During the time of Venetian governance, Zadar had the role of the capital city and it was a fortress that served to protect the entire Adriatic Sea. The Venetians added more fortifications to the existing ones at the time. One of the fortifications is the fortress Kaštel which oversaw the entrance to the port.

The generally most famous town gates are the Land Gates which are situated in the small port of Foša and these used to be the main entry point to the town. In the vicinity of the bridge there are the New Gates which lead to the National Square. The Gates of St. Rok connect the town port and the town marketplace, while the Sea Gates led from the ferry port to the market. The Chain Gates are the smallest town gates and they connect the ferry port with the Arsenal and the Three Wells Square.