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Zadar, Croatia

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Zadar is the oldest continuously inhabited Croatian city. It is situated on the Adriatic Sea, at the northwestern part of Ravni Kotari region. Zadar serves as the seat of Zadar County and of the wider northern Dalmatian region. The city proper covers 25 km2 (9.7 sq mi) with a population of 75,082 in 2011, making it the second-largest city of the region of Dalmatia and the fifth-largest city in the country.

The area of present-day Zadar traces its earliest evidence of human life from the late Stone Age, while numerous settlements date as early as the Neolithic. Before the Illyrians, an ancient Mediterranean people of an Indo-European culture inhabited the area. Zadar traces its origin to its 9th-century BC founding as a settlement of the Illyrian tribe of Liburnians known as Iader.

In 59 BC it was renamed Iadera when it became a Roman municipium. In 48 BC it became a Roman colonia. During Roman rule, Zadar acquired the characteristics of a traditional Ancient Roman city with a regular road network, a public square (forum), and an elevated capitolium with a temple.

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and the destruction of Salona by the Avars and Croats in 614, Zadar became the capital of the Byzantine theme of Dalmatia. In the beginning of the 9th century, Zadar came briefly under Frankish rule, but the Pax Nicephori returned it to the Byzantines in 812. The first Croatian rulers gained brief control over the city in 10th century. In 998 Zadar swore allegiance to Doge Pietro Orseolo II and became a vassal of the Republic of Venice. In 1186 it placed itself under the protection of Béla III, King of Hungary and Croatia. Wikipedia

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An image from Zadar, Croatia

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