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Split

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Overview & Brief History

 

Split, a vibrant coastal city nestled along the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, is one of Croatia’s most enchanting destinations. Renowned for its rich history, stunning architecture, and breathtaking natural beauty, Split offers visitors a captivating blend of ancient heritage and modern charm. From its well-preserved Roman ruins to its bustling waterfront promenade and lively café culture, Split entices travelers with its irresistible Mediterranean allure.

A Brief History

The history of Split dates back over 1,700 years to the time of the Roman Empire when the city was founded as a retirement palace for the Emperor Diocletian. Constructed between the late 3rd and early 4th centuries AD, Diocletian’s Palace stands as one of the most impressive Roman ruins in the world and forms the heart of Split’s historic center. Over the centuries, the palace complex evolved into a bustling urban center, with homes, shops, and churches built within its walls.

In the centuries following the fall of the Roman Empire, Split experienced periods of Byzantine, Venetian, and Hungarian rule, each leaving its mark on the city’s culture and architecture. The medieval period saw the construction of churches, palaces, and fortifications, including the iconic Cathedral of Saint Domnius, which was originally built as Diocletian’s mausoleum.

During the 19th century, Split became part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, experiencing rapid urbanization and industrialization. The city’s strategic location on the Adriatic Sea contributed to its growth as a major port and trading center in the region.

In the 20th century, Split became part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and later the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia under Marshal Tito. Despite the political upheavals of the 20th century, Split retained its cultural identity and continued to thrive as a center of commerce, culture, and tourism.

Following the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, Croatia gained independence, and Split emerged as a dynamic and cosmopolitan city, attracting visitors from around the world with its historic landmarks, vibrant arts scene, and stunning coastline. Today, Split is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a bustling metropolis that seamlessly blends ancient history with modern sophistication, offering travelers an unforgettable Mediterranean experience.

 

Things to See & Do

 

Diocletian’s Palace

This ancient palace, built by the Roman Emperor Diocletian in the 4th century AD, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the heart of Split’s historic center. Wander through its labyrinthine streets, marvel at the well-preserved architecture, and explore its numerous attractions, including the Peristyle, the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, and the Temple of Jupiter. Don’t miss climbing the bell tower of the cathedral for panoramic views of the city and surrounding islands.

 

Riva Promenade

Stroll along the lively Riva Promenade, a bustling waterfront promenade lined with palm trees, cafes, and restaurants. Enjoy views of the Adriatic Sea and watch as boats bob in the harbor. The Riva is the perfect place to relax, people-watch, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of Split.

 

 

Marjan Hill

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by hiking or biking up Marjan Hill, a scenic park located on a peninsula west of Split’s center. Enjoy panoramic views of the city, surrounding islands, and coastline from the hill’s summit. Explore pine forests, Mediterranean shrubs, and hidden beaches along the park’s network of trails. Marjan Hill offers a peaceful retreat and opportunities for outdoor recreation amidst stunning natural scenery.

 

 

Bacvice Beach (Plaža Bačvice)

Relax and unwind at Bacvice Beach, Split’s most popular sandy beach located just a short walk from the city center. With its shallow waters and gentle waves, Bacvice is ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and playing beach volleyball. After a day at the beach, indulge in a refreshing swim or treat yourself to a traditional Dalmatian meal at one of the nearby beachside restaurants.

 

Local Dining

 

Seafood Extravaganza

Being a coastal city, Split boasts an abundance of fresh seafood. Indulge in succulent grilled fish, flavorful octopus peka (stewed in a pot), or decadent black risotto, a local specialty made with squid ink.

 

Alfresco Dining:

Many restaurants boast charming terraces or outdoor seating areas, allowing you to enjoy your meal with stunning views of the Adriatic Sea or the bustling Old Town.

Insider Tips

Popular spots like Diocletian’s Palace and Bacvice Beach get crowded, especially during peak season. Aim for early mornings to avoid large crowds and capture stunning photos.

While the Old Town is charming, venture outside the city walls for a more local experience. Explore the lively Marjan neighborhood or nearby beaches like Kasjuni and Bene.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant Pazar (open-air market) on Sundays. Find fresh produce, local crafts, and a taste of authentic Croatian culture.

Virtual Tours

Split Walking Tour

Kasjuni Beach

Diocletian Palace

DISCOVER

Interactive Maps

Walking around old town Split

Hike through Marjan Park

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