Located in Narodni Trg (People’s Square) is the City Guard or “Gradska straza” as it is known by the locals. The Narodni Trg is the main square of the town, platae magna (large square), and is the centre of public life in Zadar. The foundations to municipal buildings were laid in the square during the early Middle Ages. During the Venetian reign in the 15th century, the church of St Peter and the Municipal Loggia which had been built here, were destroyed. Designed in the 16th century by the Venetian architect Michele Sanmicheli, the building is now home to a modern art gallery.
The building is of late Renaissance style having a large central clock tower and is surrounded by a stone wall with holes for cannons, both later additions. Michele Sanmicheli was a Mannerist architect and famed for his numerous military fortifications. Born in 1484 he travelled from 1537-1539 to Corfu, Crete and Dalmatia to design such fortifications.