Did You Know ... about Kalelarga?
How to take the pulse of the city of Zadar? Just take a leisurely stroll down Kalelarga, the central street of the historical peninsula, and let the story of the city unravel itself with every step you take. To fully appreciate it, check out a few fascinating facts about Zadar’s most vibrant street:
What does Kalelarga stand for?
So much more than just a street… Every single paved stone you cross hides a fascinating element of the city’s story. Kalelarga is the place to meet & greet, laugh out loud and have fun, celebrate the triumphs, it’s the place to fall in love with your loved one and the city, over and over again.
The meaning of its name
Take a close look at the map! The street is officially called Široka ulica, which is basically a translation of Kalelarga, as it is popularly known and referred to. Since the moment it was constructed so many centuries ago, the street has changed several names such as Via Magna, Strada Grande, Ruga Magistra and Calle Larga, which basically means ‘wide street’ in Venetian dialect that used to be spoken in Zadar and Dalmatia for centuries. Ironically, it wasn’t originally as wide as it is today - only 5m as compared to 13m today. The name Kalelarga has been embraced by the Zadrans, though, and loved by them under that name.
The exact location
The pulsating street of Zadar passes right through its heart - practically splitting the historical peninsula in two! Legend has it that the street is older than the city itself, which is probably due to the fact that it had already been formed even before the Romans turned it into the principal street of the city. It was used to form the Cardo-Decumanus street layout found in all planned Roman towns. Kalelarga has kept its Decumanus Maximus status as the main longitudinal street of the peninsula ever since.
Following traces of history along Kalelarga
From Petar Zoranić square all the way to the Church of Our Lady of Health see the traces of life as it has evolved over the centuries. See the remains dating back to the Roman times at Petar Zoranić square, continuing go past the Duke’s Palace before you reach the centre of medieval life at Narodni trg (People’s Square) where the first café was opened almost 300 years ago. Further along you pass the remains of the Roman Forum, St Anastasia’s Cathedral all the way to Kampo Kastelo historical neighbourhood. Indeed, a walk along Kalelarga takes you through quite a few chapters of history.
There can be only one…
Or two, or more! While people in Šibenik might tell you they also have a Kalelarga street just as Zaton Holiday Resort pays tribute to the Zadar’s main street by having named the central promenade Kalelarga, the original is one - the one and only Kalelarga right in the heart of Zadar. Just like everyone knows that the heartbeat of Dubrovnik can be felt on Stradun, so is Kalelarga inextricably connected to Zadar. With a song dedicated to it, Kalelarga’s fame truly goes beyond the boundaries of the city.
Kalelarga - love that surpasses a person’s lifetime
It’s the most vibrant landmark of the city, always buzzing with life. It represents strength and endurance, because Kalelarga has been here since forever and is here to stay … to infinity and beyond, as all Zadrans would expect nothing less of their beloved street.