In Zadar, Croatia there’s an instrument that plays without the touch of a musician — that is, unless you consider Mother Nature a musician. The Sea Organ or Morske Orgulje is an architectural marvel played by the wind and the waves of the Adriatic Sea. Take a seat by the water on the organ’s large marble steps and have a listen.
A Musical Welcome Party
A first glance this 230-foot (70-meter) long instrument appears to be a simple staircase leading into the Adriatic Sea, but hidden underneath it are 35 organ pipes. Each step on the staircase holds five of these pipes and is tuned to a specific musical chord. As the sea’s waves and wind pass through the underlying pipes, notes emanate from channels in the uppermost stairs, continuously “playing” nature’s music.
The Sea Organ was conceived in 2005 by architect Nikola Bašić as an art piece for the port town of Zadar. In response to increasing tourism, Zadar built in that same year a new jetty to welcome incoming cruise ships. The Sea Organ would be the auditory addition that the already visually stunning waterfront needed.
Sculptures of the Sea
Morske Orgulje isn’t the only one of its kind, though. On a jetty in the San Francisco Bay lives the Wave Organ, a tide-activated sculpture made of 25 organ pipes placed at varying levels. And in Blackpool, England on the city’s new promenade, the 18-pipe High Tide Organ plays by way of the tides pushing air up the sea-wall pipes. All of these musical marvels are a sight worth seeing — and hearing.
But before you make your way to Zadar for a real-life listen, take a peek at the video below to get a taste of Morske Orgulje’s eerily beautiful music. While you’re at it, you’ll learn about some of Mother Nature’s other “instruments.”