Split, the biggest town we saw in Croatia deserved much more time than we had. We arrived by sunset and… rushed to see the highlights and move to the hotel. Not much, I confess. This second biggest town of Croatia is in a privileged situation to work as a hub of the visitors of central Croatia.
Sibenik, Krka, Trogir, Makarska and Hvar are less than one hour distant, and the town of Split itself has plenty of reasons to attract visitors, but I must confess that we had only a couple of hours to it.
The “missed” Town
We arrived late in Split, just in time to a very quick visit to the historic center, and I felt sorry for not having one more day to explore the town.
At a glimpse, it left the idea of a beautiful and lively town, where time could easily be occupied without regrets nor tedium.
Cathedral and Mausoleum
See what we missed?
Coming from the 7th century, this seems to be the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world that remains in use in its original structure.
This strange complex of Diocletian Emperor mausoleum and the old cathedral has only been seen from distance, passing in a hurry!
Very well preserved the subterranean helps to have an approximated idea of the palace’s concept.
It evidences the huge size of the original buildings, and shows the techniques of construction, though it’s hard to understand the use of most of the rooms.
A reasonably large craft commerce is installed in its entrance.
The upper side of the palace is… a fabulous mess.
A whole town has grown inside it, with some original remains, as the peristyle and Jupiter’s temple, side by side with posterior constructions, some classified, as the cathedral built upon Diocletian’s mausoleum.
To complete the scene, the town lives there, in bars, shops and crowds wandering all around.
In the mixture that is the old town, Venetian style dominates, as it does in almost all Croatian towns. At least, that was the idea that, in our rushing visit at dusk, I could get.
Wonderful square… I think!
It must exist also by day, but we couldn’t confirm it.
One more square, circled by interesting buildings. At least, they seemed to be, in the dark.
The troubles of late arrivals…
By the best door
I knew (the guide said) that the highlight in this place was the door, announced as the most beautiful, but… darkness didn’t help. At least, the statue of the bishop Ninsky made by Mestrovic (I couldn’t see it but made my homework) was a silhouette against the sky.
The big laugh
And… bla,bla, bla, and look at the acoustic quality of this room, and, bla, bla, bla, (the sympathetic guide debited all the prepared speech), and there you have a statue of Diocletian and… oops! Diocletian was facing the wall!
The surprised exclamation of the guide was so spontaneous, that no one could stop a long laugh, after what Pepe carefully turned the statue to its proper position. It was fun, but the guy who turned the statue to the wall must be careful, because with old pieces, jokes are not always so innocent. It’s a copy, it seems, but the laugh remains.