Zadar will always manage to surprise and delight you with its monuments, history and stories of the somehow forgotten parts of its past, from the second you arrive until almost the very moment you are leaving. One of these stories is the story of Zadar Sphinx. If you decide to visit Brodarica from the Zadar´s Old Town, take the Barkajoli boat ride and you will have a lovely walk along one of the most prestigious parts of the city. The old villas from the beginning of 20th century are still amazingly beautiful and many of them with wonderful gardens. In front of one such villa, located in the Bay of Maestral, you can see the Sphinx of Zadar!

Villa Attilia was built in 1901 by a local artist, painter and historian Giovanni Smirich. He was a great painter and he worked hard on restoring Zadar’s most important monuments. He met his future wife Attilia Spineda de Cataneis in Venice and they moved to Zadar. As Giovanni and his wife Attilia were both into occult, they built a garden with a cave and several interesting decorative elements. After his wife’s death in 1918, he ordered the building of the Sphinx as a memorial to his beloved wife. Although it´s built of concrete, the Zadar Sphinx is not an ordinary Sphinx: it has fingers instead of paws and it looks as it was protecting a small goldfish pond between them.

There are not too many sphinxes in this part of Europe left, but this is the biggest of all. It is also a very special Sphinx since it was built in memory of a beloved woman: it is said that it grants love wishes.