I’m going back through photos to edit and categorize, and it is truly appalling how far behind I am. I haven’t been in Croatia since the fall of 2015, but here we are. I’ve got more where this came from, since we went all over southern Croatia.
In the meantime, here are a few shots from Split, which is where we spent most of our time. Now the second-biggest city in Croatia, Split started as a Greek city in what was then Illyrium. After Roman emperor Diocletian retired, he chose it as the site of his retirement palace. Not a bad gig, emperor. Assuming you end up able to retire, and as far as I know Diocletian was the only one who did. Definitely a better end than most.
And hey, why wouldn’t you want to retire to someplace like this?
When my parents were in town, we climbed up to the top of the tower of the cathedral, named for Saint Dominus or in Croatian, Sveti Duje. It feels like a bit of a precarious climb at the end, with far too good a view through the gaps in the stairs, but once you get up there, the view is quite impressive. This view actually shows part of Diocletian’s palace, including the outer wall, which was actually on the water when it was built.
This is the view the other way. As you can see, Split isn’t exactly a huge metropolis. There is a pretty clear delineation between the old town and the new, which typically of formerly Communist countries has a “gray belt.” We lived in one of those high-rises (well, seven stories) in the background there. We were on the top floor. Also it was a walk-up. We nicknamed it the “Communist Penthouse.”
This is what the outer wall of Diocletian’s palace looks like today, from the waterfront promenade called the Riva. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the palace fell into disrepair and became a place of refuge for the local populace, but much of what remains is still original, especially the outer walls, given that they were what afforded the locals safety ahead of marauding “barbarians.”
This is the Riva itself, looking toward Marjan, which is that hill in the background and mostly a wooded park area.
This is looking up toward the port and the beaches that we tended to go to, especially while I was training to swim the Dardanelles.
Split may not be big, but it makes up for it with some serious beauty.