Kalelarga, also known as the Wide Street (Široka ulica), is the main and most famous street in the city of Zadar. Some people say it is even older than the city itself, spreading in the direction west – east from People´s Square (Narodni trg) to the city’s famous Forum which features a number of Roman items.
To this day it follows the print of the main longitudinal roman street (Decumanus Maximus) – this is the main city street that even then flowed through the spine of the peninsula. It existed, therefore, before the city. The strict roman urbanization simply proved its natural placement, and future urban time periods did not change anything in that respect.
In the Second World War almost all the buildings in the street were destroyed or severely damaged in the bombing, as such it was renovated in the Modern style, retaining only its main direction.
Walking the Kalelarga is best to start at the Square Petar Zoranić with the remains of the Roman city gates and column – Roman column was transferred to its current location at the beginning of the 18th century from the Forum. In the immediate vicinity of the church of St. Šime, Duke’s palace, along the Street of Elizabeta Kotromanić – which is already in the 15th century running tournament on horses. It leads to the People’s Square, where in the Middle Ages form a new center of the city administration with today’s City Lodge (13th century – 1565), City Guard (1562) and City Hall (1934).
At People’s Square officially begins today and Kalelarga that in this part called the Street of St. Catherine the eponymous monastery from the 15th century. Already in the 16th century streets for the first time and illuminated. On the foundations of ruined monastery was built in the 1891 cult cafe Central (Caffe Centrale), a short distance away, on the site of the present Croatian theater, there were old Teatro Nobile. Below, from the Cathedral of St.. Anastasia to the Church of Our Lady of Health, at the edge of today’s Bijankinijeva street in 1865 as a reflection of the splendor, wealth and political power of Zadar residents built the new theater (Teatro Verdi), were killed in the Second World War and afterwards.
Ancient Kalelarga is unfortunately destroyed in the Allied bombing of Zadar in 1943 and 1944 when it went missing and 80% of the town. Large a part of it was not possible to go from the ruins of houses until the sixties of the 20th century, when it was rebuilt and reconstructed in its present form.
To Zadar locals, Kalelarga is more than the name of the main street of town. It is a cult place and one of the symbols of the city that stirs memories of beautiful moments and events as a place for socializing, entertainment and recreation, processions and folk ceremonies and first loves. It is said that it is precisely on Kalelarga begun and ended the love of many generations of Zadar.