As the oldest town founded by Croats, Šibenik has arisen on the Adriatic coast not far from the Krka estuary. The beauties of the landscape which surrounds it are paralleled by the cultural and historical sights, chief among which is the cathedral of Saint James, protected by UNESCO. Šibenik's other landmarks include the fortress of Saint Michael and the triangular fortification named after Saint Nicholas at the entrance to its harbor.
No sightseeing trip to Šibenik is complete without a visit to the Plaza of the four fountains - once life-giving wellsprings, today used as a stage for concerts and festivals, it satisfies both visitors' and locals' thirst for melodies and rhythms.
Šibenik in medieval garb
Šibenik's most recognizable feature is the Cathedral of Saint James, which put the town on the UNESCO global cultural heritage list. The astonishing fact about the cathedral, built gradually in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries is that it was built entirely of stone, top to bottom. It is well-known for the intriguing gallery of stone portraits all along the exterior wall.
You might recognize some of the sculpted faces as knights, jugglers, organists and masters of old traders, who all flood the streets in September when Šibenik hosts its medieval fair. On this occasion, the City watch fire their cannon, which event is followed by a naval battle and knights' jousting.
A most unusual sight, a medieval monastery garden, enriches a walk along the narrow streets of Šibenik, awash with the scent of roses, medicinal and aromatic herbs in artful color combinations.
The musical tradition of a sailors' Mecca
Given the immediate vicinity of as many as two national parks, Krka and Kornati, Šibenik has held on to its reputation of a supreme sailing holiday destination. The luxurious Mandalina marina is an especially attractive destination during the Adriatic Boat Show.
Eight antique organs put Šibenik on a map of musical happenings as early as the sixteenth century. Nowadays, children's creativity comes to the fore during the International children's festival. Dalmatian chanson evenings breathe new life into the region's traditional melodies. Šibenik asserts its environmental concern for the musical festival Terraneo in August, when ecology finds its way into numerous workshops, lectures, exhibitions, and finally into the very streets of the city.