The Dalmatian Coast of Croatia has countless islands, bays, and peninsulas with vibrant blue waters and old towns made of stone. This is a view of Primosten, which means "brought closer by a bridge." It used to be an island and was inhabited in prehistoric times. It was later settled by people fleeing the Turks. Like most of the Dalmatian Coast, it was ruled by Venice during its domination of the Adriatic. It is now connected to the mainland by a causeway and bridge.
Pula, in the northern part of the Dalmatian Coast, has the sixth largest and one of the best preserved Roman amphitheaters. It was expanded in 79 AD to hold 23,000 spectators for gladiator fights. Pula was ruled by Venice beginning in 1334, and later grew because the Austrians made it the site of a major naval base in the mid 1800's.
This interior view of the Roman amphitheater in Pula shows the delicacy of its remaining walls and the strength of design of the Roman arches. The three-level walls are 30 meters (96 feet) high. It remained undamaged until the 16th Century, when it was stripped of stone for a castle and other buildings. It has been partially restored so that it can seat 5,000 for concerts.
The architectural details of Croatia show its long history and influences by the Venetian empire. The Cathedral of St. James in Sibenik was built from 1432 - 1555. Sibenik was ruled by Venice from 1412 to 1797. There are 72 faces, such as these, on the top of pillars on the outside of the apse of the cathedral, which suffered damage in 1991 from the war.
This former small church in Korcula is now an art gallery. My husband took this photo as I gazed at the stone carvings marking tombs under the floor, while the gallery saleswoman wrapped an impressionist painting of the town gate that we bought here. Korcula is a resort island that was fought over by Venitians, Croats, Turks and Genoese. In a naval battle here between Genoa and Venice, Marco Polo, a native of Korcula, was captured.
The archway of a cloister frames the tower of the Franciscan Monastery in Dubrovnik, constructed beginning in 1317, but reconstructed following an earthquake in 1667. Dubrovnik is a walled city with numerous architectural gems. Visitors can walk the entire length of the top of the town wall.
A night view of one of the narrow streets of Dubrovnik. The charming, walled city is for pedestrians. We have several future posts planned that will show more photos of Dubrovnik.