Undoubtedly Zadar’s broj jedan (number one) attraction, the Sea Organ is situated on the western end of the Riva.
Using the principles of a cathedral organ, this sound machine is a blend of creativity and the energy of the Adriatic sea with its waves and changing tides. The Organ works something like this: Under the coastline, at the lowest sea-tide level, live 35 pipes of varying lengths and widths.
These pipes were built vertically into the coastline and on each pipe are whistles that play 7 chords of 5 tones. Above the canal (where the pipes live) there are perforated stone stairs through which the sound comes out, the air pushed out by the movement of the sea.
The organ was constructed according to plans by architect Nikola Basic with the help of several experts: Professor Vladimir Androcec was the sea hydraulics consultant, the pipes were made by Goran Jezina, Heferer (a well-known organ workshop in Zagreb) made 35 whistles for every pipe, and it was tuned by professor Ivica Stamac.
In 2006 Nikola Basic received the European Prize for Urban Public Space in Barcelona for his masterpiece.
My advice is to bring along a takeaway coffee and relax, contemplate and listen to the endless concert that the Adriatic has orchestrated for you. Everyday is a once-in-a-lifetime performance.