Meet the Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun

Of all the 21st-century attractions that have transformed Zadar into a thriving tourist destination, the most unusual are the Sea Organ and the Greeting to the Sun. Public art installations created by Nikola Bašić, a renowned architect, have animated the city waterfront in a most radical yet entertaining way. Zadar is thus the proud owner of a unique blend of architecture and music.

The point of interest is the Popular Sea Organ, a 75-meter stairway along the Zadar waterfront. The installation is like a musical instrument that creates an unusual melody using only the power of sea waves. Placed beneath the huge marble steps are 35 pipes of various lengths and diameters through which waves push air, creating a unique sound. It’s a popular spot for people who come to chill and linger while listening to the melody played by the sea. The Sea Organ was broken off, gently shaped, and returned to the sea. When the most beautiful sunset illuminates the waterfront, the play of lights by the Greeting to the Sun accompanies the waves’ rhythm and the Sea Organ’s sounds: a sound artwork and experimental musical instrument that creates lovely, chimed tunes using only the rolling power of sea waves. With every boat that passes and wind that blows, air flows create a continuous sound. You could spend hours on these steps, in the company of visitors and locals lounging, swimming, and staring into the sea, hypnotized.

It was so successful that Bašić devised another piece nearby, the Greeting to the Sun. Another installation by the brilliant architect symbolizes the communication between man and nature. This stirring monument consists of 300 multi-layered glass solar panels in a 22-meter-diameter circle that absorbs solar energy during the day and creates a spectacular waterfront light show just after sunset – a treat for all your senses. The best time to visit Greeting to the Sun is just before the sun goes down so that you can watch Zadar’s famous sunset and, afterwards, the installation transforming from a lot of solar panels into a funky light show. The work is both a visual example of renewable energy and a nod to local history. Around the circle’s edge are names related to the astronomical calendar drawn up in Zadar in 1290 and discovered by chance at the Bodleian Library in Oxford in 1964. Both projects bring people together, are free, and are self-perpetuating.

And famous director Mister Hitchcock once said, ” Zadar has the most beautiful sunset in the world, more beautiful than the one in Key West in Florida, applauded every evening”. So, take your place, enjoy the most magical sunset, and listen to the unique sound of the waves!

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