The attractive coastal city of Sibenik, Croatia, 30 mi/50 km northwest of Split, shows traces of its fascinating history, having been under Venetian, Byzantine, Bosnian, Austrian, Italian and Hungarian rule over the centuries.

The old town centers on Poljana Square, which is surrounded by old patrician houses and palaces. Be sure to visit City Hall and the baroque-style Church of St. Lawrence.

The pearl of the city is the Cathedral of St. James, which was built by Juraj Dalmatinac in the 15th century. It's been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site because of its unusual construction and ornamentation. The cathedral is dedicated to St. James the Greater. It is also often called St. Jacob's, because the Croatian language uses the same name for James and Jacob. A tour of the cathedral, including the Door of Lions, which supports dual statues of Adam and Eve, the 72 faces lining the arch and the looming symmetrical facade, makes visitors feel as if they have taken a step back in time.

Fortresses that once were used in defense of the city are now attractive spots with beautiful views. Also visit the Sibenik City Museum, which showcases archaeological and coin collections and is located in the former Duke's Palace.

Popular day trips out of Sibenik include the magnificent Krka River National Park and the Kornati Islands National Park.

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