The Dalmatian coastline of Croatia (formerly part of Yugoslavia) will be an enjoyable and interesting place to spend a vacation. The coast has thousands of little islands, and there are lots of interesting historical monuments to see in the old cities of Split and Dubrovnik. Accommodation might be found in hotels or rental apartments in Split itself, or in villas near the city. Villas in Croatia will be easily found online via specialist travel and property websites.
Croatia’s Adriatic coastline is divided into three regions: Dalmatia, Kvarner and Istria. Dalmatia is the furthest south, and the famous historical cities of Dubrovnik and Split can both be found here. Dubrovnik is a medieval walled town, and Split has been occupied for greater than 2000 years, and is most famous as the positioning of the monumental palace complex of the Roman Emperor Diocletian.
Contrary to popular belief the habitation at Split predated the emperor Diocletian’s palace by several centuries. The Greeks founded a colony called Apalatohos here, and their merchants traded with the local Illyrian people, the Delmetae, whose capital Salona was nearby.
When the Romans arrived as conquerors they organized the world as one of their provinces, which they called Dalmatia (from the Delmetae people). Spatulum was the Latin version of Apalatohos, and eventually town name evolved into Split.
The good reforming Roman emperor Diocletian decided to retire from politics in 305 AD. In preparation for his retirement he built a large palace near his home town of Dioclea, and he picked Split for the situation. Construction started in 293 AD, the walls were over 50 feet high, and enclosed an area of almost 10 acres. About 10,000 people lived in the palace and the neighboring settlements. Parks and recreational spaces were provided, and water came by aqueduct from Jadro Spring.
The historic center of Split now lies around and within the palace, which is in an exceptional state of preservation, and is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. The place contains much well preserved Roman architecture, especially around the Peristylium (central square). The former Temple of Jupiter is now a Christian Church, there are four monumental gateways round the complex, and one can see two Egyptian sphinxes, which were imported by Diocletian.
Because the palace complex area has been occupied continuously since the top of the Roman era, there is now a mixture of architectural styles in the streets of Split, with renaissance and gothic buildings mixed with Roman remains. Diocletian’s mausoleum is still standing, and is now the cathedral church of St. Duje. St. Dujes is the world’s oldest cathedral building.
Split is a center for yacht charters, that are a very good approach to explore the islands and the Dalmatian coastline. Accommodation in the area may be present in local hotels. There are also many villas in Croatia on the market or for rent. Villas near to Split, and apartments in town itself, may be found using specialist property and travel websites. One villa, in Zrnovnica, about 15 minutes drive from Split, is a delightful three bedroom stone building with swimming pool, countryside and sea views, and 3000 square meters of garden and courtyard. It is possible to arrange a chef service for guests renting this villa.
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