A look at the considerable UNESCO Croatia heritage, from intangible and tentative lists to a rising number of World Heritage Sites.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Croatia

Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Centre of Poreč (1997)

The group of religious monuments in Poreč, where Christianity was established as early as the 4th century, constitutes the most complete surviving complex of its type. The basilica, atrium, baptistery and episcopal palace are outstanding examples of religious architecture, while the basilica itself combines classical and Byzantine elements in an exceptional manner. – from UNESCO

Historic City of Trogir (1997)

Trogir is a remarkable example of urban continuity. The orthogonal street plan of this island settlement dates back to the Hellenistic period and it was embellished by successive rulers with many fine public and domestic buildings and fortifications. Its beautiful Romanesque churches are complemented by the outstanding Renaissance and Baroque buildings from the Venetian period. – from UNESCO

Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian (1979)

The ruins of Diocletian’s Palace, built between the late 3rd and the early 4th centuries A.D., can be found throughout the city. The cathedral was built in the Middle Ages, reusing materials from the ancient mausoleum. Twelfth- and 13th-century Romanesque churches, medieval fortifications, 15th-century Gothic palaces and other palaces in Renaissance and Baroque style make up the rest of the protected area.

from UNESCO

Old City of Dubrovnik (1979)

The ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, situated on the Dalmatian coast, became an important Mediterranean sea power from the 13th century onwards. Although severely damaged by an earthquake in 1667, Dubrovnik managed to preserve its beautiful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains. Damaged again in the 1990s by armed conflict, it is now the focus of a major restoration programme co-ordinated by UNESCO.

Stari Grad Plain (2008)

Stari Grad Plain on the Adriatic island of Hvar is a cultural landscape that has remained practically intact since it was first colonized by Ionian Greeks from Paros in the 4th century BC. The original agricultural activity of this fertile plain, mainly centring on grapes and olives, has been maintained since Greek times to the present. The site is also a natural reserve. The landscape features ancient stone walls and trims, or small stone shelters, and bears testimony to the ancient geometrical system of land division used by the ancient Greeks, the chora which has remained virtually intact over 24 centuries.

from UNESCO

Stećci Medieval Tombstone Graveyards (2016)

This serial property combines 28 sites, located in Bosnia and Herzegovina, western Serbia, western Montenegro and central and southern Croatia, representing these cemeteries and regionally distinctive medieval tombstones, or stećci. The cemeteries, which date from the 12th to 16th centuries CE, are laid out in rows, as was the common custom in Europe from the Middle Ages. The stećci are mostly carved from limestone. They feature a wide range of decorative motifs and inscriptions that represent iconographic continuities within medieval Europe as well as locally distinctive traditions. – from UNESCO

The Cathedral of St James in Šibenik (2000)

The Cathedral of St James in Šibenik (1431-1535), on the Dalmatian coast, bears witness to the considerable exchanges in the field of monumental arts between Northern Italy, Dalmatia and Tuscany in the 15th and 16th centuries. The three architects who succeeded one another in the construction of the Cathedral – Francesco di Giacomo, Georgius Mathei Dalmaticus and Niccolò di Giovanni Fiorentino – developed a structure built entirely from stone and using unique construction techniques for the vaulting and the dome of the Cathedral. The form and the decorative elements of the Cathedral, such as a remarkable frieze decorated with 71 sculptured faces of men, women, and children, also illustrate the successful fusion of Gothic and Renaissance art

from UNESCO

Venetian Works of Defence between the 16th and 17th Centuries: Stato da Terra – Western Stato da Mar (2017)

This property consists of 6 components of defence works in Italy, Croatia and Montenegro, spanning more than 1,000 km between the Lombard region of Italy and the eastern Adriatic Coast. The fortifications throughout the Stato da Terra protected the Republic of Venice from other European powers to the northwest and those of the Stato da Mar protected the sea routes and ports in the Adriatic Sea to the Levant. They were necessary to support the expansion and authority of the Serenissima. The introduction of gunpowder led to significant shifts in military techniques and architecture that are reflected in the design of so-called alla moderna /bastioned, fortifications, which were to spread throughout Europe. – from UNESCO

Fortress of Sv Nikola (St Nicholas) in Šibenik (2017)

It is included in the Venetian works of defence collection.

Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe (2007, 2011, 2017)

This transboundary property stretches over 12 countries. Since the end of the last Ice Age, European Beech spread from a few isolated refuge areas in the Alps, Carpathians, Dinarides, Mediterranean and Pyrenees over a short period of a few thousand years in a process that is still ongoing. The successful expansion across a whole continent is related to the tree’s adaptability and tolerance of different climatic, geographical and physical conditions. – from UNESCO

Plitvice Lakes National Park (1979)

The waters flowing over the limestone and chalk have, over thousands of years, deposited travertine barriers, creating natural dams which in turn have created a series of beautiful lakes, caves and waterfalls. These geological processes continue today. The forests in the park are home to bears, wolves and many rare bird species.

from UNESCO

Intangible UNESCO Heritage in Croatia

2018

Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Art of dry stone walling, knowledge and techniques

Međimurska popevka, a folk song from Međimurje

2016

Register of Good Safeguarding Practices

Community project of safeguarding the living culture of Rovinj/Rovigno: the Batana Ecomuseum

2013

Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Mediterranean diet

2012

Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Klapa multipart singing of Dalmatia

2011

Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Bećarac singing and playing from Eastern Croatia

Nijemo Kolo, silent circle dance of the Dalmatian hinterland

2010

List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding

Ojkanje singing

Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Gingerbread craft from Northern Croatia

Sinjska Alka, a knights’ tournament in Sinj

2009

Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Two-part singing and playing in the Istrian scale

Festivity of Saint Blaise, the patron of Dubrovnik

Traditional manufacturing of children’s wooden toys in Hrvatsko Zagorje

Spring procession of Ljelje/Kraljice (queens) from Gorjani

Procession Za Krizen (‘following the cross’) on the island of Hvar

Annual carnival bell ringers’ pageant from the Kastav area

Lacemaking in Croatia 

What is on the UNESCO Tentative List in Croatia?

Zadar – Episcopal complex (2005)

Historical-town planning ensemble of Ston with Mali Ston, connecting walls, the Mali Ston Bay nature reserve, Stonsko Polje and the salt pans (2005)

Historical-Town Planning Ensemble Tvrda (Fort) in Osijek (2005)Varazdin – Historic Nucleus and Old Town (the Castle) (2005)

Burg – Castle of Veliki Tabor (2005)

Lonjsko Polje Nature Park (2005)

Velebit Mountain (2005)

Frontiers of the Roman Empire Croatian Limes (2005)

Diocletian’s Palace and the Historical Nucleus of Split (extension) (2005)

Lubenice (2005)

Primošten Vineyards (2007)

Hermitage Blaca (2007)

City of Motovun (2007)

The historic town of Korčula (2007)

Kornati National Park and Telašćica Nature Park (2007)

You can follow Filipa’s writing about UNESCO Croatia via her author profile on TCN.