Siege of Zadar (1345-1346)
The Siege of Zadar ( Italian Zara ) was a Venetian military operation with the aim of conquering the Croatian coastal city of Zadar in northern Dalmatia . The troops of Venice fought against the citizens of the city, who were temporarily supported by an army under King Louis of Anjou . The siege lasted from August 12, 1345 to December 21, 1346 and ended with the capture of the city.
The city of Zadar had been conquered by the Venetians for the first time around the year 1000, but was able to free itself from Venetian rule. In the following centuries there were numerous conflicts during which Zadar was at times ruled by Venice and at times autonomous .
When Louis of Anjou became the Croatian-Hungarian king in 1342 , he decided to take full control of the northeastern Adriatic coast. The citizens of Zadar took this opportunity and asked the king for help. He invaded Dalmatia in 1344 and 1345, but his troops did not advance to Zadar.
In the meantime, the Venetians decided to enforce their interests militarily in Dalmatia, and in the summer of 1345 they sent a combined land and sea force of around 20,000-25,000 men to Zadar. King Ludwig, on the other hand, only had land forces. The citizens of Zadar themselves were able to muster around 4,000 to 6,000 armed men under the command of Prince Marko Corner and Archbishop Nikola Matafar.
The siege consisted of three phases. The first phase lasted until the end of January 1346, when the Venetian ships broke through the port chain of Zadar and were able to enter the city port . In the meantime, the Republic of St. Mark appointed Pietro Civrano as the new commander-in-chief ( capitaneus generalis ) of the siege troops.
The second phase was marked by the arrival of King Ludwig with a large army (the sources indicate between 20,000 and 100,000 men) trying to break the siege. From the late spring, the royal troops attacked several times, but without success, the Venetians, whose Hauptstűtzpunkt a bastion ( Bastida was) near Zadar. The main attack of the royal army to relieve the siege happened on July 1, 1346. It failed, and Ludwig ordered the return of his troops to the north. In the third phase of the siege, the defenders of Zadar were left to their own devices. Despite being cut off from food and water supplies, the city resisted until December when the shortage forced them to surrender .
On December 21, 1346, the Venetian army marched into the city and took control.
Zadar remained part of the Republic of Venice until 1357, when Louis of Anjou conquered all of Dalmatia from the Venetians. In the Peace of Zadar on February 18, 1358, the Republic of Venice had to cede the entire area from the Kvarner Bay in the Croatian coastal region to the city of Durrës in the Albanian coastal region to the king.
In 1358 Zadar became an autonomous commune again under the Croatian-Hungarian kings and queens for the next fifty years , until the entire former theme of Dalmatia was sold to the Republic of Venice by King Ladislaus of Naples for 100,000 ducats in 1409 .
- State history of the Republic of Venice, part 2.1, p.14ff
- List of sieges
- List of wars and battles in the 14th century
- History of Croatia
- List of rulers of Croatia
- Venetian colonies
- Diplomatic activities of the citizens of Zadar during the siege, 1345-1346 (Croatian)
- Siege of Zadar in the "Oxford Encyclopedia of Medieval Warfare and Military Technology" (English)
- "Opsidio Iadrensis" is one of the few sources for the siege of Zadar (English)
- Sieges of Cities in Medieval Croatian Historical Space (Croatian)
- Nikola Matafar was Archbishop of Zadar during the siege (Croatian)