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Šibenik is full of surprises. Around its attractive Old Town, historic churches and atmospheric squares are tucked around almost every corner, the golden globe atop the unmissable Cathedral of St James popping up in the distance when least expected.
The busy seafront Riva, lined with bars and restaurants, is overlooked by the ancient network of crumbling fortresses atop the city, guarding the entrance to the Krka estuary that leads to the town from the sea. Founded on Christmas Day in 1066 by King Petar Krešimir IV, Šibenik is one of few coastal towns with a Croatian rather than Greco-Roman heritage.
However, it was the long period of Venetian rule that left the deepest imprint, and most buildings in the centre, including the Cathedral of St James, date from this era. Giorgio da Sebenico, Niccolò di Giovanni Fiorentino and Fausto Veranzio are just some of the renowned figures whose works can still be admired today. Šibenik even had its own to mint, producing a local currency, the šibenski bagatin.
Šibenik is also a good base from which to explore the Krka National Park, Etnoland discovery park, Dubrava Sokolarski Center for Falconry, and nightspots in Vodice and Primošten.
This article is sponsored by Šibenik and The Croatian National Tourism Board: 'Croatia Full of Life.