Most impressive of the gates is the Land Gate, main entrance into Zadar. It is built by Michele Sanmicheli in 1543 and it has a form of a triumphal arch with a central passage and two smaller two arches for wheeled traffic and pedestrians.
Zadar had quite a reputation in the old days. It was one of the most imposing cities of great importance throughout the centuries of its existence. Therefore, it had to be protected by City Walls in the order to secure the city from outside threats. Nowadays, the Walls are protected by UNESCO.
The Walls had several entrances, and one of the most impressive ones is the Land Gate (also known as City Gate, or Kopnena vrata in Croatian)
Back in the old days, the Land Gate was the main entrance to the city. It’s situated in the Old Town, also known as Zadar Peninsula, near the small Foša harbor.
Built in 1543 by Venetian architect Michele Sanmicheli, Land Gate, to this day, still has the status of one of the finest monuments of the Renaissance in Dalmatia.
It has the form of a triumphal arch with 3 passages. The central passage is intended for wheeled traffic, while the 2 side passages are intended for pedestrians. The Gate is of exquisite design. It’s adorned with many decorations, such as St. Chrysogonus (Zadar’s main patron saint), and a beautifully carved winged lion that looks as if it was about to fly (the coat of arms of the Republic of Venice).
Back in the day, the path to the gate was awe-inspiring as it was elevated a few meters above sea level. There was a long wooden bridge that was spread across Foša. After the bridge, there were two drawbridges, and after that, you had to walk through an entrance building 8.4m deep. No wonder Zadar had the status of an impregnable city.
The Gate is so special because it’s a symbol of famous historical moments that took place in the past era and hints at other numerous attractions that marked the rich history of Zadar. It truly is a Reinassance masterpiece you absolutely have to see.
If you loved the Land Gate, then you’ll love the Sea Gate and the Bridge Gate.
The Sea Gate (Cro. Luka Vrata) is also known under the name of St Chrysogonus' Gate, in the immediate vicinity of the ferry port. It was built in 1573 when the Christian fleet defeated the Turks at Lepanto.
As the name suggests, the Bridge Gate is near the Zadar Bridge that leads to the Old Town. It’s of gracious appearance, foreshadowing the beauty that awaits within.
How to reach the Land gate
The Land gate can be reached both on foot and by car. You can park your vehicle in Ravnice, take a short walk through Vladimir Nazor Park, and there you go - you’ve reached the Land Gate.
The parking lot in Ravnice is very convenient because of the vicinity to the Old Town, as well as the low cost. Even in the peak of the summer season, you’re very likely to find a spot at an affordable price, which makes it the perfect spot for parking.
Land Gate is close to pretty much all the most popular tourist attractions in Zadar.
Some of them are the Church of St. Donatus, the Cathedral of St. Anastasia, the Greeting to the Sun, the Sea Organ, and the Five Wells Square.