in the 16th century. The apse is ornately decorated with figural mosaics, which, together with the mosaics in San Vitale in Ravenna, comprise one of the most remarkable examples of mosaic art in Europe. From the floor mosaics and from preserved inscriptions we are able to follow all the phases of building, adaptations and renovations, that is to say, the dynamics of the life of the Christian community in Porec.

Historic City of Trogir


Historic City of Trogir: Trogir is a remarkable example of urban continuity. The orthogonal street plan of this island settlement dates back to the Hellenistic period and it was embellished by successive rulers with much fine public and domestic buildings and fortifications. Its beautiful Romanesque churches are complemented by the outstanding Renaissance and Baroque buildings from the Venetian period. Trogir is an excellent example of a medieval town built on and conforming with the layout of a Hellenistic and Roman city that has conserved its urban fabric to an exceptional degree and with the minimum of modern interventions, in which the trajectory of social and cultural development is clearly visible in every aspect of the townscape.

Trogir was founded by Greek colonists from the Island of Vis in the 3rd century BC. On this Antique matrix lies the historical core of Trogir, which is the best-preserved Romanesque-Gothic complex not only in the Adriatic but in all of Central Europe. Trogir’s medieval core, surrounded by walls, comprises a preserved castle and tower and a series of dwellings and palaces from the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods. Trogir’s grandest building is the church of St. Lawrence, whose main west portal is a masterpiece by Radovan, and the most significant work of the Romanesque-Gothic style in the country .. More about Trogir

The Cathedral of St. James in Sibenik


The Cathedral of St. James in Sibenik: The Cathedral of St James (Katedrala Svetog Jakova) in Šibenik (1431-1535), on the Dalmatian coast, bears witness to the considerable exchanges in the field of monumental arts between Northern Italy, Dalmatia and Tuscany in the 15th and 16th centuries. The three architects who succeeded one another in the construction of the Cathedral – Francesco di Giacomo, Georgius Mathei Dalmaticus and Niccolò di Giovanni Fiorentino – developed a structure built entirely from stone and using unique construction techniques for the vaulting and the dome of the Cathedral. The form and the decorative elements of the Cathedral, such as a remarkable frieze decorated with 71 sculptured faces of men, women, and children, also illustrate the successful fusion of Gothic and Renaissance art. The structural characteristics of the Cathedral of St James in Šibenik make it a unique and outstanding building in which Gothic and Renaissance forms have been successfully blended. The Cathedral of St James is the fruitful outcome of considerable interchanges of influences between the three culturally different regions of Northern Italy, Dalmatia, and Tuscany in the 15th and 16th centuries. These interchanges created the conditions for unique and outstanding solutions to the technical and structural problems of constructing the cathedral vaulting and dome. The Cathedral of St James in Šibenik is a unique testimony to the transition from the Gothic to the Renaissance period in church architecture. Sibenik Cathedral was awarded Unesco’s World Heritage Status in 2000. More about Sibenik

Sites on the UNESCO’s Accession List

The Republic of Croatia has also sent the accession list of cultural and natural sites to the World Heritage Center (WHC).

The cultural sites include the Episcopal complex in Zadar, the Croatian Limes in Varaždin, the Fort in Osijek, the extension to Diocletian Palace and the historical core of Split, Lubenice on Cres, the Burg Castle of Veliki Tabor, the historical urban whole of Ston including Mali Ston, Motovun, Blaca Desert, Primošten vineyards and the Town of Korcula.

The natural sites include North Velebit, National Park Kornati and Telašcica, while the cultural and natural site category includes Lonja Field.

The Lace Making in Croatia project was nominated for UNESCO’s proclamation of the masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of mankind, as well as the Annual Carnival Procession of Bell Ringers in the Area of Kastav.