Center of the public life in Zadar, usually used as a meeting point for every generation. It is a great place with many cafes’s, where you can relax and enjoy. On the northern side of this Square you can see the City Guard (large central clock tower) built from 1562 by Michele Sanmicheli.
What do the Medieval times have in common with today? - The center of all events in Zadar is the People’s Square (Narodni trg).
Everything that ever mattered and all the hottest news were heard of on People’s Square. So it was in the Middle Ages, so it is today, and so it will continue.
The People’s Square was always of great importance to Zadar residents. It’s embellished by many centuries-old buildings such as the City Loggia, the City Guard, and the 16th-century clock tower.
Another fun fact is that the art of sippin’ coffee for hours was invented exactly here a couple of hundred years ago. This tradition is one of those that have lived to the present day as well. People usually gather here, sit to have coffee, and gaze at the historical buildings.
So if you really want to discover how Zadar breathes life, visit People’s Square. It’s the best way to really get to know the customs of the local residents, as well as get familiar with the tradition and lifestyle.
People’s square in the past vs today
People’s Square has its roots in the Middle Ages. It was formed as Platea Magenta (the center of public life).
On the northern side of the Square, the City Guard (Gradska straža) can be found. Designed by Venetian architect Michele Sanmicheli, it was built in 1562. The ethnological department of the National Museum was once located there, and today it’s used as a space intended for exhibitions and galleries. The clock was only added later on, at the beginning of the 19th century.
Next to it, you’ll see the Church of St. Lawrence (Sveti Lovre). It holds its roots in the 11th century and can be visited behind the Caffe bar “Lovre”.
Moving on to the southern side of the square, the City Loggia (Gradska loža) can be seen. Built in 1565, it was the city’s courthouse, council chamber, and library. Today, it’s a place where many exhibitions take place, including some of the most popular ones such as “Man and the Sea”, and “The Blue Salon”. The exhibitions are usually held in the summertime.
How to get to People’s square
People’s square is situated in the old part of the town, known under the name Zadar Peninsula. The square can’t be directly reached by car, so it’s best to park outside the City Walls.
The closest parking area is next to the bridge, next to the Caffee bar Branimir. However, you may not always be able to find a parking spot there, and the prices are a bit higher as well. Another option is parking in Ravnice. It’s also very close, but you’re more likely to find a spot at the peak of the summer season.
The best thing about People’s Square is that it’s in the center of Old Town! That means that all the best and most popular attractions are also nearby. This includes the Greeting to the Sun, the Sea Organ, the Church of St. Donatus, the Cathedral of St. Anastasia, the Five Wells Square, the Petar Zoranić Square, and the list goes on.
We highly recommend visiting all of them in one go.
You can start at the beginning of Kalelarga, on the Petar Zoranić Square, then proceed to the Šime Budinić Square, and the Duke’s Palace. Then comes our beloved People’s Square, always buzzing with people and spreading immaculate energy. After that, you’ll see the Zadar Roman Forum, the Church of St. Donatus, and the Cathedral of St. Anastasia.
Use the opportunity to take a look at Zadar from a bird’s view by climbing the Bell Tower of the Cathedral. Then proceed to the Waterfront, enjoy the beautiful sunset by the Sea Organ, and Greeting to the Sun.
And that’s it! This is your Zadar afternoon!