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UNESCO sites in Croatia

Croatia is home to eight different UNESCO World Heritage Sites, ranging from rolling plains and gothic graveyards to ancient city architecture. If you're planning a holiday to Croatia, we'd highly recommend taking the time to scout out a few of these awe-inspiring destinations.

The historical complex at Split

The second biggest city in Croatia, Split is known for its ambling beaches and beautiful buildings.

At the very heart of the city lies The Palace of Diocletian, an impressive structure erected by the Roman emperor Diocletian in the 4th century. Previously home to thousands of local people, today you can visit more than 200 ancient buildings among its sprawling remains.

Plitvice Lakes National Park

The largest of eight national parks in Croatia, Plitvice Lakes also earned its UNESCO status by being one of the oldest national parks in Southeast Europe. Nestled between the Mala Kapela and Pljesevika mountains, 16 lakes are naturally arranged into stunning cascades. These pools of jade and azure water are connected by flowing waterfalls and surrounded by forests containing bears, wolves, and multiple species of rare birds.

The Euphrasian Basilica in Porec

The Euphrasian Basilica in Porec boasts striking mosaics dating all the way back to the 6th century. Widely regarded as one of the world's best examples of early Byzantine art and architecture, its appearance has been altered by accidents, fires and earthquakes, leaving the remnants of previous buildings. When you visit, keep an eye out for the 4th-century mosaic hiding in the floor of the church garden.

Stari Grad Plain

Stari Grad Plain, on the island of Hvar, has been used for agriculture since the 4th century BCE, when ancient Greek colonists began growing grapes and olives in its rich soil. For 24 centuries, agricultural processes have remained almost unchanged and the stone walls and shelters built on the plains have been carefully preserved to this day. Visitors can learn about Croatia's history here and sample organic produce over views of expansive and lush greenery.

Stecci Medieval Graveyards

Numerous Stecci – or Stecak – medieval graveyards dot the Balkan countries of Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzgovina, and Montenegro – all protected by UNESCO heritage status. Huge monoliths act as striking gravestones and rise from each burial site. Carved with artwork ranging from between 500 and 800 years old, you'll discover images of stars, moons, dancing figures, animals, flowers, and more. You can view over 4,000 of them around Dubravka and Cista Velika alone.

The cathedral of St James in Sibenik

This triple-knaved Basilica is considered one of the most important Renaissance monuments in the Adriatic. Built between 1402 and 1441, the domed limestone structure of the cathedral of St James houses ornate sculptures and perfectly preserved 15th-century artworks. The surrounding town of Sibenik sits at the mouth of the river Krka, meaning you can stop for a waterside lunch and enjoy gorgeous scenery along with the cathedral's artistic architecture.

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