Historico-economic traces in the former island cities of Zadar and Trogir

My latest article is out!  I dedicate it to my fellow Croatian intellectual community.

Abstract

This article explores historico-economic traces in the ancient cities of Zadar and Trogir in the Adriatic Sea. Islands in the past, they emerged later as small peninsula-cities, connected by bridges, canals or both. The reasons for this were economic and political: to protect the islands’ natural resources, trade and territoriality. The historico-economic angle, covering the early and late medieval period, offers insight into ancient, urban and economic traces in Zadar and Trogir. Findings suggest that the peninsula-city space, representing the Mediterranean archetype, had an important purpose in organising political, economic and social life. Ancient traces point to the events contributing to the economic prosperity of Trogir and Zadar while urban traces remind us of the military and religious purpose of the peninsula city walls. Market squares served as the hubs of the economic life and influenced the development of various trading activities and artisan occupations. Such organisation of the peninsula-city space has created the foundations for a contemporary cultural heritage and has important implications for regional tourism. The biggest challenge for the administration lies in exploring creative ways of preserving the ancient peninsula city space, including artisan trades and archaeological artefacts. This requires stakeholder engagement between city planners, public and artisan tradesmen as well as finding and utilising various funding sources, including European Union funds, inward investment and education about heritage.

Keywords: historico-economic traces, former island cities, peninsula-city, Zadar, Trogir, Croatia

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