Split Tourist Attractions
Croatia's second largest city, Split is appropriately named in the eyes of the modern visitor. In one area you have the beautifully preserved old town with the Palace of Diocletian and in another area you have heavy industry, shipyards and some less reputable neighborhoods.
Although Split was originally not well set up for visitors, this is now changing with a growing selection of good hotels and dining options appearing.Many visitors now choose Split as a convenient base to explore the surrounding attractions. The ancient city of Salona is located nearby as are five beautiful beaches including Zlatini Rat, Brela, Pakleni Island, Solta and Milna.Split has been continuously inhabited for thousands of years starting with the Romans, followed by the Byzantines, Croats, Venetians, and finally the Austrians who finally left in 1918.Split's main tourist center is just east of the waterfront promenade: Obala hrvatskog narodnog preporoda. Here the visitor will find the best dining, entertainment, and the large hotels. Some of the key sights to see when visiting Split are Diocletian's Palace, the Archeological Museum, and what many consider to be Split's best art museum, the Mestrovic Gallery.
The huge Palace of Diocletian is a Roman structure built in the early 4th C. Inside are the Cathedral of St Domnius, the Baptistery of St John, and the Museum of Split.
The Mestrovic Gallery contains many of the works of Ivan Mestrovic. A friend of Rodin, Ivan Mestrovic was widely considered one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century.Designed by the artist himself, the Mestrovic Gallery, was originally Ivan Mestrovic's residence where he lived in the 1930's. The Mestrovic Gallery was started in 1952 after a substantial donation of art from the artist himself. The Mestrovic Gallery collection includes 86 statues in marble, stone, bronze, wood and gypsum, 17 drawings, and also eight bronze statues in the open garden, 28 wooden reliefs and a crucifix in Mestrovic Crikvine - Kastilene.The gardens are a pleasant place for a stroll and visitors are rewarded with the sights of some of Mestrovic's most famous sculptures in a beautiful setting.
Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments
Focusing on artifacts from the 7th to 15th Century, and in particular the 9th to 12th Centuries, the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments should be on every visitor's list to Split. One of the oldest museums in Croatia, the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments continues to be actively involved in the research and collection of new items. Most research is done in the south Croatian region, between the Cetina and Zrmanja Rivers.Housed in a modern building built in 1976 and designed by M. Kauzlaric, the Museum of Croatian Archelological Monuments has around 20,000 items in its collection, of which it displays approximately 25% at any given time. The collection is composed primarily of jewellery, everyday items, weapons, and stone carvings from Croatian churches.The museum also hosts many exhibitions, which appeal to a wide range of tastes and interests.
Marjan Forest Park
The citizens of Split are very proud of Marjan Forest Park, and with good reason. Marjan Forest Park is a wonderful retreat for foot weary visitors. Towering pine trees shelter multiple walking trails and a pleasant escape from the sounds of the bustling city of Split.Located within Marjan Forest Park is the Marjan Stairway. This stairway provides access to the vantage point of Telegrin where the views out to sea are spectacular. Places that can be seen include: Kozjak, Mosor, the Kastela Gulf, Salona and Klis, Trogir and Ciovo, and the islands of Solta, Brac, Hvar and Vis. Free climbing is a popular sport on the cliffs below the lookout.Marjan Forest Park can be reached from central Split by walking through the old quarter of Varos and takes approximately 15 minutes.
Archaeological Museum of Split
The Archaeological Museum of Split should be on every history buffs list of sights to see in Split. It is considered to be the oldest museum institution in Croatia. Founded in 1820, the museum has been at its present location since 1922.The Archaeological Museum of Split contains approximately 150,000 items and is particularly noted for having the largest collection of gems in Croatia. Other collections on display are the stone carvings from Salona, the Greco Hellenistic ceramics, Roman glass, approximately 1,600 ancient clay lamps, along with bone and metal objects.The Archaeological Museum of Split also boasts a beautiful garden, which visitors can use to rest and soak up all the knowledge they have gained.
Dating from the 15th century, the People's Square (Narodni Trg Pjaca) in Split features many interesting Renaissance, Venetian, and Gothic buildings built by the nobility. One particular building to note is the Venetian-Gothic Cambi Palace.Another building of note on the People's Square is the Renaissance style Town Hall building. It contains the Ethnographic Museum of Split, an interesting museum well worth a visit. The People's Square is located in the area once occupied by the Palace of Diocletian and is west of the Peristyle. Nearby is a statue of Grgur Ninski (Gregory of Nin), carved by the famous Croatian sculptor, Ivan Mestrovic.
The Church of St Dominic
Rebuilt in the 17th century and enlarged in the 1930's, Split's Church of St Dominic (Srebrna Vrata I Sv. Dominik) stands on the site of the Oratory of St Catherine. Built in the middle ages, the Church of St Dominic features artwork by Palma il Giovane and his followers. The works are titled the Miracle in Surian and Apparition in the Temple.Nearby to the Church of St Dominic is a marketplace that features a wide range of fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and meats found throughout Croatia. From this marketplace is the best view of the Palace of Diocletain.