LAST – NEXT
Press Trip Part 8
Following a leisurely breakfast at the Hotel Park Split, we were taken on a tour of Split, the second largest city in Croatia. Split is a historic city with a history dating back 1,700 years.
Romanesque churches dot the landscape of Trogir, Croatia. Photo Credit: Pululante via Wikimedia Commons.
Split has a sandy beach, a picturesque old town, a yacht harbour, docks with ferries linking the city with various islands and Italy, and Diokletian’s Palace, the jewel in the city’s tourism crown.
Our friendly and knowledgeable tour guide Igor Kosta led us along the waterfront to Diokletian’s Palace.
First Igor showed us the dark, dank chambers on the ground floor of the palace, where he regaled us with fascinating tales of intrigue. Then Igor took us above ground, where a city within a city was unfolded in front of us.
There were art students sprawled out on the pavement sketching a cathedral, tourists savouring espresso at numerous coffee houses, and now and then ambulent musicians who entertained you in hopes that you would return home having purchased one of their CDs.
Community of 3,000
One of the things that sets Diokletian’s Palace apart from most of the other heritage sites that I have visited in Europe is that it is a living, breathing community. Fully 3,000 people continue to call the place home – some housed in beautifully renovated chambers, others in derelict tenements with laundry strung from the windows.
In addition to functioning places of worship and the requisite shops selling souviners and snacks, there were fashion boutiques, bookshops, pharmacies, a post office, ice cream parlours, and pizzarias.
Most incongruous of all was a bank branch housed in an ultramodern multiple storey structure, which did seem a bit out of place.
We also stumbled upon a couple of stylish boutique hotels, which could only be reached on foot. We all agreed that this was where we would want to stay if we ever revisited the city of Split.
Trogir UNESCO World Heritage Site
We moved on to the historic city of Trogir, where we had lunch at the Monika restaurant.
A UNESCO world heritage site, Trogir dates back to the Hellenistic period. Romanesaque churches sit cheek and jowl with buildings from the Venetian era.
Following lunch, we marveled at the interior of a beautiful old cathedral. Then we returned to Split, where we had what was left of the afternoon at leisure.
Qatar Airways now flies daily to Zagreb, Croatia