Split, Croatia

July 22-24, 2010

There are 24 pictures here.

I arrived in Split July 22, two days before the swimming adventure started, to recover from jet lag.

Split has the greatest Roman ruins in Eastern Europe. In the fourth century A.D., The Roman Emperor Diocletian wanted to retire in his native Dalmatia, so he built a huge palace here. Eventually the place was abandoned. Then locals, fleeing seventh-century Slavic invaders, moved in and made themselves at home, and a medieval town sprouted from the rubble of the old palace. In the 15th century, the Venetians took over the Dalmatian Coast. They developed and fortified Split, slathering the city with a new layer of Gothic-Renaissance architecture.

The waterfront

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Along the promenade

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I saw a lot of attractive young women, but then when they pulled out a cigarette and started smoking, they became unattractive to me.

I stayed two nights at the Base Sobe, recommended by the Rick Steves’ Guide Book. It was right in the center of the Old Town. The Old Town is the walled part of the city that has been around for hundreds of years. There was a computer in the room with free internet access. Here are Tina Saric and her father Ivo, who run the place. They were very nice to me.


Diocletian’s Palace is the remains of Roman Emperor Diocletian’s palace, as added to and revised over the centuries. It was built around 300 A.D. It took 11 years to build (rapid for those days – more than 2,000 slaves died during construction). He is best remembered for two questionable legacies: dividing the huge empire among four emperors (which helped administer it more efficiently, but began a splintering effect that arguably led to the empire’s decline) and torturing and executing Christians, including thousands on the Dalmatian Coast.

One reason for the location of the palace was the medicinal sulfur spring, as Diocletian was in poor health as he got older.

Here are some scenes. Some of the streets were very narrow, as is typical in many medieval European towns.

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Cathedral of St. Dominus A013     A014

I decided not to go up to the top of it. I guess I have done enough of those in my travels.

However I did go to the top of the Ethnographic Museum. The stairway consisted of narrow steps going around in a square spiral several stories high. Here is the view from the top.

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A017 Here is a detail of one of the old Roman columns.

Diocletian’s Cellars, under the palace, were originally designed to hold water from three sources: a freshwater spring, a sulfur spring, and the sea. Later medieval residents used them as a dump, which mostly have been excavated and used for art exhibits and souvenir stands.

A018     A019 Touristy part of the cellar

A020     A021     A022 Where the waters were stored.

A023 Not excavated yet. 

A024 Parts of Roman water pipes.

Just outside the walls of the Old Town was a farmer’s market. I was hungry, so I bought a nectarine, washed it at a nearby spigot, and ate it. It was good.

Here in Split I found gelato ice cream. It is made differently than in the U.S. and it was soooo good. I started to have one a day throughout my entire trip.

After two nights in Split, I took a bus to Šibenik and then a ferry to Prvič to continue my adventure.

That's all for Split.