A must see is Marjan Forest Park,carefully maintained and cherished. The park includes promenades, vista points, solariums, nature paths, playgrounds and the Split zoo.... A marvellous view is offered from the top of Marjan on the old and new parts of Split. It takes only 15 minutes of pleasant walking to reach Marjan from the historical core of Split through the old quarter Varos. The Marjan stairway, running along the crest of the hill, leads to another, higher top of Marjan,
Marjan is big, rugged hill covered with mediterannean pine trees: a bit of the country wedged into the centre of one of Croatia's biggest cities. From the centre you can be climbing its 178m height in a matter of minutes, but it will be many more hot, sweaty minutes before you reach the top.
The hill offers great views of Split, and if you go right to the summit you can see the nearby mountains of Mosor and Kozjak.
This church is form the 13th century and is a stand out for picture taking. It is not open for inside viewing, though. Next to the church once was a monastery, since demolished in 1900's. There are other churches on the hill, most notable St. Jerome and a hermitage by it. We did not get to that.
The zoo was closed when we were there for the season. I imagine it opens in June for the summer months. Entry fee is 10 kuna-$2, and times are 8-6 daily. It looks like the place is rather small and the cages cramped. Next to the zoo is a Natural history museum, also closed, and looked like it was for a long time.
This is a large park (nee-Maryann) that originates form Diocletian time. It was a recreation area for the 8,000-10,000 residents so they had something to do. It seems like it would be about 300 acres of ground and the highest point is nerlay 600 feet. It was at one time a volcano, and now densely covered pine forest. Besides many walking trails, there is a zoo, a St. Nicolaus church from 11th century, and restaurant called Vidilica from where great views of the town are prevalent, bike rentals, and swimming at the beaches, or tennis. This park was not heavily used in the past and not developed because of the rough terrain, so it remained intact.
Pass the Sv. Frane on the left and follow the Trubiceva Obala and at the end you will spot a staircase. Take those stairs uphill and you will end up at the Vidilica lookout where you can have a drink in the Café Vidilica and enjoy the great views over the city center.
The Café Vidilica is located in the old Jewish cemetery building. Behind the building is the old Jewish cemetery itself, dating back to 1573.
If you continue uphill for a bit you will get to the small church of Sv. Nikole Putnika which dates back to 1219. You can have a peek inside through the small window at the back. Because of the darkness you may not see much but your camera will see more.
After our visit to caffe Vidilica we decided to walk from there to the Hajduk football stadion via the Marjan Hill. After walking uphill we came across the zoo. I saw the picture of a tiger and decided that I wanted to visit.
The zoo is rather small and some cages are overcrowded like the guinea pigs, the donkeys and the bears. Also there are animals that are all by themselves like various monkeys and obviously bored. The animals seemed to be well fed but most of the enclosures are dusty rocks. The animals boredom showed in the erratic behaviour of the bears and the wolves had bloody ear tips which looked like the fellow wolves have nibbled on them when hungry. Come to think of it, that maybe the crowded guinea pigs or the bunnies enclosures are actually for breeding in order to feed other animals like the birds of prey.
The entrance fee was 10 kuna. The zoo is open daily from 8 am till 6 pm.
BTW, there is a "rough" toilet just outside the zoo a few meters downhill and it's free. It's not for the faint-hearted and you need to bring your own loo paper.
The hill Marjan is one of the favourite spots of the people that live in Split. Its forest, the sea around it and different sport facilities that it offers makes it an interesting choice at any time of the year.
After a nice stroll along the road near the sea and in the shade created by high trees you get to the area with the tennis courts, small football pitch and the bar situated next to the sea.
Marjan Hill, rising up West of the Old Town, provides amazing views over Split and its surrounding mountains. You begin by walking up fairly steep little streets and eventually get to the greenery. There are plenty of steps to follow to the top (I never counted), which lead to the top of the hill and a massive Croatian flag. From here there are views in all directions. It's perfect for locating Hadjuk Splits stadium!!!
To the west of the Old Town, the neighborhood of Veli Varos rises up on the edge of the Marjan peninsula. It a jumble of narrow streets and authentic slices of real life in Croatia. There are no real tourist sights here, but it's a great place for a stroll. For a great view over the Old Town, follow the Riva up to Senjska which will take you up the hill in about ten minutes to the Vidilica cafe which has a patio that overlooks the town. The views from here are breathtaking (that's where I took the opening photo for this page).
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