Šibenik is the oldest Croatian town on the Adriatic coast founded by Croats. It has been founded as an old Croatian fortress, and was first mentioned in the mid of 11th century, in a document of King Petar Krešimir IV. That is why many today call it 'Krešimir's town'.
As it throughout history was conquered by numerous rulers, the city has developed and built an impressive fortification architecture, which can be best seen through its four fortresses: St. Nicholas, the most famous Renaissance sea fortress, located at the entrance to the St. Anthony's Canal, St. John's Fortress, Šubićevac and St. Michael's Fortress, on which you can climb and hence have a beautiful view of the bay!
The symbol of the city is St. James Cathedral, built over more than a century and which is a real proof of talent of its architects, Juraj Dalmatinac and Nicholas of Florence, primarily because it is entirely built of stone, without the use of other materials. The cathedral has more than 70 portraits on its apses, which is the reason why it has become part of the UNESCO's World Heritage List. How much Juraj Dalmatinac was popular says this curiosity: documents from that time say that builders earned up to 60 ducats per year, while he sought and received, without problems, even twice as much!
On Plathea communis, i. e. today's Croatian Republic Square, is one of the most beautiful buildings of Šibenik, Renaissance City Hall. Opening of the famous International Children's Festival is held in front of it, while in the nearby streets you can see numerous stone city palaces.
Duke's palace, which is next to the west side of the Cathedral, is a part of the coastal defense system of the Middle Ages, where City captain (Duke) stayed. Today, there are located City Museum and Bishop's Palace in whose vicinity is Trg četiri bunara (Square of the Four Wells), complex of water reservoirs from the 15th century, where exhibitions are often held.
Šibenik is distinguished by as many as 24 churches and six monasteries on its area. The most famous of them are St. John's Church, which boasts a stone tower in which is embedded a Turkish clock with one dial, brought from nearby Drniš after being abandoned by the Turks; St. Grisogono's Church, which is set next to the oldest bell in Croatia, from the 13th century, found in the sea near the city; St. Francis' Monastery, whose library contains more than 150 incunabula, one of which is the famous 'Šibenik prayer' from the 14th century, and St. Barbara's Church.
While you are walking through the city, you will notice the people, especially the elderly, who wear the famous Šibenik's hats, once red, now orange. One legend says that in the past the main cloth wholesaler was late in procuring red baize (wool fabric) for them, so he returned home with a boat load of orange baize. That's how one can change history! :)
When your belly signals it's time for lunch or dinner after sightseeing or swimming at nearby beaches on Jadrija or Solaris, it is best to move towards one of the great wine cellars and taste the local specialties, such as home-made bread under the bell, Miljevci pršut, Drniš pršut and famous Primošten wine Babić.
Šibenik region offers plenty of opportunities for fun. Do you like bungee jumping? You can try it out on a bridge located at the mouth of the river Krka in the Adriatic Sea. Maybe donkey races? You can find them in nearby Tribunj. Or night entertainment? Everyone knows for discos Hacienda in Vodice and Aurora in Primošten.
Likewise, you can enjoy the unspoilt nature of two national parks. The first one is Kornati, archipelago that includes 12 percent of all Croatian islands, only six of which are larger than one square kilometer. Here you will meet a number of yachtsmen, sailors, divers and fans of the unique dry stone walls.
The second national park is Krka, Croatian second youngest national park. It is best known for its travertine barriers and waterfalls like Skradinski buk, which is named after the eponymous town Skradin, and Roški slap, located close to a small island of Visovac with Franciscan monastery from the 17th century.
So, if you choose to spend part of your holidays in Šibenik and its surroundings or if you just stop for a few days to enjoy the beauty of this county, be sure that you will be more than thrilled when going back home!