Zadar is the urban, economic, cultural educational and tourist center of the broader region of norther Dalmatia and the administrative center of Zadar county.
The Illyrian settlement in Zadar area dates from the 8th century BC. During the middle of the 2nd century BC, the Zadar area was being conquered by the Romans. The city was built according to all of the principles of Roman urban planning which characterized most of the newly-founded cities. During the 5th century, Zadar was ruled by the eastern Goths. Christianity developed in the period from the 4th to the 6th century. At that time Zadar already had its city bishop. After the withdrawal of the Goths, Zadar fell under Byzantine rule and after the destruction of Salona in the 7th century, it took over the role of the main administrative center of the Byzantine territories. Most interesting facts from recent history are that after the fall of the Austrian Monarch, Zadar was occupied by the Italian army in 1918. During WWII the city was systematically destroyed in repeated air attacks carried out by the Allies. These attacks destroyed about 70% of the historical city core. In the fall of 1944, Zadar was joined to Croatia within the Federalist Republic of Yugoslavia.
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