Hidden inside the Golden Gate of Split's Roman walls, the tiny church of St Martin occupies what was once a passage in the guardroom over the gate. Less than 2 metres wide and almost 10 metres long, there seems to be some dispute over when it was converted into a church - most probably was sometime in th 9th century although the inscription on the stone screen dates from the 11th century, and appropriately, it was dedicated to St Martin, the guardian saint of soldiers. Whenever it was, it is a remarkable little place, and visiting it is a real privilege.
Although there is a marker in the street outside, the church is normally only open on St Martin's Day - November 11. At other times, access is only by knocking on the door of the Dominican convent next door and asking the nun who will answer the door if you may see the chapel. Please be mindful of the fact that you are asking a favour of the nuns who have many other calls on their time - don't knock too early or too late in the day, or at lunchtime. If someone is available, you will ushered up the stairs beside the convent and in to the church. The chances are you will be the only visitor, so you can really appreciate the quiet beauty of this special little place with its ancient stone altar and screen, and room for only a handful of people at most.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Eagles of the 9th
It's a real shame but, for all the visitors it gets, Split's Archeological Museum does rate as 'Off the Beaten Path". The museum is truly excellent. It's worth seeking out just for the two magnificent Roman eagles of the 9th Legion that sit on tall columns on either side of the elegant building - they are fabulous - but there's much more to the museum than these big birds.
The oldest in Croatia, the museum houses a magnificent collection that is beautifully maintained and displayed. Whilst by far the greater part of the museum is devoted to a huge number of Roman artifacts - sculptures, glass, coins, bronzes, lamps, jewellery, military items, and more - there are some wonderful pieces from all eras of the ancient history of the region - prehistoric, Bronze Age, Graeco-Hellenic, etc as well as small collection of icons. The loggia around the gardens houses a marvellous lapidarium with some particularly beautiful carved sarcophagi, the pair to the sphinx by the catheral, more early Christian altars than I have ever seen gathered in one place before and an important grouping of items brought up from ancient shipwrecks.
Exhibits are well and clearly signed in Croatian and English.
As well as closing for lunch, opening hours seem to be subject to change. I would suggest you phone or check at the Visitors Information office before you make the trek out to the museum. Do make the effort though - it is a great museum, and gets far too few visitors. The curator will be delighted to see you.
The museum is at Zrinsko - Frankopanska 25, the same road that will take you around to the stadium and the Church of the Trinity.Related to:
- Museum Visits
Primosten-An island village of the Hill
Wonderful scenery of this old Medieval village is the reason to come here. WE did not have time to stop, but got a couple of pictures of the long range view and landscape. The Turks tried to conquer this in 1542 but failed to do so. Beside being under Roman rule for centuries, the Venetians maintained control for nearly 500 years. Wine vineyards are the main commerce behind tourism and it is a UNESCO designated site.
It is about 50 kilometers north of Split, and a good day trip visit.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Grgur Ninski/Gregory of Nin
Gregory of Nin was a 10th-century bishop who strongly opposed the Pope and official circles of the Church and introduced the Croatian language in the religious services after the Great Assembly in 926. This is a bit of who he was, but the reason for my bringing this tip is for the statue itself.
In front of the Golden Gate of the Diocletian's Palace, the statue was made by Ivan Meštroviæ in 1.929, however, it was originally located in the Peristyle of the Diocletian's Palace.
The real reason is that the statue was so imposing that it drew my attention very much.
Note: Excerpts taken from the net.
Klis Castle Fortress
The fortress dates yack to the Illyrian DAlmatae tribe that used the hill for defense back in BC times. It was one of the most important strongholds from 2nd century BC through to 1800's. The fort is three tiers, one higher than the other so if intruders got through one segment, narrow passages and slits in the wall could defend the next level. The Romans used it for centuries to deter the frontier of the mountain range that separated the Romans form Ostrogoths and many other invaders. The fort became the ruling seat for many Croat kings, and they fought many battles form here. There were also a number of sieges, to no avail to takeover the fort. The Turks tried to take over the territory in 1500's, but the fort kept them at bay for a couple hundred years, but they finally took over. The Venetians did get control in 1648 from the Turks, and modified the fort for more modern defenses. The Austrians did the same thing when they got control in 1800's. They even modernized much of the inside for the residents. The fort was used in WWII due to its strategic location covering the huge valley below and the mountains above.
Entry is $2 and the tour is really worth the trip. Open daily 9-5 and located about 9 miles north of Split, and 3 miles north of Solin.Related to:
- Castles and Palaces
- Historical Travel
Lying between the ancient Roman heart of Split and and the wooded slopes of the Marjan Peninsula just to the west of the city, the higgeldy-piggeldy streets of Veli Varoš are a maze of narrow lanes and old stone buildings. Traditionally a working class area, home to fishermen and the humbler working folk of the city, you won't find any remnants of the Emperor's palace here, nor any mediaeval mansions. What you will find is a wealth of folk architecture - small stone houses crammed side by side, lining every twisting alley and steep lane.
You'll also find the tiny 11th century chapel of St Mikula tucked away halfway up the hill in a tiny square. A Latin inscription over the door tells us: "With the help of the Christ this temple was built by Ivan and his wife Tiha, whom he married after the his first wife". The church is very rarely open unfortunately.
Whilst there are still lots of local people living in the houses of Veli Varoš, you'd need more than a fisherman's income to buy one these days. Once regarded as a poor quarter of the city, Veli Varoš' old houses have become extremely desirable and, when they come on the market, have prices to match. More and more of them are being turned into B&Bs and holiday apartments but the work is being done discreetly and there's still enough of the flavour of bygone days about the place for a wander through the quiet streets, away from the crowds around the Riva and the Peristile, to provide a glimpse into the city's earlier life.
Just 9 kilometres inland from Split, the mountain top fortress at Klis stands guard over the pass between Mosor and Kozjak mountains. Nowadays the fortress is a romantic ruin, presenting a dramatic profile high above the modern road but this is the route by which any force coming from the east had to come to reach the coastal region of Split. Such strategic importance has seen a castle ot fort has stood here throughout the ages. The present castle was built in the 16th C at the time of the Ottoman invasions of Europe. The Turks captured it then but were to lose it to the Venetians a hundred years later. It last saw military occupation when it was used by Italian and German forces in WW2.
The castle is open to visitors during the summer ((0900-2000, 10Kn) , though little remains beyond the massive walls and a small church. The views from the ramparts however are quite spectacular and well worth the drive up from Split.
To get to Klis, you need to take the road to Solin out of the cit, it's well signposted but,
rather confusingly, Klis village is actually in 3 parts - which we didn't realize as we headed off up the hill - all simply signposted "Klis" but all in different places around the hilltop. If you're heading for the castle you need to turn off the main road after you have passed through the first part of Klis.
Klis has another attraction - restaurants famed for their roasted lamb. If the lamb is your goal, stay on the main road, go through the tunnel and keep going up the hill a bit. You can't miss it - the restaurants are right by the roadside and the lambs are turning on their spits outside their entrances.
That's a lovely Marina in the eastern part of Split, surrounded by some hotels.
A sunken sailing ship half emerges from the sea in one corner of the harbour and, generally speaking, the area is worth a visit for a nice walk at sunset, when you can enjoy a magnificent view on the gulf and the islands.Related to:
- Road Trip
Some of them are so narrow that you have to wait and pass up to others...
in the center town beneath the bell tower and the forum area there is the touristic information point where there are all kind of stuff and info
walk outside the tourist center
After some museums, cafes and pizzerias, you might want to a change of pace. I went exploring in the south east par to the city - walking down past the Bacvice and Firule inlets and beaches, coming across a rocky shore and many old fishing boats.
Split beaches and Nightlife
Away from the centre you will find Split beaches. The beaches have bars/ cafes for refreshments in case you get a little hot. There is also a strip of bars not from the East beach (Bacvice), which forms the main part of the nightlife.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Beer Tasting
This is the Summer resudence of Ivan Mestrovic, the greatest Croatian artist of XX century and arguably the only world-famous one. It contains about a 100 sculptures of him, in bronze, marmor and wood. In my opinion, the sculptures are amazing. We spent there an hour (totally alone - the Gallery does not seem to attract too many visitors) and would gladly spend more. Nearby, there is Castelet - the villa Mestrovic bought and which is supposed to have his bas-reliefs, but it was closed at the time of visit.
Open 10-15 except Monday. Ivana Mestrovica 46, west of the center (about 20-30 minutes walk).
Cleanest Public Toilet
When you are tired from sightseeing and shopping and have to go to the loo, o man it can be a real hassle to find a loo. Well, when you get to be in Split, check out the cleanest public toilet that I have ever been to. Its certainly the cleanest place around Split.
Check the photo. It is just off Marmontova shopping street and towards Grgur Ninski statue. Cant miss it.Related to:
- Business Travel
- Women's Travel
Just strolling down one of the narrow streets I found this funky staircase. What I like about Dalmatian architecure is the material from which the buildings are made of - white stone. The most appreciated stone is BRACKI KAMEN, looks like white marmor and I believe that story goes that even the WHITE HOUSE USA has some of the Brac stone it it!
Its cool!Related to:
- Historical Travel
Vranjaca Cave near the village of Kotlenica in the hinterland of Split, was discovered in 1903. It is probably the most beautiful cave in Central Dalmatia, characteristic for the Dalmatian karst region, which was formed in mineral limestone. It consists of two main halls and a corridor which connects them. The cave is rich in shapes typical for caves and is very impressive. Its length is about 300 and depth about 65 meters. Because of its attractive interior and surroundings, as well as the proximity of road and parking place, the cave is easily accessible and attractive for excursionists. Since 1929 there has been electricity in the cave, and there is a hiking trail about 300 meters long.
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