Split population is 180 000 inhabitants. Split is second biggest city in Croatia. It is the county of a county that covers an area of 4520 km2 and has a population of 468 000. In the broader area around what is now Split, remains of pottery, weapons and jewellery have been discovered, demonstrating the existence of human life on the Split peninsula very early on in history. In the Krcine caves above Klis, remains of “impresso” ceramics (with decorations pressed into the clay) have been discovered. In Kucine there are ﬁnds from the Neolithic era, from the same period as those from Markova spilja caves (see below) on Hvar, and in the centre of Split itself a stone hammer was found dating from the middle Neolithic era.
Copper and gold items from the 2nd millennium BC conﬁrm the existence of well-developed trade routes in this region, both with the hinterland and with the Mediterranean. In the last centuries BC, the Illyrian Delmati tribe moved into the Solin-Kastela bay and Salona (Solin) became an important military base and port. The Cathedral of St. Domnius (Sveti Duje), is an octagonal building built at the same time as the palace, as a mausoleum for Emperor Diocletian. In the 7th century the mausoleum was converted into a cathedral. Thus fate played strange games with Diocletian; in the mausoleum of an Emperor who sought to wipe out Christianity, a cathedral was built, and in the main Roman temple, a baptistery. The cathedral is circular inside, divided up by four semicircular and square niches, and eight columns in the lower part on which eight smaller columns rest. Between the ﬁrst and second rows of columns there is a frieze with scenes of Eros hunting, and amongst the ﬁgures, a portrait of Diocletian with his wife Prisca. The ornate entrance is typical of Hellenistic architecture. The cathedral is crowned with a brick dome which was originally covered with mosaics. Beneath the cathedral is a crypt (St. Lucy’s Chapel; Sveta Lucija). The sixsided pulpit belongs to the late Romanesque era (the second half of the 13th century). The main altar was built in the l7th century. There are paintings on it by the prominent Croatian artist Matija Poncun (Ponzoni). The northern altar (from 1770 known as St. Domnius’ altar) is the Work of the Venetian sculptor G. M. Morlaiter from 1767. The right-hand altar (in the southeastern niche) is the old altar of St. Domnius (Sv. Duje). It was built in late-Gothic style by Bonino da Milano in 1427, and the ceiling was painted by Dujam Vuskovié in 1429. The original altar of the saint was an Early Christian sarkophagus with a depiction of the Good Shepherd. In the north- eastern niche is the altar of St. Anastasius (Sveti Stas) a martyr from Salona. The Baptistery (the pagan temple of Jupiter, converted to a baptistery in the early Middle Ages) is a square-shapecl building which originally had six pillars in the porch, and a richly decorated portal. lnside, the baptismal pool itself is cross-shaped, made up of six tiles, ﬁve of which are decorated with braided ornamentation, and the sixth with the ﬁgure of Christ. One theory says that this is the ﬁgure of King Zvonimir. Along the wall is the sarcophagus of Archbishop Iohn (Ivan), of Roman origins, restored in the 8th and 10th centuries, and next to it is a sarcophagus belonging to Archbishop Lovro. Other things to see in the palace: With the arrival of new inhabitants the palace became a living city, and a whole series of signiﬁcant houses, palaces and churches were built and ancient buildings restored. The Romanesque-Gothic palace beside the Golden Gate with 15th century Gothic additions by Juraj Dalmatinac is particularly outstanding. The most important Gothic palace in Split is the Papalic’ Palace also by Iuraj Dalmatinac. The City Museum is now housed in this palace (see below). The Dagubio family palace in Dioklecijanova street 1. was built in the 18th century. It is a Gothic and Renaissance building made by Andrija Alesi. This leading Venetian architect also certainly designed the monumental and typically Baroque Cindro Palace in Kresimirova street in about 1700. The Church of St. Philip Neri (Sveti Filip Neri) was designed by the Venetian architect Francesco Melchiori, a military engineer, in 1735. Inside there is an altarpiece by the 18th century Split artist Sebastijan Devita and a wooden Crucifix of the same time.
The Church and Monastery of St. Dominic (Sveti Dominik) stands opposite the Silver Gate. The monastery is a radically restored Baroque building. Inside the church there is a beautiful Baroque altar, and the paintings The Mystic Wedding of St. Catherine, by the Venetian master Antonio Zanchi, The Miracle in Sariarz, by Matej Poncun (Ponzoni), The Miracle of St. Vincent Ferrerius, by Sebastijan Devita, and a late Gothic illuminated cruciﬁx. The monastery houses beautiful antiphones (from the 14th and 15th centuries), a series of paintings by Vinko Draginja (1850-1926) and books from the library of Marko Marulic. Veli Varos is the largest city quarter, situated behind the Franciscan monastery. To the east it is bounded by Ielacic street and to the west by the Marjan cliffs (see below). It is characterised by irregular streets and pictu- resque architecture. The parish church of Veli Varos is Holy Cross (Sveti Kriz), built in 1681, but re—built in the 19th century. The beautiful Baroque bell-tower remains from the old church. On the main altar is a damaged but important Romanesque illuminated 13th century cruciﬁx, on the side altar an altarpiece by Sebastian Devita (18th century) and by Juraj Pavlovié (19th century) and on the facade, a large stone Gothic statue entitled Mourning dating from the 15th century. St. Nicholas on Stagnja (Sveti Mikul na Stagnji) is the oldest church in Veli Varos. lt is an early Romanesque building, built in the l2th century with square apses, a transept and a dome on a high drum. The builder, Ivan, and his wife Tiha are mentioned in an inscription over the doorway. Marjan is 178 m high hill. Marjan is the best known site for outings in Split. its unique position and beauty have inspired many poets, and thus Marjan is one of the most sung about parts of Croatia. Before Diocle- tian’s palace was built, the Romans built a temple to the goddess Diana on Marjan point. In the early Middle Ages the Statute of Split already regulated a service to take care of the area and the creation of Marjan as a place for outings began in the second half of the 19th century. The bare karst rock has been successfully cultivated, and there are now 168 hectares of Aleppo pines planted here. Some locations (the picturesque, vertical Ierolim cliffs) are nature reserves. The best way to reach the hilltop (151 in) is from Varos. Beneath the peak is the (Prirodoslovni muzej), founded in I924, with large zoology, mineralogy, botany and palaeontology collec- tions, showing items chieﬂy from the Dalmatia region. Beside the museum there is a zoo. At the foot of the southern side of Marjan (approach by the coastal road getaliste Ivan Mestrovic) is the city quarter known as Meje. On Sustipan peninsula, in the former Split graveyard there are the ruins of a Benedictine church and monastery, St. Stephen’s Under the Pines (Sveti Stjepan pod boro- vima), whose Romanesque and Gothic ruins have been included in a small church of the same name, dating from 1814. In Meje is the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments (see below) and the Ivan Mestrovic Gallery. On the way from Meje up to the hilltop is the Chapel of Our Lady of Seven Woes (Gospa od Sedam ialosti) with a sculpture entitled Mourning dating from the 15th century. Poljud is the northwestern part of the city, joined to the southern part by a tunnel running be- neath Marjan. In Topuska street, on the sea front, there is a Franciscan church and monastery. The church was built on the site of an older 10th century church. In the centre of this picturesque complex of sacred buildings there are simple Renaissance cloisters with a well and some gravestones, including ones belonging to Bishop Toma Nigris-Mrcic, Katarina Zuvic, the Alberti, Marulic, Cuteis, Capogrosso families etc. The monastery is fortiﬁed with a strong Renaissance tower and battlements. The Gothic and Renaissance singlenaved church with its two side chapels on its southern side houses several signiﬁcant works of art.