For other places with the same name, see Šibenik (disambiguation).
Top: View of the city; Center left: Narrow streets of Šibenik; Center right: Cathedral dome; Bottom: Summer stage inside Šibenik Fortress



Location of Šibenik within Croatia

Coordinates: 43°44′N 15°55′E / 43.733°N 15.917°E / 43.733; 15.917
Country  Croatia
County Šibenik-Knin
  Mayor Željko Burić (HDZ)
Elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
  City 46,332
  Urban 34,302
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 22000
Area code(s) 022
License plate ŠI
Climate Cfa
Website http://www.sibenik.hr/

Šibenik (Croatian pronunciation: [ʃîbeniːk]; Italian: Sebenico) is a historic city in Croatia, located in central Dalmatia where the river Krka flows into the Adriatic Sea. Šibenik is a political, educational, transport, industrial and tourist center of Šibenik–Knin County and also the 3rd largest city in the historic region of Dalmatia. It is the oldest native Croatian town on the shores of the sea.


Early history

Early 16th century map of Šibenik by Martino Rota.

Unlike other cities along the Adriatic coast, which were established by Greeks, Illyrians and Romans, Šibenik was founded by Croats.[2] Excavations of the castle of Saint Michael, have since proven that the place was inhabited long before the actual arrival of the Croats. It was mentioned for the first time under its present name in 1066 in a Charter of the Croatian King Petar Krešimir IV[2] and, for a period of time, it was a seat of this Croatian King. For that reason, Šibenik is also called "Krešimirov grad" (Krešimir's city).

Between the 11th and 12th centuries, Šibenik was tossed back and forth among Venice, Byzantium, and Hungary. It was conquered by the Republic of Venice in 1116,[3] who held it until 1124, when they briefly lost it to the Byzantine Empire,[4] and then held it again until 1133 when it was retaken by the Kingdom of Hungary.[5] It would change hands among the aforementioned states several more times until 1180.

The city was given the status of a town in 1167 from Stephen III of Hungary.[6] It received its own diocese in 1298.[2]

In the 14th century, "Vlachs" were present in the hinterland of Šibenik.

Under Venice and the Habsburgs

The city, like the rest of Dalmatia, initially resisted the Republic of Venice, but it was taken over after a three-year war in 1412.[2] In August 1417, Venetian authorities were concerned with the "Morlachs and other Slavs" from the hinterland, that were a threat to security in Šibenik.[7] The Ottoman Empire started to threaten Šibenik (known as Sebenico), as part of their struggle against Venice, at the end of the 15th century,[3] but they never succeeded in conquering it. In the 16th century, St. Nicholas Fortress was built and, by the 17th century, its fortifications were improved again by the fortresses of St. John (Tanaja) and Šubićevac (Barone).

The Morlachs started settling Šibenik during the Cretan War (1645–69).[8]

The fall of the Republic of Venice in 1797 brought Sebenico under the authority of the Habsburg Monarchy.[3]

After the Congress of Vienna until 1918, the town was (again) part of the Austrian monarchy (Austria side after the compromise of 1867), head of the district of the same name, one of the 13 Bezirkshauptmannschaften in Kingdom of Dalmatia.[9] The Italian name only was used until around 1871.

In 1872, at the time in the Kingdom of Dalmatia, Ante Šupuk became the town's first Croat mayor elected under universal suffrage. He was instrumental in the process of the modernization of the city, and is particularly remembered for the 1895 project to provide street lights powered by the early AC Jaruga Hydroelectric Power Plant. On 28 August 1895, Šibenik became the world's first city with alternating current-powered street lights.[10]

20th century

Šibenik Bridge

After World War I, Šibenik was occupied by the Kingdom of Italy until 12 June 1921. As a result of the Treaty of Rapallo, the Italians gave up their claim to the city and it became a part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. During World War II it was occupied by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. Communist partisans liberated Sibenik 3.11.1944.

After World War II it became a part of the SFR Yugoslavia until Croatia declared independence in 1991.

During the Croatian War of Independence (1991–1995), Šibenik was heavily attacked by the Yugoslav National Army and Serbian paramilitary troops.[3] Although under-armed, the nascent Croatian army and the people of Šibenik managed to defend the city. The battle lasted for six days (16–22 September), often referred to as the "September battle". The bombings damaged numerous buildings and monuments, including the dome of the Cathedral of St. James and the 1870-built theatre building.

In an August 1995 military operation, the Croatian Army defeated the Serb forces and freed the occupied areas,[3] which allowed the region to recover from the war and continue to develop as the centre of Šibenik-Knin county. Since then, the damaged areas of the city have been fully restored.


Šibenik has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa), with mild, humid winters and hot summers with significant rainfall. January and February are the coldest months, July and August are the hottest months. In July the average maximum temperature is around 30 °C (86 °F). The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfa" (Humid Subtropical Climate).[11]

Main sights

St. James's Cathedral.

The central church in Šibenik, the Cathedral of St. James, is on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Several successive architects built it completely in stone between 1431 and 1536,[2] both in Gothic and in Renaissance style. The interlocking stone slabs of the Cathedral's roof were damaged when the city was shelled by Yugoslav forces in 1991. The damage has since been repaired.

Fortifications in Šibenik

Main article: St. Nicholas Fortress

In the city of Šibenik there are four fortresses, each of whom provides spectacular view on the city, sea and nearby islands. Fortresses nowadays serve as a tourist sightseeing with each of them having unique offers to tourists.

Natural heritage

Culture and events

The annual Šibenik International Children's Festival (Međunarodni Dječji Festival) takes place every summer which is renowned for many children's workshops, plays and other activities. From 2011 to 2013 the Terraneo festival (music festival) was held in August on a yearly basis on a former military area in Šibenik, and since 2014 Šibenik (and other nearby towns) are the home of its spiritual successor Super Uho festival.[14] The composer Jakov Gotovac founded the city's "Philharmonia Society" in 1922. The composer Franz von Suppé was part of the city's cultural fabric, as he was a native of nearby Split. Each summer, a lot of concerts and events take place in the city (especially on the St. Michael Fortress). Also, starting in 2016 on a nearby island of Obonjan (6 kilometres (3.7 miles) southwest of the city) is held music, art, health and workshop festival.


Historical population
of Šibenik
1961 44,440    
1971 47,122+6.0%
1981 51,445+9.2%
1991 55,842+8.5%
2001 51,553−7.7%
2011 46,332−10.1%
Source: Naselja i stanovništvo Republike Hrvatske 1857–2001, DZS, Zagreb, 2005

In the 2011 Croatian census, Šibenik's total city population is 46,332 which makes it the 10th largest city in Croatia, with 34,302 in the urban settlement.[1] Of Šibenik's citizens, 94.02% were Croats.

The list of settlements is as follows:[1]

  • Boraja, population 249
  • Brnjica, population 72
  • Brodarica, population 2,534
  • Čvrljevo, population 64
  • Danilo, population 376
  • Danilo Biranj, population 442
  • Danilo Kraljice, population 104
  • Donje Polje, population 267
  • Dubrava kod Šibenika, population 1,185
  • Goriš, population 147
  • Gradina, population 303
  • Grebaštica, population 937
  • Jadrtovac, population 171
  • Kaprije, population 189
  • Konjevrate, population 173
  • Krapanj, population 170
  • Lepenica, population 68
  • Lozovac, population 368
  • Mravnica, population 70
  • Perković, population 111
  • Podine, population 26
  • Radonić, population 79
  • Raslina, population 567
  • Sitno Donje, population 561
  • Slivno, population 110
  • Šibenik, population 34.302
  • Vrpolje, population 776
  • Vrsno, population 67
  • Zaton, population 978
  • Zlarin, population 284
  • Žaborić, population 479
  • Žirje, population 103


The city of Šibenik was the first city in the world to receive a polyphase system of alternating current. The system supplied 340 street lights and some electrified houses in the town.

International relations

Šibenik is twinned with:

See also


  1. 1 2 3 "Population by Age and Sex, by Settlements, 2011 Census: Šibenik". Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011. Zagreb: Croatian Bureau of Statistics. December 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Foster, Jane (2004). Footprint Croatia, Footprint Handbooks, 2nd ed. p. 218. ISBN 1-903471-79-6
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Oliver, Jeanne (2007). Croatia. Lonely Planet 4th ed. p. 182. ISBN 1-74104-475-8
  4. Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1843). The Penny cyclopædia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. 26. Great Britain: C. Knight. p. 236. Retrieved 28 March 2011.
  5. Giuseppe Praga, Franco Luxardo (1993). History of Dalmatia. Giardini. p. 91. Retrieved 28 March 2011.
  6. Robert Lambert Playfair (1881). Handbook to the Mediterranean. John Murray. p. 310. Retrieved 28 March 2011.
  7. Fine 2006, p. 115.
  8. Tea Mayhew (2008). Dalmatia Between Ottoman and Venetian Rule: Contado Di Zara, 1645-1718. Viella. pp. 37–39. ISBN 978-88-8334-334-6.
  9. Die postalischen Abstempelungen auf den österreichischen Postwertzeichen-Ausgaben 1867, 1883 und 1890, Wilhelm KLEIN, 1967
  10. "Prvi osvijetljeni grad u svijetu je naš Šibenik". Slobodna Dalmacija (in Croatian). 16 July 2013. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  11. Climate Summary for Šibenik
  12. "Monthly Climate Values". Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
  13. Skračiċ, Vladimir (2003). Kornat Islands. Zadar: Forum. ISBN 953-179-600-9.
  14. "Terraneo Festival". Retrieved 2013-08-11.
  15. "Civitanova Marche — Twin Towns". Civitanova Marche. Retrieved 4 December 2008.
  16. "45 ans de jumelage : Histoire de cités Le jumelage à Voiron" [45 years of twinning: The history of Voiron's twin towns]. Voiron Hôtel de Ville [Voiron council] (in French). Archived from the original on 2013-06-03. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
  17. "Sibenik : (Croatie) Ville jumelée avec Voiron" [Šibenik, Croatia: Twin town of Voiron]. Voiron Hôtel de Ville [Voiron council] (in French). Retrieved 2013-09-04.

Further reading

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Šibenik.

Media related to Šibenik at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 43°44′06″N 15°53′26″E / 43.73500°N 15.89056°E / 43.73500; 15.89056

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