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The town of Split in Croatia

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Split seen since the bell-tower of the cathedral. Click to enlarge the image in Adobe Stock (new tab).With 180,000 inhabitants - named Splićani - the town of Split east, by far, the first town of Dalmatia and the second of Croatia. The urban area of Split counts 250,000 inhabitants, including one great proportion of working population.

Split is the capital of the County of Split-Dalmatia (Splitsko-dalmatinska županija) which covers Dalmatia power station, and she is regarded as the capital city of Dalmatia in her entirety, even if she does not have officially this statute. She is also the seat of the archbishop’s palace of Split-Makarska.

The city finds its origin in the palace that had been made build - with the turning of 3rd and 4th centuries after J. - C. - a Roman ex-emperor, Diocletian, originating in Salone in what is the suburbs of Split today. The vestiges of the Palace of Diocletian still cover half (39 000 m²) of the old town of Split. This old city is registered today on the list of the world heritage by UNESCO.

But Split is before all the large commercial port of the Dalmatian coast and its back-country, and the large tourist port which is used as main door towards the many Dalmatian islands.

Fleur de Calycotome spinosa (author Hans Hillewaert). Click to enlarge the image.The toponym of Split comes - by a complicated filiation - old Greek name from a plant whose flowers colour of yellow in spring the maquis covering the slopes which surround the site of Split: aspálathos (ασπάλαθος) indicated the thorny calycotome (Calycotome spinosa), (will brnistra or Croatian žuka), a thorny shrub of Mediterranean Europe similar to the broom with brush. The old Greeks gave this name to the colony which they founded with the 6th century before J. - C. at the place where Split is.

Split, watercolour painted by Jakob Alt in 1841. Click to enlarge the image.When the Romans took possession of the area, they adapted the name in Spalatum, which became Spalatro into Dalmatian medieval; when Slavic Croatian seized Dalmatia, they transformed the name into Split. During the Venetian domination, the Roman name was Italianized in Spalato. At the time of the rise of nationalities, at the beginning of the 19th century, the Slavic name Spljet was used, then became again Split.

Another etymology - advanced by the emperor byzantin Constantin Porphyrogénète VII, but steamed today - made derive Split from the Latin word palatium, in reference to the Palace of Diocletian.


Split seen since a satellite. Click to enlarge the image.Split seen since the sea. Click to enlarge the image.
Plan of the town of Split. Click to enlarge the image.The core of the future town of Split, the Palace of Diocletian, was built on the southern coast of the peninsula which closes bay of Kaštela (Kaštelanski zaljev) and which is separated from the island of Brač through Split (Splitski kanal).

A hill, Marjan (175 m), rises in the Western part of the peninsula, while in north, the city is protected from the wind of north by the mountainous solid mass of Kozjak (780 m), distant of 15 km, and, in the North-East, by the solid mass of Mosor (1 330 m).

Split is to 24 km east of Trogir; to 88 km in the south-east of Šibenik; to 217 km of Dubrovnik and 364 km of the Croatian capital, Zagreb. The port gives access to the islands of Brač, 18 km and an hour of navigation, Hvar to 49 km and 1:30 of sea; Screw, at 58 km and 2:00 of sea; Korčula at 3:00; Lastovo at 4:30.


Tourist chart of Split (author Office Split Tourism). Click to enlarge the image.The visit of Split is rather often limited to the historical center - the Palace of Diocletian which draws all attentions - but the old city in its unit deserves the visit with its astonishing mixture of Venetian palaces and Austrian architecture.

Split seen since the broad one. Click to enlarge the image.Beyond this historical center, suburbs, which appears a little sinister when one approaches the city by the sea, hold interesting surprises.


The western Marjan mount and part of Split. Click to enlarge the image in Adobe Stock (new tab).The mount Marjan and Sustipan. Click to enlarge the image in Adobe Stock (new tab).These popular quarters, located has proximity of the historical core, were formed on three sides, without town-planning scheme, adapting has the configuration of the ground and with the characteristics of the ground, respecting the medieval land regulation, laid out in edge of the ways existing, being established around churches etc

One finds thus today: in the west Veli Varoš, north Dobri and Manuš and, in the east, Lučac. These suburbs developed especially at the time of the first Turkish incursions in Dalmatia at the 16th century when refugees coming from the back-country settled there.

The District of Lučac
Stations railway and maritime of Split. Click to enlarge the image in Adobe Stock (new tab).The district of Lučac is an old suburb located immediately east of Palais of Diocletian, close to the Silver Gate. It was traditionally the district of the bishopric; a broad avenue, over the bridge of the railroad, led, from the Palace of Diocletian, to the episcopal palace, of style néo-Rebirth. In the gardens of the bishopric was built the Dominican monastery.

The fortress of Influenza, built at the 17th century, dominates the district of Lučac; north of the Bishopric, narrow and steep and picturesque lanes, with the blocks of houses of irregular form, climb the slopes of the hill of Influenza.

The Croatian Maritime Museum (Pomorski Hrvatski Muzej)
At the top of the hill of Influenza the Museum of the Navy is. To go to the Museum of the Navy.
The Dominican Monastery Saint Catherine (Dominikanski Samostan Svete Katarine)
The Dominican monastery Saint Catherine of Split was founded in 1245 in the gardens of the archbishop’s palace close to the Eastern walls of the Palace of Diocletian, today street Hrvoje; it is dedicated holy Catherine of Alexandria, to virgin and martyrdom, which lived at the end of the 3rd century and the beginning of the 4th century. According to certain historians, the monastery was rested by the happy Gregoire of Split, which had met in Italy the future saint Dominique, Domingo de Guzmán.

The monastery knew, with the wire of the centuries, of many transformations, the last following a Anglo-American air raid in 1944. From 2005 to 2009, the monastery was restored.

The library of the monastery is old and rich, and understands very liturgical beautiful books gathering of the Gregorian partitions; Marko Marulić was informed there, and the “father of the Croatian literature”, celebrates humanistic, bequeathed to the monastery some of its books which are still here.

The Church Saint Dominic (Crkva Svetog Dominika)
The church Saint Dominic (Sveti Dominik) is the church of the Dominican monastery Saint Catherine; she was built - vis-a-vis the Silver Gate of the Palace of Diocletian - at the end of the 17th century (1682) after the demolition of a former medieval building probably dating from the 13th century. The church was increased at the beginning of the 19th century and largely restored in 1932-1934; she is used as parish church with the parish Saint Dominic.

The interior conceals works of art crowned of value: The “miracle with Suriano” (Miracolo has Suriano), painted around 1640 by Matteo Ponzone (Matej Pončun, 1583-1663), a pupil of Palma the Young person (Jacopo Palma il Giovane), “Appearance in the Temple” of the school of Palma the Young person, and a “Virgin and Saints” of Antonio Zanchi (around 1690), as well as a Gothic wood crucifix.

The Market with the Fruit and Vegetables (Tržnica)
The market of Split (Macic7 author). Click to enlarge the image.The market of Split (author Samuli Lintula). Click to enlarge the image.In the south of the Dominican monastery, close to the south-eastern tower of the Palace of Diocletian, is held the market with the fruit and vegetables (Tržnica) and the flea market (Pazar). This coloured market is held each morning of 7:00 to 13:00 (saturdays of 7:00 to 11:00): traditional cheese or ham, fruit and greengrocers of the surroundings and besides; grandmothers proposing their olive oil, their figs or their honey; bazaars or stalls of crumple.

Even if the flea market remains often open up to 10 p.m. or later during the summer, it is preferable to take this walk during the day, because it can be risky the evening.

The Church Saint Claire (Crkva Svete Klare)
The church Saint Claire (Sveta Klara) of the monastery of Clarisses, located Street King Zvonimir (Kralja Zvonimira Ulica), shelters Venetian and Byzantine icons and a crucifix of the 13th century.
The District of Bačvice
The district of Bačvice is mainly occupied by a kind of intermodal center of transport where the railway station, the bus station and the harbor station mix with.

Bačvice is also famous for its recently refitted public beach, located east of terminal of the ferries, behind the quay Duc Domagoj (Obala Kneza Domagoja). At the end of the port draws up a powerful headlight, with a low-relief of Andre Krstulović.

The Beach of Bačvice (Plaža Bačvice)
The inhabitants of Split generally prefer to go to bathe in the islands; however, the principal beach of the city with Bačvice is clean and functional, if not very romantic.
The Sea front (Riva)
Rivetted of Split (author Office Split Tourism). Click to enlarge the image.The splitois name the sea front “Riva”, even if its true name is: Quay of the Croatian National Rebirth (Obala hrvatskoga narodnog preporoda) that almost nobody uses.

The wearing of Split (author Office Split Tourism). Click to enlarge the image.Riva is a great pedestrian way which extends between the seaside and the old city from Split, since the Street Marmont to the Street Hrvoje. While going from the west in the east one notices, close to the Tower Hrvoje, a small door bored in the old Venetian wall of the old city, which gave access the port; after having exceeded the Place of the Radić Brothers, the quay skirts the southern frontage of the Palace of Diocletian. Between the numbers 22 and 23 the entry in the basements of the palace is. Riva finishes close to the Market to the Fruit and Vegetables.

The sea front of Split (author Hedwig Storch). Click to enlarge the image.Rivetted of Split (author Alistair Young). Click to enlarge the image.At the 16th century, under the Venetian domination, a lazaret for the victims of the plague was built on current Riva; later, this building was used as warehouse for the goods which the caravans brought of Balkans to be dispatched by sea towards Venice; this trade contributed to the development of the wearing of Split: the quay was then named the “Venetian Quay” (Mletačka obala). The building of the lazaret was entirely destroyed by Anglo-American bombardments during the Second World War.
The sea front of Split (author Twiga Swala). Click to enlarge the image in Flickr (new tab).Rivetted of Split the night (author Michael Angelkovitch). Click to enlarge the image.The current aspect of Riva goes back to the beginning of the 19th century, when governor-generals of the 1st French Empire - of which the marshal of Marmont - made demolish the Venetian ramparts and build the broad embankment which became Riva.

It is at the end of the 19th century, under the Empire Austro-Hungarian, which were built the buildings which shelter today of the residences, the trade and the animated coffees of Riva; the quay was also planted palm trees. Riva still had, at the beginning of the 20th century, a splendid fountain out of stone inaugurated at the time of the rebuilding of the aqueduct of Diocletian in the city.

The Port of Split (Gradska Luka Split)
The harbor office of the wearing of Split (author Marcin Szala). Click to enlarge the image.The harbor office of the wearing of Split. Click to enlarge the image.The port of ferries of Split. Click to enlarge the image.
The harbor station of Split. Click to enlarge the image.A regatta in the wearing of Split (author Office Split Tourism). Click to enlarge the image.The wearing of Split (author Office Split Tourism). Click to enlarge the image.
The District of Veli Varoš
The district of Veli Varoš in Split (author Beyond Silence). Click to enlarge the image.The district of Veli Varoš (what wants to say “the large district about”), is west of the Venetian closed city of Split; besides the construction of the Venetian ramparts - at the 17th century - caused the destruction of part of Veli Varoš. Towards the west, beyond the street Šperun, the district goes up to the attack of the Eastern slope of the hill of Marjan. Veli Varoš is also known under the name of district Holy-Cross, of the name of the parish with which it merges.

A staircase in the district of Veli Varos in Split (Kaiser87 author). Click to enlarge the image.The suburb of Veli Varoš is one of oldest of Split: its settlement goes back to the Middle Ages, as from the 12th century. After the construction of the ramparts, this suburb continued to shelter poorest, in particular the peasants, the blue-collar workers and the fishermen, who did not have the means of placing themselves inside the walls. It is also the most interesting suburb, which presents good examples of popular architecture, preserved very well and in their popular environment of origin. Veli Varoš is a labyrinth of paved, tortuous and steep lanes, and traditional Dalmatian stone maisonnettes piled up the ones on the others; many of these houses date from the 17th century. It is not rare to meet there modest houses of peasant including, at the ground floor, the closed court, the cattle shed and the cellar with wine and a staircase external going up with the rooms on the first floor. It is in one of these maisonnettes that was born, the Christmas 1870 day before, the composer Emanuel Vidović.

The district of Veli Varoš in Split (Zrno author). Click to enlarge the image.If one does not see in Veli Varoš the rich Renaissance residences of the closed city, the district understands nevertheless important monuments, in particular, monk. Veli Varoš developed around the tiny Romance church Saint Nicholas (sveti Mikula, in the local dialect). Later, at the 13th century, was established in the district, close to the coast, a Franciscan monastery and its church Saint Francis. The 15th century saw the construction of the church of the Holy-Cross. Veli Varoš still counts several other small churches: Holy-Madeleine, Saint Luke, Our-Lady-of-Soca.

Veli Varoš is picturesque popular quarters where it is still pleasant to walk and to be lost, far from the crowd of the Peristyle. Perhaps more for very a long time because the district becomes with the mode and much of traditional houses are transformed into rooms of hosts and take value. Veli Varoš counts also many small restaurants which propose an authentic Dalmatian kitchen.

The Church Saint Nicholas (Crkva Svetog Nikole)
The Saint Nicholas church in Split. Click to enlarge the image.The church Saint Nicholas (Sveti Nikola) is with mid--slope of the hill of Marjan: while going up to the View-point of Marjan by the street Senjka, to take the street Šperun on the right; at the end of Šperun, to go up the street Jerina, a little towards the line, to the Saint Nicholas church which is on a small square in the district of Stagnja. The church has as a complete name Saint Nicholas de Stagnja (Sveti Mikula od Stagnje) to distinguish it from the Saint Nicholas vault which is on the peninsula of Marjan. In this district of fishermen who is Veli Varoš, the church is also dedicated to the patron saint of the sailors and the travellers, holy Nicolas.

The Saint Nicholas church is the oldest church of Veli Varoš, and dates from 11th or the 12th century; it is tiny, but charming, medieval chapel préromane. On the western frontage, a gate with two figures of lionesses is which support a small porch with the worked lintel. One can read a Latin inscription which says: “With the assistance of Christ, this temple was built by Ivan and his Tiha wife, whom he married after his first wife”. Inside, it adopts a cruciform plan with a rectangular apse: four monolithic columns with capitals préromans support two barrel vaults which cross. The probable cupola of origin was replaced at the 17th century by a rather massive bell-tower. The church Sveti Mikula, unfortunately, is very seldom opened with the visit.

The Church of the Holy-Cross (Crkva Svetog Križa)
The parish church (Sveti Križ) is in the North-East of the church Saint Nicholas, street Križeva; it was built at the time baroque (1681) to replace a former church of the 15th century. Sveti Križ was deeply transformed and increased in the middle of the 19th century; the bell-tower with its cupola in bulb, easily locatable, is the only element of the Baroque architecture of origin which was preserved.

The church of the Holy-Cross conceals a Gothic painted cross, a Gothic sculpture of the Virgin to the Child, like several paintings baroques.

The Church Saint Francis (Crkva Svetog Frane)
The church Saint Francis of Split (Pufacz author). Click to enlarge the image.The Franciscan monastery (Franjevački samostan) and its church Saint Francis (Sveti Franjo) are located west of the Place François Tudjman (Trg Franje Tuđmana), at the western end of Riva, in the southern part of Veli Varoš, almost in seaside.

On this site there was, as of 5th or the 6th century, a primitive church dedicated to saint Felix (Sveti Felicijo), a martyr of Salone of the time of Diocletian, at the 4th century. This church Saint-Felix (Crkva svetog Felicije) was rebuilt at the 11th century by the archbishop of Split.

The cloister of the monastery franciscain of Split. Click to enlarge the image.On their arrival, at the beginning of the 13th century (1213 or 1237), the Franciscan ones built a large church in the late Romance style instead of the church Saint-Felix; on the left of the church the cloister Romano-Gothic - rather simple - with the decorated capitals is. During the war of Crystallized (war of Crete), of 1645 to 1669, the monastery was partially demolished with the request as of Venetian authorities of the city, to use the stones with the construction of the fortifications of defense against the Turks. The monastery and the church were deeply renovated at the end of the 19th century.

The church Saint Francis is with only one nave; under the high altar, a sarcophagus preserves the body of saint Felix. There are also four decorated side furnace bridges of famous retables. The most invaluable works of art crowned of the church are a Gothic crucifix painted by Blaise Georges de Trogir (Blaž Juraj Trogiranin) of the 15th century, and wood a Gothic statue of holy Lucie (sveta Lucija), also dating from the 15th century.

The church Sveti Franjo is regarded as the “small Dalmatian Pantheon” because it shelters the tombs of many eminent personalities of Dalmatia: the historian of Split, author of the “Salonitaine History”, the archdeacon Thomas (Toma Arhiđakon, 1200-1268), the writer and poet, “father of the Croatian literature”, Marko Marulić (1450-1524), the Franciscan monk and composer Ivan Lukačić (1575? - 1648), the poet Jerolim Kavanjin (1641-1714), and the politician Ante Trumbić (1864-1938) whose sarcophagus was built by the famous Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović and whose quay in front of the church is called.

The Hill of Marjan
To go to the peninsula of Marjan.
The Archaeological Museum (Arheološki muzej)
The archaeological Museum of Split is a little north of Palais of Diocletian, to 10 min of walk, in the suburb of Spinut. The Museum is the oldest archaeological museum of Croatia, and one of most important of the country, in particular for Roman materials: it was founded in 1820 and is on its current site since 1922.

Addresses: Zrinsko - Frankopanska 25, HR-21000 Split

Telephone: 00,385 (0) 21,329,340

Website (excuses you me not to speak French):

Summer times (from June to September): Monday to Saturday, 9:00 at 14:00 and 16:00 at 20:00

Tariff of entry: 20 kunas.

The Chapel of the Holy Trinity (Crkva Svete Trojice)
The Holy Trinity chapel in Split (Kpmst7 author). Click to enlarge the image in Flickr (new tab).The tiny chapel of the Holy Trinity (Sveta Trojica) is in the district of Poljud, in the medium of the northern part of the peninsula of Split. This early Christian building was built at the end of the 8th century; it presents a small hexagonal nave surrounded by six semicircular apsidioles.
The Franciscan Monastery of Poljud (Franjevački Samostan Na Poljudu)
The monastery franciscain of Split (Kpmst7 author). Click to enlarge the image in Flickr (new tab).The Franciscan monastery of Poljud is located on the northern side of the peninsula of Split, on bay of Kaštela, in an old marshy zone (poljud wants to say “marsh”, of Latin “palus, paludis”).

The monastery was established at the 15th century and was strengthened against the Turkish threat at the 16th century; the cloister, with its pillars supporting a porch Rebirth, was preserved so far.

The church Saint-Anthony (Crkva svetog Ante) of the monastery contains beautiful polyptyque Venetian 16th century, the “Virgin and the Saints” of Girolamo da Santacroce (1549), appearing holy Domnius holding the city in its hand, as well as the beautiful portrait, by the famous painter of the Venetian Rebirth Lorenzo Lotto (1527), of the bishop of Split and humanistic Toma Nigris, one of the defenders of Croatia against the Turks and author of a History of Croatia. The church preserves also a cross baroque of Fulgencije Bakotić, a woodcarver of Kaštela, 18th century.

Visit on go:

Addresses: Poljudsko Šetalište 2

Telephone: 00,385 (0) 21,381,377


Salone (Plaster filling)

InformationPractical information

Weather and forecasts
The ferry of Supetar to Split. Click to enlarge the image.The catamaran of Split with Bol and Jelsa. Click to enlarge the image.The ferry of Split with Supetar. Click to enlarge the image.
The Tourist office
An office of the Office of Tourism of Split is lodged in the old chapel Saint Roch close to the Peristyle of the Palace of Diocletian. Another is on Riva, with number 7.

Telephone: 00,385 (0) 21,339,899


Stations railway and maritime of Split. Click to enlarge the image.Schedules of the ferries from Split. Click to enlarge the image.A center of intermodal transport is behind the wearing of Split, very close to the historical center of the city.

Since 2005, the highway connecting Zagreb to Split makes it possible to make the way in 4 hours.

Split is the terminus of the railway line of Zagreb which, beyond, connects the city to the Central Europe.

The airport of Split is to 26 km north of downtown area between Kaštela and Trogir. A shuttle connects the airport to the bus station of Split for 30 kunas.

The port of ferries of Split is directly opposite Riva; it makes it possible to join the islands of Brač, Hvar, Vis, Korčula, Lastovo and Šolta. The port also accommodates fast catamarans towards these destinations.

Schedules of the ferries from Split. Click to enlarge the image.Schedules of the ferries from Split. Click to enlarge the image.
Lines of Jadrolinija in Split. Click to enlarge the image.There are also regular national lines towards Dubrovnik and Rijeka. International connections connect Split to Ancône and Pescara, in Italy. The most important maritime company on these connections is Jadrolinija.

Other topicsOther topics

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Interactive map of the town of Split in Croatia
The town of Split in Croatia - the Diocletian palace
The town of Split in Croatia - the cathedral Saint-Domnius
The town of Split in Croatia - the old city
The town of Split in Croatia - peninsula of Marjan
The town of Split in Croatia - the ethnographic museum
Interactive map of the old city of Split in Croatia
The town of Split in Croatia - the museum of the Navy
The town of Split in Croatia - Booklet Services (pdf)
The town of Split in Croatia - Booklet Chart Pass key (pdf)
Close topics
The county of Split-Dalmatie in Croatia - Booklet Dalmatian Zagora (pdf)
The county of Split-Dalmatia in Croatia - Booklet Dalmatian Zagora (pdf)
The county of Split-Dalmatia in Croatia - Booklet Islands (pdf)
The town of Split in Croatia
The Cetina river in Croatia
The town of Omiš in Croatia
The riviera of Makarska in Croatia
The natural park of Biokovo in Croatia
The island of Brač in Croatia
The island of Hvar in Croatia
Broader topics
The county of Šibenik-Knin in Croatia
The county of Split-Dalmatia in Croatia
The county of Dubrovnik-Neretva in Croatia
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