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UNESCO heritage Šibenik


Šibenik’s cultural offer just got richer. From July 2017, the Fortress of Sv Nikola (St Nicholas) became the second UNESCO world heritage structure of cultural significance in Šibenik, after St James Cathedral.


Šibenik’s newest UNESCO protected cultural property

St Nicholas Fortress is inscribed as a part of the Venetian Works of Defence between 15th and 17th centuries: Stato da Terra – western Stato da Mar.

St Nicholas fortress.


This refers to the defence system constructed by the Republic of Venice to protect its borders from enemy attack. UNESCO has recognised 15 structures that form this line of defence, which stretches from Italy, through Croatia to Montenegro, and includes Šibenik’s 16th century Fortress of St Nicholas.


Cultural and natural heritage

St Nicholas Fortress makes a fascinating addition to Šibenik’s UNESCO World Heritage offer. Together with St Jacob’s Cathedral and the national parks Krka and Kornati, it is special to Šibenik and the region, but each are unique on their own.

Two UNESCO sites and two national parks are in close proximity to Šibenik.


St Nicholas Fortress – (16th century, UNESCO since 2017)

One of the best preserved fortresses in Dalmatia, and a great example of a construction style designed to minimise damage from gunpowder and improve defense.

St Nicholas’ base is made of stone, whilst the rest of it is made of bricks. It was believed that brick was most resistant to cannonball fire. Considered an important feature of its construction is the unique arrow-head shape, providing multiple angles to fire from. St Nicholas fortress was designed by Venetian architect Hyeronimus di San Michaele.

Close up of a bastion-style design.


St James Cathedral – (built 1431 – 1535, UNESCO since 2000)

A masterpiece by three architects, Francesco di Giacomo, Juraj Dalmatinac and Niccolò di Giovanni Fiorentino, influenced by two art movements, Gothic and Renaissance. Built entirely from stone using completely unique construction techniques for the vaulting and the Cathedral’s dome makes it special.

Dome of St James Cathedral.


Krka National Park – (since 1985)

A 100km2 special landscape and ecosystem, largely unchanged by man. It includes the Krka River. It’s famous as some of Europe’s most beautiful calcium carbonate waterfalls, Skradinski Buk and Roški Slap. This limestone gives them their distinct colour.

Some of Krka’s cascading waterfalls from the air.


Kornati National Park – (since 1980)

A unique cluster of 89 cone-shaped, karst islands – the densest in the Mediterranean. Due to the importance of its diverse marine life over 75 percent of the park’s area applies to its turquoise and azure coloured sea.

Cone-shaped Kornati islands.


More UNESCO sites from Šibenik

Šibenik’s central location makes it easily accessible to culturally significant Croatian UNESCO sites beyond the region. These include:

  • Zadar – Defensive walls (1 h 20 min drive time)
  • Trogir – City (55 min drive time)
  • Split – Diocletian’s Palace (1 h 20 min drive time)
  • Plitvice Lakes National Park (2 h 30 min drive time).

Solaris offers tours to National Parks Kornati, Krka and Plitvice Lakes, and transfers for sightseeing trips.

Croatian natural heritage and national parks close to Šibenik.