Crkva Svetog Donata

Grgura Mrganića, Zadar

Church of Saint Donatus - Most important information

The Church of Saint Donatus dated back to the 9th century and was built on the remains of the Roman forum in Zadar. Thanks to its exceptional importance, it is the main symbol of the city of Zadar, while it is also the most famous monumental building from the Middle Ages in the whole of Croatia.

History of the Church of Saint Donatus

The Church of St. Donatus was built at the beginning of the 9th century, and during its history, it changed its appearance and had different purposes.
  • The Church of St. Donatus reflects Byzantine culture and tradition: This medieval monument was built on the model of early Roman and Byzantine architecture. Until the 15th century, the temple bore the name of the Holy Trinity, and after that, it took the name of Bishop Donatus, who was responsible for constructing this temple.
  • The church was mentioned for the first time in the 10th century: Sources state that the church of St. Donatus was first mentioned in the 10th century in the writings of Constantine Porphyrogenitus. Thanks to its good location and great historical value, the temple had different uses throughout history. Thus, from the end of the 19th century until 1954, it was the Archaeological Museum of Zadar.
Characteristics of the Church of Saint Donatus
  • Most of the materials with which the temple was built are of ancient origin: A large part of the architectural decorations, monolithic columns, and other objects dating back to antiquity. They originate mainly from the ruined Roman forum in that place. For research, it was concluded that the temple was built entirely on the remains of the Roman forum.
  • The extraordinary richness of the interior: the church has three doors, while the narthex of the temple was partitioned in the 18th century. Six monumental towers are located on the ground floor of the temple, as well as two monolithic columns. The spaciousness is minimal even though it has many windows because the light is scattered and does not reach the distant parts.
The importance of the Church of Saint Donatus
The Church of St. Donatus has exceptional cultural and historical value, and it is one of the essential attractions in the city. Thanks to its acoustic characteristics, the church space is used today to host musical programs, one of which is the Musical Evenings in Sveti Donat.

How to get to the Church of Saint Donatus?
The Church of St. Donatus is near the Roman Forum, not far from the Zadar waterfront. It can be reached by a leisurely walk through the city or by means of transport. It is possible to get there by car from any direction in Zadar, and there is a parking lot near the attraction called Ulica Vladimira Papafava 7.
  • On foot: If you are moving from the direction of Zadar Park and Five Wells Square, you need to go along Obala Kralja Tomislava Street, and then to Poljana Pape Aleksandra III Street. From the opposite direction, Zadarski mira street 1358 will lead you to the location.
  • By car: It is possible to come by car from any direction in Zadar, and from the direction of Salutation to the Sun it is possible to come via Zadarski Mir Street 1358, and then follow Archbishop Mate Karaman Street. From the opposite side, it is possible to reach Liburnska obale street, then you need to follow Bedemi Zadarskih pobuna street and Šimun Kožičića Benje street.


Type of Attractions
  • Brige
  • Museum


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