Zadar: Gradska straža

CityGuard

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.

CityGuard2

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.

Zadar: Lucka Vrata

Zadar1

Located to the east of the Old Town is the Port Gate (Lucka Vrata). Once the main entrance into the city, it was built in 1543 by the Venetian architect Michele Sanmicheli. Above the keystone of the arch is the monumental lion of St Mark, the coat of arms for the Venetian Republic. The keystone of the arch features a relief of St Grisogono on horseback, the coat of arms for the city of Zadar.

The Renaissance architecture of the Port Gate is the result of the fortification system in Zadar he was responsible for during the 16th century. From the beginning of the Venetian-Turkish war (1537-1540), Michele Sanmicheli was involved in the basic layout of a new Zadar fort, accommodation and Land Gate.