Zadar [key], Ital. Zara, city (2011 pop. 75,062), W Croatia, on the Dalmatian coast of the Adriatic Sea. A seaport and a tourist center, it has industries that produce liqueur, processed fish, textiles, and cigarettes. It is the seat of a Roman Catholic archbishop and has a branch of the Univ. of Zagreb. Founded by the Illyrians in the 4th cent. b.c., Zadar became a Roman colony in the 2d cent. b.c. It passed to the Byzantine Empire in 553 and was settled by the South Slavs in the 7th cent. Although disputed by Venice, Hungary, and Croatia, it remained under Byzantine protection until 1001, when Emperor Alexius I transferred it to Venice. At the end of the 11th cent. it was seized by Hungary, but the leaders of the Fourth Crusade, persuaded by the doge Enrico Dandolo, reconquered it for Venice in 1202. After a five-day siege the Crusaders sacked the city, an act for which they were condemned by Pope Innocent III. Hungary continued to dispute Zadar with Venice, which obtained permanent possession of the city only in 1409. The Treaty of Campo Formio (1797) gave it to Austria, where, from 1815 to 1918, it was the capital of the crownland of Dalmatia. Zadar passed to Italy by the Treaty of Saint-Germain (1919), was occupied (1945) by Yugoslav forces at the end of World War II, and was formally ceded to Yugoslavia by the Italian peace treaty of 1947 as part of the constitutent republic of Croatia. The city has several Roman monuments and medieval churches and palaces.
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