Zadar - "Little Rome" in Croatia
Croatian city of Zadar is a historical centre of Dalmatia. It has a rich history dating from prehistoric times. In 33 BC Zadar became the part of Roman province of Illyricum. From the early days of Roman rule, Zadar gained its Roman urban character and developed into one of the most flourishing centres on the eastern Adriatic coast. The town was organised according to the typical Roman street system with a rectangular street plan, a forum, thermae, a sewage and water supply system that came from lake Vrana, by way of a 40 kilometres long aqueduct. The aqueduct is partially preserved, and some remains may be seen outside the ramparts.
The town was fortified and the city walls with towers and gates were built. On the western side of the town were the forum, the basilica and the temple, while outside the town were the amphitheatre and cemeteries. The largest Forum Romanum on the eastern side of the Adriatic is partially preserved. The forum is the name given to all main squares in the cities of the ancient Roman Empire. The inscription with the name of Augustus´ proconsul for Illyricum, Tamfil Vaale, carved on the well of the Forum, testifies that the complex construction was started as early as the second decade of the 1st century BC.
Forum in Zadar represents a very developed example of the forum complex and is one of the most important among the Adriatic ancient cities. There was initially an about 2-metre high capitol on its south-western section, in the midst of which a temple dedicated to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva rises, while a monumental pillar is preserved to its north-western side, used in the Middle Ages as a "Pillar of Shame". In the period of late antiquity, the complex of Christian buildings was erected on the site of Roman temples. Most Roman remains were used in the construction of the fortifications, but two squares are embellished with lofty marble columns. The complex of earlier erected Roman buildings was destroyed.
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Linked to: Croatia