At the start of the new year, let’s continue Visit Croatia’s “Spotlight on…” series with a wonderfully colourful and super magical modern sight in the exceedingly charming town of Zadar in North Dalmatia. The Greeting to the Sun light installation might seem a bit hard to comprehend on paper but in real life, it’s a wonderful experience. It’s also a true example of how a relatively new landmark can equally delight visitors and sit alongside and complement much older sights.
About Greeting to the Sun
The Greeting to the Sun (Pozdrav suncu in Croatian) monument was installed in 2008 and designed by Croatian architect Nikola Basic. (Basic is also the man behind Zadar’s Sea Organ which is just a few steps away…but we’ll cover that excellent audio experience in another post!) It is made up of 300 glass solar panels that harness the sun’s rays during the day to power the lights at night. Pretty clever and inventive, wouldn’t you say?
The monument’s glass panels are arranged in a circle that is 22 metres in diameter – so it’s a fairly large installation and can be enjoyed by many, many people all at the same time. The panels are laid in stone which gives the whole area a neat, modern appearance and is a suitable contrast to the colour when the installation is awakened at dusk.
Just by the “Sun” are smaller circular panels – which also light up – that represent the planets of the solar system. It’s clear that this whole monument was rather smartly designed and is a great addition to the wonderful Zadar.
The Greeting to the Sun is located on the northwestern tip of the peninsula on which Zadar’s Old Town is located. Head to the Riva in Zadar – the beautiful seaside promenade – and walk in a northerly direction. If you can hear the Sea Organ, you’re going the right way! Essentially, keep walking until you can walk no more (because otherwise, you’d fall into the sea) and you’ll find the twinkling lights underfoot.
This light installation is best viewed when its lights come on, so the most suitable time to experience it is just after sundown. Or rather, head to the Greeting to the Sun for sunset – to take in one of Zadar’s always gorgeous sunsets and to enjoy the convivial atmosphere on the Riva – and then see the lights of the installation come on.
Once the lights come on, then what? Well, look, watch and enjoy them! You’ll notice the Greeting to the Sun lights up in all manner of colours and light intensities, with different patterns continuously moving around the whole installation. Children in particular will be delighted chasing after the lights and patterns as they shift around; you may find yourself doing the same.
You may also want to return to the lights later in the evening (perhaps after a tasty dinner or after some drinks…mind the maraschino!) to really see them in full action when it’s properly dark.
But the Greeting to the Sun is also worth seeing in bright daylight as you’ll be able to see the glass panels better when unlit to get a better understanding of their mechanism.
Opening Hours and Prices
Two bits of good news here! As it’s in a public space, the Greeting to the Sun installation can be visited any time of day or night. (Although do see above what we would recommend is the best time of day to see it.)
It is also completely free to visit – again, because it is in a public space!
More info on Greeting to the Sun
Read more about the Greeting to the Sun on the Zadar Tourist Board website.