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Grad ?ibenik
City of ?ibenik
Top: Aerial view of ?ibenik; Second row: St. Francis' Monastery, The Medieval Monastery Garden of St. Lawrence, Church of St. Barbara; Third row: Cathedral of St. James; Fourth row: Juraj ?i?gori? City Library, Mandalina hotel resort; Bottom: St. Nicholas Fortress
Top: Aerial view of ?ibenik; Second row: St. Francis' Monastery, The Medieval Monastery Garden of St. Lawrence, Church of St. Barbara; Third row: Cathedral of St. James; Fourth row: Juraj ?i?gori? City Library, Mandalina hotel resort; Bottom: St. Nicholas Fortress
Flag of ?ibenik
Official seal of ?ibenik
?ibenik is located in Croatia
Location of ?ibenik within Croatia
Coordinates: 43°44?N 15°55?E / 43.733°N 15.917°E / 43.733; 15.917
Country Croatia
CountyFlag of ?ibenik County.svg ?ibenik-Knin
 o TypeMayor-Council
 o Mayor?eljko Buri? (HDZ)
 o City Council
21 members
0 m (0 ft)
 o City34,302
 o Metro
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
Postal code
HR-22 000
Area code(s)+385 22
License plate?I

?ibenik (Croatian pronunciation: [?îbeni:k] ) is a historic city in Croatia, located in central Dalmatia, where the river Krka flows into the Adriatic Sea. ?ibenik is a political, educational, transport, industrial and tourist center of ?ibenik-Knin County, and is also the third-largest city in the Dalmatian region. As of 2011, the city has 34,302 inhabitants, while the municipality has 46,332 inhabitants.[1]



There are multiple interpretations of how ?ibenik was named. In his fifteenth century book De situ Illiriae et civitate Sibenici, Juraj ?i?gori? describes the name and location of ?ibenik. He attributes the name of the city to it being surrounded by a palisade made of ?ibe (sticks, singular being ?iba).[2] Another interpretation is associated with the forest through the Latin toponym "Sibinicum," which covered a narrower microregion within ?ibenik on and around the area of St. Michael's Fortress.[3]

Early history

Unlike other cities along the Adriatic coast, which were established by Greeks, Illyrians and Romans, ?ibenik was founded by Croats.[4] Excavations of the castle of St. 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 Kre?imir IV[4] and, for a period of time, it was a seat of this Croatian King. For that reason, ?ibenik is also called "Kre?imirov grad" (Kre?imir's city).

Between the 11th and 12th centuries, ?ibenik was tossed back and forth among Venice, Byzantium, and Hungary. It was conquered by the Republic of Venice in 1116,[5] who held it until 1124, when they briefly lost it to the Byzantine Empire,[6] and then held it again until 1133 when it was retaken by the Kingdom of Hungary.[7] 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.[8] It received its own diocese in 1298.[4]

Under Venice and the Habsburgs

The city, like the rest of Dalmatia, initially resisted the Venetian Republic, but it was taken over after a three-year war in 1412.[4] Under Venetian rule, ?ibenik became in 1412 the seat of the main customs office and the seat of the salt consumers office with a monopoly on the salt trade in Chioggia and on the whole Adriatic Sea.

In August 1417, Venetian authorities were concerned with the "Morlachs and other Slavs" from the hinterland, that were a threat to security in ?ibenik.[9] The Ottoman Empire started to threaten ?ibenik (known as Sebenico), as part of their struggle against Venice, at the end of the 15th century,[5] 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 ?ubi?evac (Barone).

Early 16th century map of ?ibenik by Martino Rota.

The Morlachs started settling ?ibenik during the Cretan War (1645-69).[10]

The fall of the Republic of Venice in 1797 brought Sebenico under the authority of the Habsburg Monarchy.[5]

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.[11] The Italian name only was used until around 1871.

In 1872, at the time in the Kingdom of Dalmatia, Ante ?upuk 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, ?ibenik became the world's first city with alternating current-powered street lights.[12]

20th century

During World War I, the Austro-Hungarian navy used the port facilities here, and the light cruisers and destroyers which escaped the Allied force after the battle of Cape Rodoni (or Gargano) returned to safety here, where some battleships were based.[13] After the war ?ibenik 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 Italy and Germany. Communist partisans liberated ?ibenik on 3 November 1944.

?ibenik's Borgo di Terra (land-side borough) in 1907 - today's Poljana. In the foreground the National Theatre and in the background the Fortress (Tvr?ava sv. Mihovila/Castel vecchio).

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

During the Croatian War of Independence (1991-95), ?ibenik was heavily attacked by the Yugoslav National Army and Serbian paramilitary troops.[5][better source needed] Although under-armed, the nascent Croatian army and the people of ?ibenik 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 ?ibenik Cathedral of St James and the 1870-built theatre building.

In an August 1995 military operation, the Croatian Army defeated the Serb forces and reconquered the occupied areas,[5] which allowed the region to recover from the war and continue to develop as the centre of ?ibenik-Knin county. Since then, the damaged areas of the city have been fully restored.


?ibenik has a mediterranean climate (Csa), with mild, humid winters and hot, dry summers. 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 "Csa" (Mediterranean Climate).[14]

Climate data for ?ibenik
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 21.4
Daily mean °C (°F) 6.8
Record low °C (°F) -10.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 74.1
Average rainy days 10 9 9 10 9 8 5 5 7 9 12 12 105
Average snowy days 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3
Mean monthly sunshine hours 128.6 150.6 196.1 222.4 286.3 312.1 358.0 326.0 254.3 199.7 131.0 113.8 2,678.9
Source: National Meteorological and Hydrological Service (Croatia)[15]

Main sights

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

Several successive architects built it completely in stone between 1431 and 1536,[4] 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 ?ibenik

Cathedral of St. James
?ibenik Cathedral of St James
Location?ibenik, Croatia
Architectural style(s)Renaissance
Criteriai, ii, iv
Designated2000 (24th Session)
Reference no.963
RegionEurope and North America

In the city of ?ibenik there are four fortresses, each of which has views of the city, sea and nearby islands. The fortresses are now tourist sightseeing destinations.

Natural heritage


The composer Jakov Gotovac founded the city's "Philharmonia Society" in 1922. The 19th century composer Franz von Suppé was part of the city's cultural fabric, as he was a native of nearby Split.

Each summer, a number of concerts and events take place in the city, many of them in the St. Michael Fortress. Also, starting in 2016 on a nearby island of Obonjan (6 kilometres (3.7 miles) southwest of the city), an annual music, art, health and workshop festival is being held.

The annual ?ibenik International Children's Festival (Me?unarodni Dje?ji Festival) takes place every summer and hosts 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 ?ibenik, and since 2014 ?ibenik (and other nearby towns) are the home of its spiritual successor Super Uho festival. ?ibenik hosts the Dalmatian Chanson Evenings festival (Ve?eri Dalmatinske ?ansone), held in the second half of August.[18]

View of southern ?ibenik from St. Michael's fortress


As famous sports town, ?ibenik is the hometown of many successful athletes: Aleksandar Petrovi?, Dra?en Petrovi?, Perica Buki?, Ivica ?uri?, Predrag ?ari?, Dario ?ari?, Vanda Baranovi?-Urukalo, Danira Naki?, Nik Slavica, Miro Bilan, Dra?an Jerkovi?, Petar Nadoveza, Krasnodar Rora, Dean Ra?unica, Mladen Pralija, Ante Rukavina, Duje ?aleta-Car, Mile Naki?, Franko Naki?, Sini?a Belamari?, Renato Vrbi?i?, Ivica Tucak, Andrija Komadina, Miro Juri?, Antonio Petkovi?, Neven Spahija, Antonija Sandri?, Mate Male?, Stipe Brali?, Franco Jelov?i?, Nives Radi?, Karmela Makelja, and many others.


The famous multi-purpose Baldekin Sports Hall was the home arena of KK ?ibenik, the famous basketball club which played in the final of the FIBA Kora? Cup twice, as well as in the final of the 1982-83 Yugoslav league championship. The team was led by then 19-year-old Dra?en Petrovi?.[19]

The women's basketball club, ?KK ?ibenik, is among the most successful women's basketball clubs in Croatia, winning the Yugoslav league title in 1991, Yugoslav Cup title twice, Croatian league title four times, Croatian Cup four times, Adriatic league five times, and the Vojko Herksel Cup four times.[20]

The dissolved men's basketball club, Jolly Jadranska banka, played in the play-offs semifinals of the Croatian league championship twice, as well as in the Kre?imir ?osi? Cup final game in the 2016-17 season.[21][22]

The biggest success of GKK ?ibenka, a club founded in 2010 following the dissolution of the famous KK ?ibenik, came in the 2016-17 Croatian league championship season, when the club played the play-offs semifinals against powerhouse Cibona Zagreb.[23] ?ibenka lost to Cibona in the semifinals.[24]


?ubi?evac stadium, which is located in the neighbourhood of the same name, has been the home ground of the HNK ?ibenik football club, which had played many years in the Yugoslav Second League, and later many years in the Croatian First League. In the 2009-10 season, the club played in the Croatian Cup final, which they lost to powerhouse Hajduk Split. As of 2021, the club again competes in the Croatian First League.

Water polo

The dissolved water polo club, VK ?ibenik, is considered[by whom?] to be one of the best men's clubs in former Yugoslavia, winning the second place in the 1986-87 domestic league season. It also played in the LEN Euro Cup final game of the 2006-07 season, but lost to Sintez Kazan, as well as the club played in the LEN Champions League in the 2008-09 season, led both times by Ivica Tucak, today the head coach of the senior men's Croatian national team.

Croatian water polo internationals, Perica Buki? and Renato Vrbi?i?, are Olympic medalists. They won gold medals at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Ivica Tucak has been the most successful coach of the senior men's Croatian national team ever.


In the 2011 Croatian census, ?ibenik's total city population is 46,332 which makes it the tenth-largest city in Croatia, with 34,302 in the urban settlement.[1]

Of ?ibenik's citizens, 94.02% were ethnic Croats.

The list of settlements is as follows:[1]

?ibenik Bridge



?ibenik is one of the best protected ports on the Croatian Adriatic and is situated on the estuary of the Krka River. The approach channel is navigable by ships up to 50,000 tonnes deadweight. The port itself has depths up to 40 m.[25]

International relations

?ibenik is twinned with:

Image gallery

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Population by Age and Sex, by Settlements, 2011 Censusibenik". Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011. Zagreb: Croatian Bureau of Statistics. December 2012. Retrieved 2013.
  2. ^ "O PODRIJETLU TOPONIMA ?IBENIK (About the origins of the name ?ibenik, in Croatian)".
  3. ^ Monumenta spectantia historiam Slavorum meridionalium: Edidit Academia Scienciarum et Artium Slavorum Meridionalium, Volume 1. Croatia: Jugoslavenska akademija znanosti i umjetnosti. 1868. p. 171.
  4. ^ a b c d e Foster, Jane (2004). Footprint Croatia, Footprint Handbooks, 2nd ed. p. 218. ISBN 1-903471-79-6
  5. ^ a b c d e Oliver, Jeanne (2007). Croatia. Lonely Planet 4th ed. p. 182. ISBN 1-74104-475-8
  6. ^ 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 2011.
  7. ^ Giuseppe Praga, Franco Luxardo (1993). History of Dalmatia. Giardini. p. 91. ISBN 9788842702955. Retrieved 2011.
  8. ^ Robert Lambert Playfair (1881). Handbook to the Mediterranean. John Murray. p. 310. Retrieved 2011.
  9. ^ Fine 2006, p. 115.
  10. ^ Tea Mayhew (2008). Dalmatia Between Ottoman and Venetian Rule: Contado Di Zara, 1645-1718. Viella. pp. 37-39. ISBN 978-88-8334-334-6.
  11. ^ Die postalischen Abstempelungen auf den österreichischen Postwertzeichen-Ausgaben 1867, 1883 und 1890, Wilhelm KLEIN, 1967
  12. ^ "Prvi osvijetljeni grad u svijetu je na? ?ibenik". Slobodna Dalmacija (in Croatian). 16 July 2013. Retrieved 2015.
  13. ^ Noppen, Ryan K., Austro-Hungarian Cruisers and Destroyers 1914-18, Osprey Publishing UK, 2016, p. 34. ISBN 978-1-4728-1470-8
  14. ^ Climate Summary for ?ibenik
  15. ^ "Monthly Climate Values". Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service. Retrieved 2012.
  16. ^ Centre, UNESCO World Heritage. "Venetian Works of Defence between 15th and 17th centuries: Stato da Terra - western Stato da Mar". whc.unesco.org. Retrieved 2017.
  17. ^ Skra?i?, Vladimir (2003). Kornat Islands. Zadar: Forum. ISBN 953-179-600-9.
  18. ^ "Dalmatian Chanson Evenings". ?ibenik Tourist Board. Retrieved 2021. Live performances with orchestra and choir accompany the best Croatian artists, composers and songwriters.
  19. ^ Feri?, Diana (9 April 2013). "DOGODILO SE NA DANA?NJI DAN 1983.: KK "?ibenka" osvojila titulu prvaka Jugoslavije". mok.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 2020.
  20. ^ "POVIJEST KLUBA - ?KK ?ibenik" (in Croatian). ?KK ?ibenik. Retrieved 2020.
  21. ^ M.?. (21 May 2014). "Jolly uz pomo? Kvarnera u polufinalu, Cibona obranila drugo mjesto". Gol.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 2020.
  22. ^ ?uri?, Ivan (18 February 2017). "Cedevita razbila Jolly i po ?etvrti put u nizu uzela Kup". tportal.hr (in Croatian). Tportal. Retrieved 2020.
  23. ^ "?ibenik u polufinalu doigravanja Prvenstva Hrvatske" (in Croatian). Croatian Basketball Federation. 30 April 2017. Retrieved 2020.
  24. ^ "CIBONA QUALIFIED FOR THE 2016/17 CROATIAN CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS". aba-liga.com. 10 May 2017. Retrieved 2020.
  25. ^ "Basic Information". www.portauthority-sibenik.hr.
  26. ^ "Civitanova Marche -- Twin Towns". Civitanova Marche. Retrieved 2008.
  27. ^ "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 3 June 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  28. ^ "Sibenik : (Croatie) Ville jumelée avec Voiron" [?ibenik, Croatia: Twin town of Voiron]. Voiron Hôtel de Ville [Voiron council] (in French). Archived from the original on 4 September 2013. Retrieved 2013.

Further reading

External links

Media related to ?ibenik 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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