Even though the 9th - century church of St. Donatus is the symbol of the city and no doubt the best known building in Zadar, another two city attractions have lately become simply unavoidable for any tourist visiting this Adriatic gem. These are the Sea Organ and the Greeting to the Sun - two urban installations designed by an architect Mr Nikola Bašić and constructed in the western part of the Zadar peninsula (the Old Town area), at the very tip of its waterfront which was recently reconstructed and turned into a new, modern pier area for the cruise ships.
Constructed in 2005, the Sea Organ consists of stone steps divided into seven sections measuring 10 meters each. Under these steps is a whole system of pipes and tubes with whistles. This urban installation was constructed at the very tip of the waterfront since this place is most exposed to the waves of the winds of the Zadar channel. The wind makes the waves, then the waves compress the air through those pipes with whistles and that is how music is made here. The stronger the waves are, the louder the music is. Or, in other words, no waves - no music. The Sea Organ, also called the orchestra of nature, is the world’s first pipe organ played by the sea.
Right next to the Sea Organ is another popular modern city attraction - the Greeting to the Sun. This urban installation was constructed in 2008. The idea for this project was inspired by the place from which the local people usually enjoy watching the sun go down. In addition to that, the famous English film director and producer Sir Alfred Hitchcock visited Zadar back in the 1960s and said that Zadar had the most beautiful sunset in the world. So, it is to these famous Zadar sunsets that this installation is dedicated to.
The Greeting to the Sun is a circular plate 22 meters in diameter which consists of three hundred multilayered glass plates under which have been inbuilt photo-powered solar modules. These solar modules absorb sunlight during the day and when the sun sets they charge the lighting elements under the plates which finally light up and produce a light spectacle - different lighting images synchronized with the rhythm of the waves and the sounds of the Sea Organ. The circular glass plate is surrounded by a steel frame in which are engraved the names of the saints to whom the churches in Zadar are consecrated, together with the dates of the holidays when these saints are celebrated, the declination and the height of the Sun on those days as well as the duration of sunlight during each holiday. Separate from the plate representing the Sun, smaller circular plates have been placed symbolizing all the other planets of the Solar system.
From the first day both installations became unique, recognizable and far-renowned city attractions and have won the highest world acclaims within their category.
So, when in Zadar do not miss to greet the sun sitting by the orchestra of nature.