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3 minute read by Sail Croatia
Posted on 25 July 2021

The Zadar Sea Organ

Croatia is undoubtedly blessed when it comes to its archipelago. Everywhere you look there’s something new to see, discover or do along the miles of pristine coastline or lush and varied inland. However, of all that’s available to see, nothing quite prepares you for the Zadar Sea Organ.

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Sea Organ Croatia

As you stroll through the Old Town in Zadar, you may hear a whisper of delicate notes off in the distance, once you get closer and reach the edges of the promenade, you’ll be welcomed by the chords of nature itself. Commissioned in 2005 by architect Nikola Bašić and expert Dalmatian stone carvers, the Sea Organ of Croatia was created to connect the locals back to the Adriatic. Zadar’s promenade was heavily damaged due to World War II and left behind a collection of concrete and metal ruins which has now been reclaimed as a site to sit and listen to the harmony of the ocean.

Where in Croatia is the Sea Organ?

Along Zadar’s Riva on the outskirts of Old Town, the Sea Organ spans over 70 meters on the promenade's northwestern corner. Closeby to the ferry station, you can easily access this location by walking from the ferry station or Old Town. Follow the sounds of the ocean and you’ll find the Sea Organ!

Map of Zadar Sea Organ

How Does The Zadar Sea Organ Work?

Carved into the steps of the seafront promenade, 35 organ pipes catch the sounds of waves entering and escaping the hollowed out holes, producing a unique soundtrack exclusive to Zadar. The sounds played by the waves’ movement is the result of the different lengths and sizes of the organ pipes. Chiseled into 7 steps, 7 chords of 5 tones can be heard from this installation, all changing as you make your way down the promenade.

What Does The Sea Organ Sound Like?

When the tides are calm with a gentle lull, the sounds are more peaceful and harmonious, much like a repetitive melody. It’s tone resembles a hollowed sound much like blowing the top of a glass bottle. As you can imagine, when the tides shift and the waves become more powerful, a lively and boisterous sound gets emitted from the strength - you can easily become hypnotised by its changing tune! Perch yourself along the steps of the Sea Organ throughout the day and discover Zadar’s symphony played just for you!

How Many Sea Organs Are There?

A first of its kind in Croatia, the Zadar Sea Organ is the most unique example of nature's song. There are some similar installations located around the world, the Wave Organ of San Francisco and the High Tide Organ of Blackpool in England, however the mastery behind Zadar’s installation allows a continuous melody to be played regardless of tide times!

Greeting to the Sun

The huge success of the Zadar Sea Organ saw the genesis of its complementing pair; The Greeting to the Sun, or Sun Salutation as it’s commonly referred to. Appointed again to Nikola Bašić, this solar powered installation measures 22 meters in diameter and its 300 solar panels utilise the power of the sun during the day to power its famous lightshow as the sun sets. The electricity collected throughout the day is also used to illuminate the whole of the waterfront during the evenings. Paying homage to Zadar, if you look close enough, at the edge of the installation's design you’ll also find the names of historical Zadar saints engraved into the chrome ring

Greeting to the Sun Zadar

One thing that’s apparent with the pairing of the Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun is that they share a common goal – neither would be able to come alive if it weren't for nature itself. In a nod to the future of sustainability, both attractions function on renewable energy creating a true masterpiece which has the potential to influence more installations like these.

Must Do Things in Zadar

This peninsula town may be quaint but it’s quickly becoming a hotspot for travellers. It’s filled with wonderful history and unforgettable charm where locals and visitors can get carried away wandering through this charismatic location. For the ultimate guide to Zadar, see our destination guide here.

On top of a charming town, vibrant sunsets and beautiful attractions, Zadar will surely fulfil your travel fantasy when you’re welcomed with a sound and light show. They have illuminated and galvanised the city waterfront in such a way that leaves locals and travellers captivated every time.