Did you know? The Largest Sphinx in Europe is located in Zadar, Croatia


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Did you know there is a mysterious Sphinx located in Croatia; it is the largest Sphinx in Europe and the story behind it will make you want to  travel there and see it.


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While the most famous and important Sphinx is located in Giza Egypt, the truth is there are many Sphinx scattered across the globe. One of them is found in Croatia and there is a fascinating story behind it.

This beautiful Croatian coastal city has become the center of tourism in the last couple of years, and the fact it has the largest Sphinx in Europe makes this city even more appealing for tourists who are rushing to Zadar.

It turns out that the biggest Sphinx in Europe is located in modern-day Croatia, Zadar.

While there are numerous monuments and ancient structures located in Dalmatia, if you ever travel to Zadar, Croatia be sure to check out the Sphinx.

Anyway, the story behind the ‘Croatian’ Sphinx is fascinating, to say the least.

The Sphinx of Zadar if you decide to explore the Dalmatian city visiting Brodarica from Zadar’s old town. Once there getting to the Sphinx is a piece of cake, you can take the Bar Kajoli boat ride which will offer you a chance to see the most prestigious parts of the city.

Before you spot the enigmatic monument, you will notice countless ancient villas that were erected in the Belle Époque period with incredible architectural designs and breathtaking gardens.

However, one of those villas is like no other villa in Zadar or Europe for that matter. Located in the Bay of Maestral, a villa which dates back a hundred years, is the villa that hosts the largest Sphinx in Europe – The Dalmatian Sphinx.


Image by Žeminea Čotrić
Image by Žeminea Čotrić

Called Villa Attilia, this beautiful residence was constructed in 1901 by local historian and artist Giovanni Smircich who obviously loved Ancient Egypt and its history.

As it turns out, Smircich was one of the most prominent citizens of 19th century Zadar. The story behind the Sphinx is fascinating and stats while Smircich was studying abroad in Venice where he met his wife, Attilia Spineda de Cataneis. They fell in love, got married and moved to Dalmatia where they had five children.

According to what we have been able to learn, both his wife and Smircich were fascinated with the occult and is one of the main reasons why their garden was decorated with extremely interesting elements which were not seen in any other villa.

Oh, and yeah before I forget, the Sphinx of Zadar will have its 100th birthday very soon.

As it turns out the majestic Sphinx of Zadar was ordered to be built in 1918 after Smirich’s wife died. The Sphinx was built as a memorial to his wife and is very similar to the one found in Egypt, except for a few details.

The Sphinx was created of concrete and has human hands instead of paws. The Sphinx was built as if it were protecting what seems to be a small goldfish. In front of the Sphinx was a pond which has long dried out.

For decades it was said that there was a buried treasure located beneath the Sphinx and many have tried searching, but without luck.

The mysterious Sphinx of Zadar also has hieroglyphic inscriptions which so far no one has been able to decipher.

If you ever decide to take a trip to this beautiful Croatian city don’t forget to visit the Sphinx and make a wish.  It is said that this majestic statue will grant wishes.


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5 Comments

  1. All is true, but forgotten that this Spinx is made from concrete, and there is no much mysteries about it. And this is not only Spinx in Croatia, in City of Split in Diocletian palace there are almost 20 sphinxes from different kind of stones, from limestone till black marble, all from 2000 till 4500 years old. Almost all of them are original from Ancient Egypt, and two most spectacular, placed in Peristyle – central place in this palace, are from Pharaoh Mikerinos temple in Egypt. These are only original Spinxes in Europe known today, and their role in that palace is great mystery same as whole life and rule of Diocletian, his connections with ancient Egypt and time which he spent in Egypt.

    1. Komentar ti je toliko na razini da sam ti ime pročitala kao ”mejt đejbah”

      1. Curo moja, o razinama izgleda ne možeš govoriti kad je tvoj jedini mogući komentar takva mržnja … kako, čime izazvana? Jako nisko.

  2. also if you want to visit the sphynx, don’t come in summer. The city is overcrowded, prices are high, parking spaces are none existant and the heat makes people smell terriable and traffic is jammed most of the time because city can’t sustain the number of people that come only once a year. I live there i know what i’m talking about, come in winter, total opposite of summer

  3. sensational but wrong – the oldest spinx in europe is in split where are original spinx from egypt brought by roman emperor who build there the palace named diocletian

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