Split is the second-largest city of Croatia and the largest city of the region of Dalmatia. It lies on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea and is spread over a central peninsula and its surroundings. An intraregional transport hub and popular tourist destination, the city is linked to the Adriatic islands and the Apennine peninsula.In 1979, the historic center of Split was included into the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Split is said to be one of the centres of Croatian culture. Its literary tradition can be traced to medieval times, and includes names like Marko Marulić, while in more modern times Split excelled by authors famous for their sense of humor. Among them the most notable is Miljenko Smoje, famous for his TV series Malo misto and Velo misto, with the latter dealing with the development of Split into a modern city. Despite colorful settings and characters, as well as a cinema tradition that could be traced to early 20th-century works of Josip Karaman, there were relatively few films shot in or around Split. However, the city did produce several famous actors, most notably Boris Dvornik.Also well known is Ivo Tijardović, and his famous operetta Little Floramye - Mala Floramye. Both Smoje and Tijardović are famous artists thought to represent the old Split traditions that are slowly dying out due to the city being overwhelmed by large numbers of rural migrants from the undeveloped hinterland.
Dalmatia is one of the four historical regions of Croatia, alongside Croatia proper, Slavonia, and Istria. Dalmatia is a narrow belt of the east shore of the Adriatic Sea, stretching from island of Rab in the north to the Bay of Kotor in the south. The hinterland ranges in width from fifty kilometres in the north, to just a few kilometres in the south; it is mostly covered by the rugged Dinaric Mountains. 79 islands run parallel to the coast, the largest being Brač, Pag and Hvar. The largest city is Split, followed by Zadar, Dubrovnik, and Šibenik. Most of the area is covered by Dinaric Alps mountain ranges running from north-west to south-east. On the coasts the climate is Mediterranean, while further inland it is moderate Mediterranean. In the mountains, winters are frosty and snowy, while summers are hot and dry. To the south winters are milder. Over the centuries many forests have been cut down and replaced with bush and brush. There is evergreen vegetation on the coast. The soils are generally poor, except on the plains where areas with natural grass, fertile soils and warm summers provide an opportunity for tillage. Elsewhere, land cultivation is mostly unsuccessful because of the mountains, hot summers and poor soils, although olives and grapes flourish. Energy resources are scarce. Electricity is mainly produced by hydropower stations. There is a considerable amount of bauxite.The largest Dalmatian mountains are Dinara, Mosor, Svilaja, Biokovo, Moseć, Veliki Kozjak and Mali Kozjak. The regional geographical unit of historical Dalmatia - the coastal region between Istria and the Gulf of Kotor - includes the Orjen mountain with the highest peak in Montenegro, 1894 m. In present-day Dalmatia, the highest peak is Dinara, which is not a coastal mountain, while the highest coastal Dinaric mountains are on Biokovo - Sv. Jure, 1762 m and Velebit - Vaganski vrh, 1757 m, although the Vaganski vrh itself is located in Lika-Senj County.The largest Dalmatian islands are Brač, Korčula, Dugi Otok, Mljet, Vis, Hvar, Pag and Pašman. The major rivers are Zrmanja, Krka, Cetina and Neretva. The Adriatic Sea's high water qualityalong with the immense number of coves, islands and channels, makes Dalmatia an attractive place for nautical races, nautical tourism, and tourism in general. Dalmatia also includes several national parks that are tourist attractions: Paklenica karst river, Kornati archipelago, Krka river rapids and Mljet island. The basic characteristics of Dalmatian cuisine are fresh ingredients, simple preparation with little intense spice and lots of mostly fresh herbs and wild plants.Dalmatia is, in fact, rich with Mediterranean herbs, such as sage, bay leaves, rosemary, basil, thyme … which give dishes from this region a special aroma and taste. The traditional Dalmatian cuisine coincides with modern nutritional trends which prefer lightweight thermal processing of food and plenty of fresh fish, olive oil and vegetables.You will often find shellfish and seafood which is prepared like fish, either grilled or cooked in a brodetto or a shellfish stew. Shellfish can also be mixed with noodles or rice.
Diocletian's Palace is an ancient palace built for the Roman Emperor Diocletian at the turn of the fourth century AD, that today forms about half the old town of Split, Croatia. While it is referred to as a palace because of its intended use as the retirement residence of Diocletian, the term can be misleading as the structure is massive and more resembles a large fortress: about half of it was for Diocletian's personal use, and the rest housed the military garrison. Diocletian built the massive palace in preparation for his retirement on 1 May 305 AD. It lies in a bay on the south side of a short peninsula running out from the Dalmatian coast, four miles from Salona, the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. The terrain slopes gently seaward and is typical karst, consisting of low limestone ridges running east to west with marl in the clefts between them.In November 1979 UNESCO, in line with the international convention on cultural and natural heritage, adopted a proposal that the historic city of Split built around the Palace should be included in the register of World Cultural Heritage.In November 2006 the City Council decided to permit over twenty new buildings within the palace including a shopping and garage complex, although the palace had been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Monument. It is said that this decision was politically motivated and largely due to lobbying by local property developers. Once the public in 2007 became aware of the project, they petitioned against the decision and won. No new buildings, shopping center or the underground garage was built. he World Monuments Fund has been working on a conservation project at the palace, including surveying structural integrity and cleaning and restoring the stone and plasterwork. The palace is depicted on the reverse of the Croatian 500 kuna banknote, issued in 1993.
The Diocletian Palace Substructures represent one of the best preserved ancient complexes of their kind in the world, and hence are in many ways responsible for the reason the historical core of Split was in 1979 included on the UNESCO'S World Heritage list. In the Roman times, their function was to elevate the Emperor's chambers on the floor above, but they were also the storage area for the Palace. Being structurally a faithful replica of the chambers above, they enable a faithful reconstruction of the way the Emperor's chambers looked like.In the early Middle Ages a part of them was used as a residential area, and in one of the halls, parts of an ancient oil and wine press were found, remaining exhibited in the same spot to this day. With the residence construction within the Palace, the Substructures were turned into a waste pit for those households built above them. Cleaning of the Substructure's halls was conceived and commenced in the mid 19th century by an architect Vicko Andrić, the first Split and Croatian conservationist, and today they have been excavated and reconstructed to the sixties of the last century. Only the eastern part became open to the public relatively recently, in May 1995. The entrance to the halls of the Substructures today is through Porta Aenea, from the Riva, or down the stairs from the Peristyle. Today the Substructures are full of life. They regularly host painting and sculpture exhibitions, theatre plays, fairs like the International Flower Fair, gastronomic and oenological presentations, and many other social and cultural events. The central hall, representing the main communication line between the Riva and the Peristyle, is a place to buy valuable souvenirs, and the rest of the Substructures is open for sightseeing as one of the greatest attractions of Split, frequently, besides Peristyle, a synonym for Diocletian Palace.
Marjanis a hill on the peninsula of the city of Split
largest city of Croatia's Dalmatia region. It is covered in a dense Mediterranean pine forest and completely surrounded by the city and the sea, making it a unique sight. Originally used as a park by the citizens as early as the 3rd century, it is a favorite weekend excursion destination and a recreational center for the city. It is also the setting for numerous beaches and jogging trails as well as tennis courts and the city Zoo, all surrounded by the scenic forest. Marjan is 178 m tall and offers a view of the entire city, the surrounding islands, and the nearby mountains of Mosor and Kozjak.In ancient times Emperor Diocletian built his palace a few minutes walk from Marjan. This opulent palace-city was actually inhabited by up to 8,000 to 10,000 people, who required parks and recreation space, Diocletian, therefore, organized some areas of Marjan nearer to the palace as a park. There is also a small rustic early 13th century AD church situated on Marjan Hill. The church is dedicated to St. Nicholas a favorite saint of fishermen, of which there are many in Split. Two and a half kilometers further along the path that runs along the south rim of Marjan is the fifteenth-century church of St. Jerome. The church has an altar carved by Andrija Aleši. Built into clefts in the cliffs directly above and behind St. Jerome is a group of Renaissance hermitage caves, first used in the 15th century. On the eastern slopes of the Marjan, just above the city, is Split’s old Jewish cemetery. First established in 1573, the cemetery has over 700 graves, with readable tombstones from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries, the last burial taking place in 1945 when it was closed and protected as a monument Marjan has become a symbol of Split in the last century and a half, before that it was considered an ordinary part of the landscape. As the city grew, however, it was left out because of its rocky and difficult terrain, and became, in effect, a part of the wilderness next to the very center of the city. Soon the citizens started to frequent it as a picnic spot and a romantic retreat, its many beaches adding to its popularity as well. During the Second World War, Marjan was the subject of a popular Partisan song Marjane, Marjane, sung by the Split members of that anti-fascist movement and was reportedly a favorite song of resistance leader and future president of the new SFR Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito. Indeed, the flamboyant Partisan leader was so fond of the hill itself, he chose it as the site for the summer residence of the Yugoslav president, the Vila Dalmacija. In the 1950s, during the period of second Yugoslavia, the Federal Government, in conjunction with local Split authorities, undertook a massive project for the transformation of the entire wild hill into a forest park. The hill was intensively forested, many recreational facilities were built, including jogging tracks, a road system encircling the peninsula, a maritime research institute, the Split City Zoo, botanical garden and a water pipeline reaching all the way to the top of the hill. The authorities also constructed the city weather station and two vidilice, or look-out points, as resting places connected with a long stairway all the way to the Diocletian's Palace, the Riva promenade and the rest of the city center. On the south side of the Marjan is the Meštrović Gallery housed in the former villa of Ivan Meštrović, thought by many to be one of the greatest sculptors of religious subjects since the Renaissance.