Without hiding their pride, the people of Split will tell you that their city is “the most beautiful one in the world and beyond”. You better not discuss this with them for well spirited Split will convince you in this as soon as you discover it!
This for ever young city with the population of about 200,000 that give it its warm Mediterranean temper, has lived its urban rhythm for as long as 1700 years, with its heart in the Diocletian Palace and its soul widespread to embrace you. Ever since the life of the city protected by the UNESCO and entered into the register of the World Cultural Heritage has been writing the history of this unique capital of Dalmatia.
Location and environment
The industrial, university and business center of the region nourishes its “green soul” on the hill Marjan situated in the westernmost part of the peninsula. Its forested park infringed by the city and the sea offers pleasant walks away from the city noise under the pines by the sea.
Its mild climate, with 2700 sunny hours per year, makes it an oasis where, sheltered from the wind, one can enjoy the sun even in wintertime.
The city of Split is situated in the warmest region of the northern Mediterranean coast, in the very centre of the Adriatic eastern coast and in the immediate vicinity of the rivers Jadro and Žrnovnica that have been watering it for 1700 years.
The big city today lives by the silent beats of history, the lively spirit of the young, and its particular Mediterranean charm.
Such past left its traces combined in the town’s everyday life. The city, however, went on remaining the center of this part of the coast till our day. This mixture of historic layers brought some clumsiness and some things done too fast but today all that makes a part of its originality.
The following turbulent centuries made the palace into a town first populated by the citizens of the nearby Salona, fleeing before Avars and Slavs. The town overgrew the walls of the palace and its authorities kept changing – from Croatian kings in 10th century AD, Hungarian and Venetian administration, to French rulers and Austro-Hungarian monarchy.
The first inhabitant of Split was the Roman emperor Diocletian who started to build his palace in this friendly bay around 293 AD. After his abdication, he withdrew to this luxurious palace of about 30 thousand square meters.