What The Hell Is A Sea Organ?

We continue our journey through Croatia with a really quick stop in the town of Trogir. This town was recommended by a couple of people we’ve met along the way so we had to check it out.

The historic city of Trogir is situated on a small island between the Croatian mainland and the island of Čiovo. Since 1997, the historic centre of Trogir has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.


Trogir is the best-preserved Romanesque-Gothic complex not only in the Adriatic, but in all of Central Europe. Trogir’s medieval core, surrounded by walls, comprises a preserved castle and tower and a series of dwellings and palaces from the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods.


The Kamarlengo Castle was built in the mid-15th century  by the the Republic of Venice. This fortress was once connected to the city walls. Inside it’s basically an empty shell so we did not go in. We had a nice lunch in one of the restaurants inside the town and after a quick stop at the supermarket we headed towards the city of Zadar.


Zadar is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Croatia. We entered the city through Zadar’s “Kopnena vrata” (Landward Gate) with the Lion of Saint Mark, a symbol of the Republic of Venice, above it.


In 1202, Zadar was conquered and burned by the Republic of Venice, which was helped by the Crusaders. When the Turks conquered the Zadar hinterland at the beginning of the 16th century, the town became an important stronghold, ensuring Venetian trade in the Adriatic, the administrative center of the Venetian territories in Dalmatia and a cultural center.


Boasting a historic old town of Roman ruins, medieval churches, cosmopolitan cafes and quality museums set on a small peninsula, Zadar is an intriguing city. It’s not too crowded, it’s not overrun with tourists and its two unique attractions – the sound-and-light spectacle of the Sea Organ and the Sun Salutation – need to be seen and heard to understand how weird all this is.


Zadar’s incredible Sea Organ, designed by local architect Nikola Bašić, is unique. Set within the perforated stone stairs that descend into the sea is a system of pipes and whistles that exudes wistful sighs when the movement of the sea pushes air through it. The effect is hypnotic, the mellifluous tones increasing in volume when a boat or ferry passes by. You can swim from the steps off the promenade while listening to the sounds.


The floor is full of these holes, which are actually the organ pipes that produce the sound.


It is very relaxing to enjoy the sunset while listening to random but harmonic sounds. If you want to hear what it sound like, take a look at this video I took from youtube:


In May 1964, Alfred Hitchcock checked into Room 204 of the classic and now closed Hotel Zagreb on the waterfront in Zadar. The hotel’s location was one of the best in town and it was from there that the famed director opined that “The sunset of Zadar is the world’s most beautiful and incomparably better than in Key West, Florida.” It was beautiful but by no means the “most beautiful in the world”.


Another wacky and wonderful creation by Nikola Bašić (along with the nearby Sea Organ), this 22m-wide circle set into the pavement is filled with 300 multilayered glass plates that collect the sun’s energy during the day. Together with the wave energy that makes the Sea Organ’s sound, it produces a trippy light show from sunset to sunrise that’s meant to simulate the solar system. It also collects enough energy to power the entire harbour-front lighting system.


Please somebody explain to me how this is simulating the solar system.


We spend a good amount of time hypnotized by these lights. Taking long exposure photos here was really fun!  We went for dinner and watched the Euro-cup final game and were surprised that the under dogs Portugal won but good for us since we are going to Portugal in a few weeks!


Bonus Pic Of The Day: Body-Soul separation; Still a mystery, this was one long exposure shot. I set the timer to 10 seconds for me to go seat before the shutter went off. I have no idea how this happened, but it looks creepily cool.



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