If you’re visiting Zadar, you’ll probably go to the beach. While you’re there, you’ll find yourself entranced by a mysterious, soothing song. Its source is a giant instrument at the edge of the beach, and its virtuosic player is the sea.
The 230-ft long instrument, which uses the heft of the waves to create ethereal harmonies, is disguised as a shallow flight of shore-side steps. But beneath its surface is a network of channels connecting 35 organ pipes, which sing out their chords at the ocean’s capricious commands.
Architect Nikola Bašić created the Zadar Sea Organ – or Morske orgulje – in 2005. Local authorities wanted an unusual piece of public art to spruce up the war-scarred town, and Bašić decided to incorporate the city’s main attraction: the Adriatic Sea.
The result was this modern-day Aeolian harp, whose sublime lullaby leaves listeners transported. In 2006, the Sea Organ won the European Prize for Urban Public Space – the board said that it was a “perfect grandstand for watching the sunset over the sea and the outline of the [neighbouring] island of Ugljan, while listening to the musical compositions played by the sea itself.”
Listen to the sea organ in the video below, and feel yourself succumb to its Pied Piper-like pull: