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Places to visit: The Zadar Sea Organ

We haven’t been here yet, but for me, it’s just made the list. You can see the videos below to have a listen to the Zadar Sea Organ, or Morske Orgulje.

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If you visit the ancient Croatian city of Zadar, on the Dalmatian Coast of the Adriatic Sea, you won’t find anything very ancient about it.

That’s because the ancient part of the city, which is 3,000 years old, was almost entirely destroyed by bombing during World War II.

When Zadar decided to invest in a public art project to spruce up its mostly concrete post-war public spaces, they came up with an unlikely choice: a concrete sea organ. Called the Morske Orgulje, it is a project by the Croatian architect Nikola Bašić which uses the ocean waves to make music.

It looks like a series of 230-foot wide steps which descend into the ocean, but each step has channels for the water to enter.

Behind the channels are massive pipes of different lengths, diameters, and tilt. These connect to a resonant chamber.

When the water and air enter the submerged pipes, the number of which changes with the tide, air is forced back out of the channels in the upper stairs.

The result is a constant drone of chime-like sounds, although they are always different.

Today marks the fourteenth anniversary of the organ being open to the public.

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