Ancient Recycling in Zadar, Croatia

In times gone by, builders often recycled materials from previous structures in their own projects. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the Church of St Donat in Zadar, Croatia.

The round Church of St Donat in Zadar

St Donat (which coincidentally is circular, like a donut) was built in the 9th Century by the Byzantines. It was constructed on, and to a large extent out of, the earlier Roman Forum, which predates it by around 1000 years.

Part of the Roman Forum

A Roma column, which was reused as a Pillar of Shame in the Middle Ages

The church rests directly on the paving stones of the Roman Forum.

St Donat resting on the paving of the Roman Forum

Pieces of Roman columns used as part of the church’s foundation

The massive entrance to the church

Upright Roman columns inside the Byzantine church

360 image of the main floor of St Donat

More Roman columns and other stonework used inside St Donat

Reused Roman inscription tablets

A similar intact tablet on display in the Forum outside St Donat

Another Roman tablet, this time used as a bench, just inside the door of St Donat

Running around the entire church is a balcony, which was once the Women’s Gallery.

Women’s Gallery viewed from the main floor

Steps up to the Women’s Gallery

The Women’s Gallery

More recycled Roman columns in the Women’s Gallery

Looking down from the Women’s Gallery, it’s easy to see how St Donat rests on the original paving of the Roman Forum

Sue demonstrating how the Women’s Gallery worked 🙂

Although the entire interior of the church is now painted cream, complimenting the stone from which it is constructed, the walls were probably originally decorated with colourful frescos.

I was surprised to discover that St Donat hasn’t been used as a church for over 200 years, since 1797, although it still hosts music performances to this day.

Looking down on the Forum from St Donat

The bell tower of St Mary, across the Forum

Window honouring R2D2?

Our last view of St Donat as we head out to sea

Expand the minds of you and your children by travelling the World with Jaspa’s Journey adventure novels! The first two, The Great Migration and The Pride of London, are now available in both paperback and ebook formats from Speaking Volumes! The third instalment, Jaspa’s Waterloo, is coming soon. Click here for more information.

Jaspa’s Journey: Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!

This post was inspired by this photo themes of Cream from Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack? and All One Color from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.


About Jaspa

Jaspa's Journey is a series of award-winning, travel-based adventure novels for strong middle grade readers by Rich Meyrick. Join the Adventure! Read the books! Follow Jaspa’s ongoing Journeys at Let's explore this amazing world together! And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
This entry was posted in Europe, History, Jaspa's Journey, Photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Ancient Recycling in Zadar, Croatia

  1. Cee Neuner says:

    Wonderful post for all these challenges. 😀

  2. ghostmmnc says:

    Such an interesting old church building. It looks huge! I like how they re-used parts of the older structures to build this one. 🙂

  3. cristina61 says:

    Great post! Thanks for sharing all those wonderful images. 😀

  4. Awesome architectural shots. That is a lot of white stone.

  5. Björn Gedda says:

    Thats no column! Anyone can see that it’s the cogwheels in the bottom part of the spaceship that brought the ancients to Earth!!

    All hail the Ancients!!!!!

    Death to the unbelievers!!!!!!!!!!!


  6. says:

    St. Donatus is an interesting building with an interesting story and you exposed it well in your article. We have been to Zadar last year, and we loved the town a lot.
    We were on a car trip to Croatia and this was our 4th stop of the trip.

    Here is also my article on the trip and also the one about the things we visited in Zadar, would love to have your follow also and maybe you’ll find some inspiration for your next travel too:

    Happy travels,

I'd love to hear what you've got to say!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.