Zadar - Episcopal complex


Zadar - Episcopal complex is part of the Tentative list of Croatia in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

The Episcopal complex in Zadar comprises the remains of the Roman Forum and a group of religious buildings connected to the seat of the archbishop. They are located at the heart of the modern city. The cathedral of St. Anastasia dates back to a Christian basilica built in the 4th and 5th centuries, while much of the currently standing three-nave building was constructed in the Romanesque style during the 12th and 13th centuries. The church of St. Donatus, a monumental round building, is the largest Pre-Romanesque building in Croatia.

Map of Zadar - Episcopal complex

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The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

Community Reviews

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Ilya Burlak

USA - 30-Jul-19 -

Zadar - Episcopal complex         (T) by Ilya Burlak

Zadar is already on the World Heritage list, or at least its fortifications are as part of the Venetian Works of Defense serial site. Additionally, a collection of buildings and points of interest in the center of the old town may be up for inscription in the next couple of years. The group includes the Cathedral of Saint Anastasia, the church of Saint Donatus, the Roman Forum, the monastery of Saint Mary, the archaeological museum of Zadar, and a few other structures. On a recent visit to Zadar, I explored the first three, and looked from the outside on all others.

The Forum is not too large, clearly laid out in patterns that suggest its museum-like design, free to walk through, and draws a significant part of its appeal purely due to its location at the focal point of the town. Saint Anastasia, whose façade opens on a small square away from the Forum, is very reminiscent of a typical Romanesque cathedral found in a midsize Italian town; the cathedral’s interior is no more than just ok; the reliefs and the stonework of its portals are probably the most impressive features here. The cathedral tower is fairly easy to climb and the views from the top are quite worth the effort. The round church of Saint Donatus is almost entirely empty, but the reliefs and the column capitals are quite beautiful, although not necessarily worth the entry fee.

None of these sights raise to the level of exceptional individually. Taken together, they may be visually pleasing but still fall short of being outstanding. My "thumbs up" for the tentative site is mostly due to the fact that I liked historic Zadar as a whole and I have already seen WH sites that I think are less defined in terms of their OUV; Zadar wouldn't be out of place on the inscribed list.

A couple of hours appear to be enough to see these and all other components of the tentative site, and the whole of Zadar seemingly can be well explored in a single day; there are museums that may extend that, including the aforementioned archaeological museum that I did not go into. Distance-wise, Zadar is about 2 hours from central Split by car; while within acceptable range for most day-trippers, I am left with the feeling of not being able to linger in town long enough due to the length of the return drive.

Read more from Ilya Burlak here.

Thibault Magnien

Belgium, France - 11-Jul-18 -

Zadar - Episcopal complex         (T) by Thibault Magnien

The Episcopal complex of Zadar includes the Roman forum, the cathedral of St. Anastasia, the archbishop’s palace, the church of St. Donatus, the Zmajevic seminary, the orthodox church of St. Elias, the Benedictine nunnery with the church of St. Mary and several other buildings / museums. The central point of this site is the main square with the ruins of the roman forum and the church of St. Donatus, with rotunda shape, with the cathedral tower on its side. The site is a fine and esthetic ensemble. St. Donatus and the cathedral are historical masterpieces. However, Croatia will have to make efforts in justifying the OUV and uniqueness of this place compared to other religious ensembles in the country. Extending the site to include the whole Zadar historic center would maybe be a possibility to explore considering the rich Venetian heritage also existing in the town in addition to Roman and Christian buildings.

Full Name
Zadar - Episcopal complex
Religious structure - Christian
2016 Requested by State Party to not be examined

2013 Requested by State Party to not be examined

Withdrawn after Rejection Advice from ICOMOS

2012 Advisory Body overruled

Referral instead of Deferral

2012 Referred

2005 Added to Tentative List

The site has 1 locations

Zadar - Episcopal complex (T)
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