If you’re ever lucky enough to visit Croatia, don’t miss Sibenik, the oldest Croatian city on the Dalmatian coast. The remarkable architecture spans centuries, having witnessed the rise and fall of empires from Byzantine to Venetian and Hapsburg to Italian. Its beautifully preserved Old Town, with narrow cobblestone streets leading past medieval homes and churches, has a quietly cosmopolitan vibe in spite of it being a small city. And for Game of Thrones fans, Sibenik’s imposing fortresses and magnificent cathedral served as backdrops for this acclaimed series.
Sibenik is home to several remarkable churches, and while most are Roman Catholic, there is still an Orthodox population. The beautiful mosaics of the Church of Saint Mary in Old Town are a beautiful reflection of this faith tradition.
The imposing Cathedral of Saint James, built between the years of 1431 and 1536 stands as one of the most important Renaissance structures in all of Croatia. The elegant design of both exterior and interior incorporate the traditional Seashells of Saint James, and it’s no surprise that the cathedral is a UNESCO world heritage site.
A short drive outside Sibenik took us to Krka National Park. Situated along the Krka River in southern Croatia, the park’s seven travertine barriers, waterfalls, smaller cascades, islands, and serene lakes bring locals and tourists in droves. Visitors are rewarded with sights, sounds, and fresh smells that only nature can provide.
The people of Sibenik, like most Europeans, bring their dogs everywhere. Seeing them makes us think of Mocha, and although we miss her terribly, we know she’s having fun with her pals at the farm. There are even built-in dog bowls along the ancient city streets!
We’ll be heading to Venice for the next few days, then back to Croatia for stops in Split and Dubrovnik. But until then, a brief rest for coffee and reflection on how blessed we are to be able to experience and share so many different places and cultures. Even the coffee cups are happy!