UNESCO Heritage Sites in Croatia

Equal parts beautiful and historic, Croatia is the one of Europe’s top tourist destinations. Sitting in the Adriatic Sea, and home to more than 1,000 idyllic islands, this enchanting country is home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites – all of which are worth seeing on your next yachting adventure in the Adriatic Sea. They are:

The Old City of Dubrovnik:

Thought to be the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” the old city of Dubrovnik was a main center of maritime trade in the 15th and 16th centuries. It is filled with countless gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architectural gems – from churches and monasteries, to palaces, like Rector’s Palace and Sponza Palace. This quaint town became an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, and has since been considered one of the best-preserved Medieval cities from across the globe.

The Plitvice Lakes National Park:

As the only natural UNESCO World Heritage Site in Croatia, this national park is filled with lakes, waterfalls and limestone and chalk formations stemming from thousands of years prior. The park is known for its beautiful flora and fauna, including rare species of birds, bears and wolves.

The Historical Complex of Split:

Joining the UNESCO World Heritage family in 1979, the Historical Complex of Split is 38,500 square meters of Roman monuments and archaeological finds that go back as far as 2,000 years. It is most recognized for Diocletian’s Palace, the “retirement palace” of the Roman Emperor Diocletian in 300AD, which sits within its borders. While this complex is an open-air museum today, its palace was originally built with stone from the island of Brač, and was so significant to the area that it was even added to the back side of Croatia’s 500 Kuna banknote in 1993.

The Historical City of Trogir:

As the best-preserved Roman-Gothic complex in central Europe, the historical city of Trogir is known for its enchanting beauty, cultural significance, and seemingly endless collection of palaces and churches. It is most popular for its impressive number of Baroque buildings, Roman churches and Venetian-era Renaissance structures, one being the Church of St. Lovro – one of the most important architectural buildings in Croatia.

The Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica:

First built in the year 313, this complex is one of the foremost examples of Byzantine architecture and art in the world, and is believed to be one of the founding places of Christianity as a whole. It houses a church, a memorial chapel, an atrium, a baptistery and an episcopal palace, and is most known for its mosaic illustrations, which have a gold glow in the candlelight.

The Cathedral of St. James:

This cathedral became a UNESCO Heritage Site in the year 2000, and sits in the small town of Šibenik. It’s a leading example of a unique mix of northern Italian, Tuscan and Dalmatian architecture, and is the most significant piece of Renaissance architecture in all of Croatia. Towering high above the sea, the Cathedral of St. James is surrounded by an exterior frieze of 71 individual men, women, and children, each with different facial expressions that have never been identified; giving the cathedral an intriguing, and mysterious, air.

Hvar’s Stari Grad Plain:

An example of ancient Greek agriculture at its finest, Hvar’s Stari Grad Plain still harvests grapes and olives that are consistently used today. This agriculture system still looks the same as it did in the 4th century, and offers an enchanting backdrop of discovery for anyone interested in its ancient Greek past.