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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Split "Largest Coastal city of Croatia and a tourist destination"

Split (see names in other languages) is the largest Dalmatian city, the second-largest urban centre in Croatia, and the seat of Split-Dalmatia County. The city is situated on the shores of the Mediterranean, more specifically the eastern Adriatic Sea, spreading over a central peninsula and its surroundings, with its metropolitan area including the many surrounding littoral towns as well. An important regional transit center, the city is a vital link to the numerous surrounding Adriatic islands and the Italian peninsula, as well as a popular tourist destination.

Split is also one of the oldest cities in the area, and is traditionally considered just over 1,700 years old. However, recent archaeological research relating to the ancient Greek colony of Aspálathos (6th century BC) establishes the city as being several hundred years older.

Palace of Diocletian

Commissioned by Emperor Diolcetian and built in Split by the architects Filotas and Zotikos, the Palace of Diocletian is a well preserved Roman structure built in typical Roman military camp style. Emperor Diocletian lived in the Palace of Diocletian for only eight years until his death in 313. Following his death the Palace of Diocletian was used as an administrative center and the governor's residence. Three centuries, later in 615, the Palace of Diocletian was used as a refuge for the residents of Salona when their city was sacked by the Avars.

Originally the Palace of Diocletian was 215m / 705ft long, 180m / 590ft wide, and enclosed with thick walls up to 28m / 92ft high. On each corner was a tower and the Palace of Diocletian
had four entrances, three of them of note: The Golden Gate, The Silver Gate, and the Iron Gate. Leading in from the gates on each side, two roads are laid out according to the Roman Cardo and Decumanus tradition.

Several notable attractions within the Palace of Diocletian are the Temple of Jupiter, Cathedral of St. Dominius, and the Peristyle.

The Palace of the Diocletian is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the top attractions in Croatia.


(Local Name: Solin) Once the most prosperous city in the mid Adriatic, Salona (Solin) is a now a target for history buffs. Over the years Salona has had many inhabitants starting with the Illyrians, followed by the Greeks and finally the Romans. It was under the Romans that Salona truly thrived.

The good times did not last forever. The Salona was sacked by the Avars and Croats in 614. The once proud city, named for its proximity to the salt works, was stripped of its finery, its inhabitants driven out to nearby Split, and its intricate stone work dismantled and used for new buildings.

Located only five 5km / 3mi from Split, Salona is easily accessible off the Motorway E65. Salona has numerous major
attractions within its ancient city walls and there is much to entertain and engage the visitor. Salona's most notable attractions are the Salona Amphitheatre, the Salona Aqueduct, the Bishop's Complex, and the Forum.


The beautiful old walled town of Trogir is a world heritage site enclosing a maze of cobblestone streets; Romanesque, Renaissance and Baroque architecture; and one of the finest cathedrals in the country. The old town is situated on a tiny island between the mainland and the island of Ciovo and is interconnected by bridges. The narrow streets hide countless restaurants and cafes, shops and shuttered residences and outside the city walls is a waterfront promenade lined with yachts and dominated by a medieval fortress that was once connected to the city walls. A popular excursion from Trogir is a boat trip to the nearby islands, Drvenik Mali and Drvenik Veli, whose beaches and secluded coves provide an idyllic getaway.
Transport: Bus 37 leaves from Split's local bus station every 20 minutes

Brac Island

Brac's main claim to fame is the strip of beach near the resort of Bol that stretches out like a finger into the sea, which is featured on almost all Croatian tourist brochures, but the island is also known for its white stone which is exported; Brac's white stone was used to build Washington DC's White House as well as the Diocletian's Palace in Split. Bol is also the windsurfing capital of Croatia. Bol and Supetar are the two main resorts on the island with attractive old towns and a laid-back charm. The rest of the island boasts numerous villages and dramatic coastal scenery.
Transport: The Jadrolinija car ferry has regular services to Supetar on Brac Island from Split


Sibenik is home to the crowning glory of the Dalmatian coast, the Cathedral of St Jacob, which was the masterpiece of sculptor Juraj Dalmatinac. It is reputedly the largest church in the world to be built entirely from stone and is unusual for its 71 stone heads on the exterior walls, a beautiful baptistery, the domed roof complex and various works of art in the interior of the building. The city also makes a good base from which to visit the nearby Krka National Park.
Transport: There are regular trains and buses between Split and Sibenik, taking about two hours

Hvar Island

Off of the coast of Split, just 15 nautical miles (24km) from Baska Voda and accessible by ferry, is the island of Hvar, which abounds with Romanesque and Renaissance buildings and a true Mediterranean atmosphere. The island is noted for its fertile soil and was the site of the world's first parcelling out of arable land by the ancient Greeks, who farmed there. It is now mainly a wine-growing area. The island's main towns are Vrboska and Jelsa, famed for their Dalmatian wines, and it is dotted with picturesque villag


About 30 miles (47km) south of Split is the popular holiday town of Makarska, with its stone cobbled streets and natural harbor fringed with the two green peninsulas of Osejava and St Peter. Standing sentinel over the town is Mount Biokovo. This scenically beautiful spot offers secluded beaches washed by an azure sea, lying at the heart of the Makarska Riviera characterized by pine forests and a string of white pebble beaches. The town was an important trading port during its colorful history, which spans occupation by the Venetians, Turks, French and Austrians, all of whom left a taste of their culture and tradition behind. The town boasts a world-renowned collection of sea shells, and a Franciscan monastery dating from the 16th century, a Venetian fountain, several churches and Baroque palaces, but its main attraction is its scenic setting.

Mestrovic Gallery

The Mestrovic Gallery contains many of the works of Ivan Mestrovic. A friend of Rodin, Ivan Mestrovic was widely considered one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century.

Designed by the artist himself, the Mestrovic Gallery, was originally Ivan Mestrovic's residence where he lived in the 1930's. The Mestrovic Gallery was started in 1950 after a substantial donation of art from the artist himself. The Mestrovic Gallery collection includes 86 statues in marble, stone, bronze, wood and gypsum, 17 drawings, and also eight bronze statues in the open garden, 28 reliefs's in wood in the katelet and one stone crucifix.

The gardens are a pleasant place for a stroll and visitors are rewarded with the sights of
some of Mestrovic's most famous sculptures in a beautiful setting.


Split is an important transport center for Dalmatia and the wider region. In addition to the Zagreb-Split freeway, all the road traffic along the Adriatic coast on the route Zadar–Dubrovnik flows through the city. The city also has a series of expressways and avenues, enabling efficient, fast transit by car around the city and its suburbs.

City public transport is conducted by bus, the city being inadequate for trams due to its hilly geography. The local public transport company Promet Split has recently renovated its fleet with the latest models. Split is also the southernmost integrated point of the Croatian Railway network. Within Split's city centre, railway traffic passes two tunnels before reaching the Central Station. The line to Split is unremarkable; a journey from Split to Zagreb or Rijeka takes around 5 hours, as the line is unelectrified and consists of only one track. Currently, there are no definite plans to upgrade the line, but with the start of work on the new Zagreb-Rijeka railway line in October 2007. The Split Suburban Railway network opened in early December 2006. It currently has one line, running from the Split city harbour to Kaštel Stari. The line is expected to get a second track and be fully electrified by 2010. New, low-floor trains are expected to be implemented as well. This line will also be lengthened, to encompass the aforementioned Split International Airport, and continue on to the towns of Trogir and Seget Donji. Split also plans to construct a mini-metro that is to be operational by 2012.

The Split Airport in Kaštela is the second largest in Croatia in terms of passenger numbers (1,190,551 in 2007), with year-round services to Zagreb, London, Frankfurt and the Cologne Bonn Airport in Germany, as well as heavy tourist traffic in the summer. The expansion of the terminal is scheduled to commence in 2009. The passenger seaport in Split is the third busiest port in the Mediterranean, with daily coastal routes to Rijeka, Dubrovnik and Ancona in Italy. During the summer season Split is connected with other Italian cities as well, such as Pescara. Most of the central Dalmatian islands are only reachable via the Split harbor (with Jadrolinija and Split Tours ferries). This includes the islands of Brač, Hvar and Šolta, as well as the more distant Vis, Korčula and Lastovo.


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