Šibenik is a historic city in Croatia, located in central Dalmatia where the river Krka flows into the Adriatic Sea. Šibenik is a political, educational, transport, industrial and tourist center of Šibenik–Knin County and also the third-largest city in the historic region of Dalmatia. It is the oldest native Croatian town on the shores of the sea.
Šibenik is in the central part of the Croatian Adriatic Coast, in the picturesque and indented bay where the Krka River, one of the most beautiful karst rivers in Croatia enters the sea. Šibenik today is the administrative, political, economic, social and cultural centre of the County of Šibenik and Knin which extends along the 100 kilometre long coastline between the Zadar and Split Rivieras, extending up to 45 kilometres into the hinterland area, at the bottom of Dinara mountain.
Šibenik and Knin County covers about 1,860 square kilometres and surrounds the islands, the coast and the hinterland. Šibenik and Knin County has 242 islands, islets and above-sea reefs. Most of this archipelago is in the north-western part of Šibenik’s waters and is especially indented, bare and sparsely inhabited. The area of Šibenik has only 10 island settlements. The most numerous group of islands are the Kornati, widely known for their bizarre shapes and splendid natural beauties.
Amongst all Croatian towns on the Adriatic coast Šibenik is set apart by its unique location in a picturesque and open bay, at the mouth of the Krka River. Created initially as an ancient Croatian castrum, a fortification or encampment, at the bottom of St. Michael’s Fortress that still dominates the town, Šibenik was mentioned for the first time in 1066, in a document issued by the most important Croatian ruler – the king Petar Krešimir IV. Šibenik obtained the status of a native Croatian town in 1290, when the Diocese of Šibenik was established.
The view over Šibenik reveals the unique harmony of the urban poetics of the town and its natural surroundings. The harbor, which is connected to the open sea by the St. Anthony Strait, has been an initiator of marittime affairs development, trading and the overall economic prosperity of the town for centuries. At the entrance into the Strait is the fortress of St. Nicholas, the most important renaissance fortress on the eastern coast of the Adriatic.
Together with the fortresses of St. Michael, St. John and Šubićevac surrounding the town, it is a symbol of the centuries old continuous resistence of Šibenik, as confirmed in the recent Croatian War of Independence.
Šibenik’s St. James’ Cathedral, built over more than a century, is testimony to the persistency, sacrifice and belief of generations of Šibenik inhabitants.