Spots Instead of Stripes: Zebra Crossing in Zadar to Get Dalmatian Makeover

Total Croatia News

Even though their name makes for a good enough indicator, not many people know Dalmatian dogs are of Croatian origin. A cool initiative aiming to brand the iconic pups comes our way from Zadar

What’s called a crosswalk over in the US is widely known as a zebra crossing here in Europe. While Croatian roads commonly feature the classic uniformed displays of dark and light stripes, there’s a place in the capital where the ‘zebra’ has been taken quite literally: in front of the Maksimir Park in Zagreb, a pedestrian crossing boasts a zebra-inspired design, pointing visitors to actual zebras living in the Maksimir ZOO a couple of minutes away.

As reported by Hrturizam on April 30, 2018, another city in Croatia might soon get its special edition of a zebra crossing, inspired by an animal that’s much more Croatian-specific than the exotic equid. Sandra Babac from Zadar recently launched a peculiar initiative, calling for a street in Zadar to get a pedestrian crossing that would resemble the spotted coat of a Dalmatian dog.

This adorable species rose to fame owing to the iconic Disney feature 101 Dalmatians, followed by an even more popular 1996 film of the same name. Thanks to popular culture, most people would probably associate the spotted pups with the US, but the species actually has a Croatian origin which is officially recognised by the World Canine Organisation (FCI). The first illustrations of Dalmatians have been found in Croatia; formerly used as guardian dogs, they are featured on a fresco in Zaostrog and an altar painting in Veli Lošinj that dates to the early 17th century. Moreover, the first descriptions of the species were found in the archives of the Archdiocese of Đakovo, with two mentions of Dalmatians in the church chronicles dating to the first half of the 18th century.

These days, Dalmatians are known in the Western world as firehouse dogs and mascots; they have appeared in commercials for the likes of Budweiser, Google, McDonald’s and RedBull. It’s only Croatia that hasn’t managed to find a way to brand its four-legged icon… until now.

Ms Babac is an entrepreneur who occasionally works as a tour guide in Zadar. She noticed the street between the Forum and the waterfront doesn’t yet feature a pedestrian crossing. And yet, lots of tourists use it as a shortcut to get to the famous Sea Organ on the riva, so she got the idea to propose for a ‘zebra’ to get installed at the tourist-heavy point. Not your average zebra crossing, though – a Dalmatian Zebra, as she called it.

“The plan doesn’t only involve introducing a zebra crossing on the mentioned location, but also aims to make use of the fact that the renowned Dalmatian dog has an equally Dalmatian origin. A zebra crossing featuring their recognisable spots could make for an attractive tourism product, the first of its kind in Croatia”, said Babac. Naturally, the first Dalmatian Zebra would soon be followed by many others, all of them accompanied with an informative panel that would get tourists acquainted with the history of this famous dog breed. 

The proposal has been sent to the local authorities for consideration, and we can only keep our fingers crossed for crossings in Zadar to become much more original in the near future. Bravo!


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment