Zadar or Zara (in Latin: Iadera, in Hungarian:
Zára) is a city of the Dalmatian region in modern Croatia. Capital
of the county of Zadar, in the center of the country and in front of
the islands Ugljan and Pašman, of which it is separated by the
Strait of Zadar. It has 85,000 inhabitants. This ancient city was first mentioned in the 4th
century BC. The location of this strategic harbour allowed the city
grow and thrive over centuries. This city is also a seat of Roman
Catholic Archdiocese of Zadar. The city has a mild Mediterranean
climate with mild winters and very warm, dry summers. The best time
to visit the city is from May till September. July and August are
particularly hot and dry. Ironically this also concise with large
tourist crowds that come in these months of the year.
Zadar was populated around 900 B. C. by the
Liburians, an Illyrian tribe. It happened to the Roman Empire with
Iliria, becoming municipality in 59 B. C. and a Roman colony in 48
B. C. It was the capital of the district of Liburnia in Iliria. The
year 381 became the seat of a bishopric. Under the Byzantine Empire
it carried the name of Diodora, and paid a tribute of one hundred
and ten pieces of gold. After the destruction of Salona by the Avar
and Slavic barbarians in the seventh century, it was the capital of
the province of Dalmatia, beginning to be called "Zara".
During the barbarian invasions the coastal cities of Dalmatia (among
them Zara) were the refuge of the autochthonous romanized Illyrians,
who developed the Dalmatian language, a neo-Latin language that
became extinct in the 19th century.
At the beginning of the
ninth century or shortly before, the Carolingians established the
protectorate in the region as it follows from the existence of Frank
architectural examples. Bishop Donat de Zara visited Charlemagne in
Dietenhofen. In 812, by the peace treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, it was
recognized in the Byzantine Empire, which conserved it until the
reign of Basil II the Macedonian.