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St. James's cathedral
View of Šibenik.
Šibenik ( ; ) is a historic town in Croatiamarker, with population of 51,553 (2001). It is located in central Dalmatia where the river Krka flows into the Adriatic Seamarker. It is located at . Šibenik is a political, educational, transport, industrial and tourist center of Šibenik-Knin countymarker.


Šibenik was mentioned for the first time under its present name in 1066 in a Charter of the Croatian King Petar Krešimir IV. For a period of time, it was a seat of the Croatian King. For that reason, Šibenik is also called "Krešimirov grad" (Krešimir's city). It is the oldest native Croatian town on the eastern shores of the Adriaticmarker.

Šibenik was given the status of a town and its own diocese in 1298. Excavations of the castle of Saint Michael have since proven that the place was inhabited long before the actual arrival of the Croats. The city, like the rest of Dalmatia, resisted the Venetiansmarker up to 1412. The Ottoman Empire started to threaten Šibenik at the end of the 15th century, but they never succeeded in conquering it. In the 16th century, St. Nicholas Fortressmarker was built and, by the 17th century, its fortifications were improved again by the fortresses of St. John (Tanaja) and Šubićevac (Barone).

The fall of the Venetian Republicmarker in 1797 brought Šibenik under the authority of the Habsburg Monarchy. After World War I, Šibenik became a part of the Kingdom of Yugoslaviamarker, while during World War II it was occupied by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. After WWII it became a part of the SFR Yugoslaviamarker until Croatia declared independence in 1991.

During the Croatian War of Independence (1991-1995), Šibenik was heavily attacked by the Yugoslav National Army and Serbian paramilitary troops. Although under-armed, the nascent Croatian army and the people of Šibenik managed to defend the city. The battle lasted for six days (September 16-22) is often referred to as the "September battle".The bombings damaged numerous buildings and monuments, including the dome of the cathedralmarker and the 1870-built theatre building.

In an August 1995 military operation, Croatian Army defeated the Serb forces and freed the occupied areas, which created the basic conditions for its post-war recovery and allowed the region to continue to develop as the centre of Šibenik-Knin county. Architecturally, the damaged parts of the city have been fully reconstructed.

Main sights

The central church in Šibenik, the Cathedral of St. Jamesmarker, is on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Several successive architects built it completely in stone in the 15th and 16th centuries, both in Gothic and in Renaissance style. The interlocking stone slabs of the Cathedral's roof were damaged when the city was shelled by Serbian forces in 1991. The damage has since been repaired.

Fortifications in Šibenik

In the town of Šibenik there are four fortresses:

  • St. Nicholas Fortressmarker ( ) is a fortress located at sea, at the entrance of Šibenik's port.
  • Tvrđava Sv. Mihovila
  • Tvrđava Sv. Ivana
  • Tvrđava Šubićevac

Natural heritage

  • A couple of kilometers north of the city is the beautiful Krka National Parkmarker similar to the more famous Plitvice Lakes National Parkmarker. The park is full of breathtaking scenery of waterfalls, flora, fauna as well as historical and archaeological remains.

Culture and events

The annual Šibenik International Children's Festival (Međunarodni Dječji Festival) takes place every summer.

The composer Jakov Gotovac founded the city's "Philharmonia Society" in 1922. The composer Franz von Suppé was part of the city's cultural fabric, as he was a native of nearby Splitmarker.


Šibenik's town population is estimated to be 37,124 as of 2007. In the 2001 census, population of the town was 37,060 while the population of the municipality was 51,553. The majority of its citizens are Croats, with 94.02% (2001 census).


The town of Šibenik was the first city in the world to receive a polyphase system of alternating current. The system supplied 340 street lights and some electrified houses in the town.

International relations

Twin towns - Sister cities

Šibenik is twinned with:

Notable people



External links

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