On the furthest outlying coastal corner of the Old Town in Zadar, Croatia is an architectural masterpiece that is more impressive for what you don’t see rather than what you do. Walking from the historic center toward the water you begin to hear a faint melody that is completely foreign yet somehow familiar. The rhythmic waves roll in and through the holes cut into the marble stairs to play an ever-changing song of the sea. The Zadar Sea Organ plays its music for would-be listeners year-round, welcoming visitors and locals any time day or night.
The Sea Organ
This stretch of city coastline was functionally rebuilt following the second world war. In 2005 the city revealed Nikola Bašić’s (Basheech) experimental music masterpiece. It replaced a concrete wall with open space where the sea and land meet and make music.
Greeting to the Sun
Next to the Sea Organ is Bašić’s Greeting to the Sun. Storing solar energy during the day, this architectural piece emits a programmed light show at night. Visitors can view it from a distance to take in the whole, walk on the light show stage, or kids can jump from light to light looking for their favorite color.
Either of these world class displays would be impressive in their own right. Together it is amazing to see what the City of Zadar has done to beautify the city with ecologically innovative art that marries nature and modern technology. But these are more than just impressive displays. This little magic spot on the globe is a place to live, to think, to dream. It is a place to just be.After taking some pictures and video of the sea organ during the day I called to my 10-year old daughter. She didn’t hear me. I called again. She still didn’t hear me. She was mesmerized by the waves and the music. She was taken by the magic of the Sea Organ.
Definitely make plans for a first or next trip to Croatia with Zadar on the itinerary. And plan a few hours to hang, watch, and listen to the beauty that comes from the Sea Organ and Zadar’s Greeting to the Sun.