zadar sea organ croatiaPhoto by linssimato/Flickr

After almost complete destruction in World War II, the 3,000-year-old city of Zadar lost many of its ancient landmarks. While the Croatian city has slowly regained its footing as a cultural destination for tourists, award-winning architect Nikola Bašić was tired of seeing his war-torn city being rebuilt with dull, concrete structures. So he decided to bring life back into one of the world’s oldest cities with a little music. He orchestrated the design of the 230-foot-long Zadar Sea Organ, also known as the Morske Orgulje, which turns the Adriatic Sea’s waves into music.

zadar sea organ croatiaPhoto by J We/Flickr

The coastal promenade is an attractive, white stone staircase leading into the sea that produces melodious sounds using energy from the waves and wind. A set of 35 organ pipes carved into the expansive marble steps converts the rhythm of the waves and wind into soothing music.

Each set of steps contains five organ pipes connected through a series of narrow channels, and is tuned to a different musical chord. As the waves lap against the steps, air is pushed through the pipes and out whistle-holes in the surface above, creating a harmonious musical arrangement unique to the movement of the sea and wind.

In addition to delighting locals and tourists, the nature-based instrument along the peninsula’s outermost pier near the heart of Zadar has received quite a few architectural accolades, including the 2006 European Prize for Urban Public Space.

Here you can listen to one of the many musical renditions of the Zadar Sea Organ:

Video by Flipian/YouTube

Find more Art & Design features here.

What do you think of the Zadar Sea Organ’s music?

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