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Split (city)

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Split (city)

Split
City
City of Split
Grad Split

Some images of Split and its landmarks. Top: View of night in Split from Mosor mountain, 2nd of left: Cathedral of Saint Domnius, 2nd of middle: Sunset at Diocletian's Palace, 2nd of right: Veli Varos area, 3rd of left: Night in Poljicka Street, 3rd of middle: Poljud Stadium, 3rd of right: Split University Library, Bottom: Riva waterfront and Diocletian's Palace.

Coat of arms
Nickname(s): Velo misto (Croatian: "Big City")
Motto: Ništa kontra Splita (unofficial)
Split
Split
Location of Split in Croatia
Split
Split
Location of Split in Split-Dalmatia County

Coordinates: 43°30′N 16°26′E / 43.500°N 16.433°E / 43.500; 16.433

Country  Croatia
County Split-Dalmatia County
Greek colony of Aspálathos established 6th century BC
Diocletian's Palace built 305 AD
Diocletian's Palace settled 639 AD
Government
 • Mayor Ivo Baldasar (SDP)
Area[1][2]
 • City 79.38 km2 (30.65 sq mi)
 • City itself 22.12 km2 (8.54 sq mi)
Elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Population (2011)[3][4]
 • City 178,102
 • Density 2,244/km2 (5,810/sq mi)
 • Metro 349,314
 • City itself 167,121
 • City itself density 7,499/km2 (19,420/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 21000
Area code 21
Website www.split.hr

Split (Croatian pronunciation: [splît]) is a city in Croatia situated in the Mediterranean Basin on the eastern shores of the Adriatic Sea, centred on the ancient Roman Palace of the Emperor Diocletian and its bay and port. With a population of 178,192 citizens,[3] and a metropolitan area numbering up to 350,000,[4] Split is by far the largest Dalmatian city, and the second-largest city of Croatia. Spread over a central peninsula and its surroundings, Split's greater area includes the neighboring seaside towns as well. An intraregional transport hub, the city is a link to numerous Adriatic islands and the Apennine peninsula, as well as a popular tourist destination.

Split is also one of the oldest cities in the area. While it is traditionally considered just over 1,700 years old counting from the construction of Diocletian's Palace in AD 305, archaeological research relating to the original founding of the city as the Greek colony of Aspálathos (Aσπάλαθος) in the 6th century BC, establishes the urban tradition of the area as being several centuries older.

Name

The city draws its name from the spiny broom (calicotome spinosa; brnistra or žuka in modern Croatian), a common shrub in the area, after which the Greek colony of Aspálathos (Aσπάλαθος) or Spálathos (Σπάλαθος), from which the city originates, was named. As the city became a Roman possession, the Latin name became "Spalatum", which in the Middle Ages evolved into "Spalatro" in the Dalmatian language of the city's Romance population. The South Slavic version became "Split", while the Italian version was "Spalato". During a period in the early 19th century the name was "Spljet", and finally "Split" once more.

Thus, contrary to a number of older theories, the origin of the name is not related to the Latin word for "palace" (palatium), thought to be a reference to Diocletian's Palace which still forms the core of the city. The erroneous "palace" etymology was notably due to Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, and was later also mentioned by Thomas the Archdeacon.[5]

History

For more information on the history of Split's region, see History of Dalmatia.

Antiquity

180px
Reconstruction of the Palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian in its original appearance upon completion in AD 305, by Ernest Hébrard
The modern-day center of Split with Diocletian's Palace in 2012. Visible also are the medieval Varoš district and the Giardin Park.

While the beginnings of Split are often connected to the construction of Diocletian's Palace, the city was founded earlier as a Greek colony of Aspálathos. The Greek settlement lived off trade with the surrounding Illyrian tribes, mostly the Delmatae, who inhabited the (much larger) nearby city of Salona. In time, the Roman Republic became the dominant power in the region, and conquered the Illyrians in the Illyrian Wars of 229 and 219 BC. Upon establishing permanent control, the Romans founded the province of Dalmatia [6] with Salona as the capital, and at that time the name of the nearby Greek colony Aspálathos was changed to "Spalatum".[5]

After he nearly died of an illness, the Roman Emperor Diocletian (ruled AD 284 to 305), great reformer of the late Roman Empire, decided to retire from politics in AD 305.[7] The Emperor ordered work to begin on a retirement palace near his hometown, and since he was from the town of Dioclea he chose the harbour near Salona for the location. Work on the palace began in AD 293 in readiness for his retirement from politics. The palace was built as a massive structure, much like a Roman military fortress. It faces the sea on its south side, with its walls 170 to 200 metres (570 to 700 feet) long, and 15 to 20 metres (50 to 70 feet) high, enclosing an area of 38,000 m² (9½ acres). The palace water supply was substantial, fed by an aqueduct from Jadro Spring. This opulent palace and its surroundings were at times inhabited by a population as large as 8,000 to 10,000 people,[8] who required parks and recreation space; therefore, Diocletian established such outdoor areas at Marjan hill.[9] The palace was finished in AD 305, right on time to receive its owner, who retired exactly according to schedule, becoming the first Roman Emperor to voluntarily remove himself from office.[10] After a few years, a group of Roman Senators came to Diocletian's palace, asking the former emperor to return to Rome and help the Empire to overcome growing political problems. Diocletian refused, and while he was showing them his garden, he told them that he could not leave his beautiful garden which he had created by his own hands. This gesture showed that he remained bound by his word to leave political life after 21 years of ruling the Roman Empire.[11]

Following the fall of the Western Roman Empire in AD 476, Spalatum became a part of the Eastern Roman Empire, also known as Byzantium. It grew very slowly as a satellite town of the much larger Salona. However, around AD 639 Salona fell to the invasion of Avars and Slavs, and was razed to the ground[dubious ], with the majority of the displaced citizens fleeing to the nearby Adriatic islands. Following the return of Byzantine rule to the area, the Romanic citizens returned to the mainland under the leadership of the nobleman known as Severus the Great. They chose to inhabit Diocletian's Palace in Spalatum, because of its strong (more "medieval") fortifications. The palace was long deserted by this time, and the interior was converted into a city by the Salona refugees, making Spalatum much larger as the successor to the capital city of the province. Today the palace constitutes the inner core of the city, still inhabited, full of shops, markets, squares, with an ancient Cathedral of St. Duje (formerly Diocletian's mausoleum) inserted in the corridors and floors of the former palace. As a part of the Byzantine Empire, the city had varying but significant political autonomy.

Middle Ages

The Medieval period in Split's Dalmatia province is marked by the waning power of the Byzantine Empire, and by the struggle of the neighboring powers, namely the Venetian Republic, the Kingdom of Croatia, and (later) the Kingdom of Hungary, to fill the power vacuum.[12] The arrival of the Croats in the 7th century profoundly influenced the area. The hinterland and the islands were predominantly populated by the Croats, who began influencing the city itself. The early Medieval Croatian state (later the Kingdom of Croatia) founded neighbouring littoral cities (such as Šibenik), and encompassed the vast majority of the hinterland. In the following centuries Split developed an increasingly Croatian character, which can be seen in the architecture (particularly of churches) in the city and its surroundings. The city's Romance population increasingly mingled with the surrounding populace. The city was for the first time fully integrated within the state by Peter Krešimir IV in 1069, and again in 1075 by Demetrius Zvonimir.

To the north, the Venetian Republic began to influence the Dalmatian region from the 10th century, using its growing economic influence to gain control over the islands and the coastal cities. It gained control over the city during several periods, due mostly to the temporary weakness of the Croatian or Hungarian state. With the decline of the Byzantine Empire, the Kingdom of Croatia held de facto suzerainty over the city, granting it significant autonomy due to the state's feudal character. In the year 1102, Croatia was forced into a personal union with the Kingdom of Hungary (see Croatian pacta conventa) by its King, Coloman. The city however maintained its significant degree of independence, and in 1312, it issued statutes as well as currency of its own.

Early modern period

Overall view of Split in the Early modern period (1764), an engraving by Scottish architect Robert Adam. Marjan hill is visible in the background.
City center and the Riva promenade from the slopes of Marjan in 1910
A German Panzerspähwagen Sd.Kfz. 231 armoured car during the second occupation of Split in 1943, descending from Marjan Hill, with the city in the background.
City center and the Riva promenade, as seen from Marjan 2008.

During the 20-year Hungarian civil war between King Sigismund and the Capetian House of Anjou of the Kingdom of Naples, the losing contender, Ladislaus of Naples, sold his disputed rights on Dalmatia to the Venetian Republic for 100,000 ducats. Acting on the pretext, the Republic took over the city by the year 1420, and it was to remain under Venetian rule for 377 years (1420–1797).[13]

The population was by that time largely Croatian, while Romance Dalmatian names were not so numerous, according to the Medieval city archives, and the common language was also Croatian, but Italian (a mixture of Tuscan and Venetian dialects) was also spoken due to the Italian minorities.[14] The autonomy of the city was reduced: the highest authority was a prince-captain, always of Venetian birth.

Split eventually developed into a significant port-city, with important trade routes to the Ottoman-held interior through the nearby Klis pass. Culture flourished as well, Split being the hometown of Marko Marulić, a classic Croatian author. Marko Marulić's most acclaimed work, Judita (1501), was an epic poem about Judith and Holfernes and written in Split, it was printed in Venice in 1521. It is widely held to be the first modern work of Croatian literature. Still, it should be noted the advances and achievements were reserved mostly for the aristocracy: the illiteracy rate was extremely high, mostly because Venetian rule showed little interest in educational and medical facilities.

During the brief period of Napoleonic rule when it was part of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy's Illyrian Provinces (1806–1813), large investments were undertaken in the city, new streets were built and parts of the ancient fortifications were removed.[15]

The city was allocated to the Empire of Austria by the Congress of Vienna. The Split region became part of the Kingdom of Dalmatia, a separate administrative unit. After the revolutions of 1848 as a result of the romantic nationalism, two factions appeared. One was the pro-Croatian Unionist faction (later called the "Puntari", "Pointers"), led by the People's Party and, to a lesser extent, the Party of Rights, both of which advocated the union of Dalmatia with the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia which was under Hungarian administration. This faction was strongest in Split, and used it as its headquarters. The other faction was the pro-Italian Autonomist faction (also known as the "Irredentist" faction), whose political goals varied from autonomy within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, to a political union with the Kingdom of Italy.

The political alliances in Split shifted over time. At first, the Unionists and Autonomists were allied against the centralism of Vienna. After a while, when the national question came to prominence, they separated. Under Austria, however, Split can generally be said to have stagnated. The great upheavals in Europe in 1848 gained no ground in Split, and the city did not rebel.

Antonio Bajamonti became Mayor of Split in 1860 and – except for a brief interruption during the period 1864–65 – held the post for over two decades until 1880. Bajamonti was also a member of the Dalmatian Sabor (1861–91) and the Austrian Chamber of Deputies (1867–70 and 1873–79). In 1882 the Bajamonti's party lost the elections and Dujam Rendić-Miočević, a prominent city lawyer, was elected to the post.

20th century

Kingdom of Yugoslavia

After the end of World War I and the dissolution of Austria-Hungary, the province of Dalmatia, along with Split, became a part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Split was the site of a series of incidents between 1918 and 1920.

Since Rijeka, Trieste and Zadar, the three other large cities on the eastern Adriatic coast, were annexed by Italy, Split became the most important port in the Kingdom. The Lika railway, connecting Split to the rest of the country, was completed in 1925.

The country changed its name to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929, and the Port of Split became the seat of new administrative unit, Littoral Banovina. After the Cvetković-Maček agreement, Split became the part of new administrative unit (merging of Sava and Littoral Banovina plus some Croat populated areas), Banovina of Croatia in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

World War II

Main article: Yugoslav Front

In April 1941, following the invasion of Yugoslavia by Nazi Germany, Split was occupied by Italy and formally annexed one month later. Italian rule met heavy opposition from the Croat population as Split became a centre of anti-fascist sentiment in Yugoslavia. Between September and October 1941 alone, ten officials of the Italian fascist occupation were assassinated by the citizens.[16]

In September 1943, following the capitulation of Italy, the city was temporarily controlled by Tito's brigades with thousands of people volunteering to join the Partisans of Marshal Josip Broz Tito (a third of the total population, according to some sources). A few weeks later, however, the Partisans were forced into retreat as the Wehrmacht placed the city under the authority of the Independent State of Croatia a few weeks later. The local football clubs refused to compete in the Italian championship; HNK Hajduk and RNK Split suspended their activities and both joined the Partisans along with their entire staff after the Italian capitulation provided the opportunity. Soon after Hajduk became the official football club of the Partisan movement.

In a tragic turn of events, besides being bombed by axis forces, the city was also bombed by the Allies, causing hundreds of deaths. Partisans finally captured the city on 26 October 1944 and instituted it as the provisional capital of Croatia. On 12 February 1945 the Kriegsmarine conducted a daring raid on the Split harbour, damaging the British cruiser Delhi.

Federal Yugoslavia

After World War II, Split became a part of the Socialist Republic of Croatia, itself a constituent sovereign republic of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. During the period the city experienced its largest economic and demographic boom. Dozens of new factories and companies were founded with the city population tripling during the period. The city became the economic centre of an area exceeding the borders of Croatia and was flooded by waves of rural migrants from the undeveloped hinterland who found employment in the newly established industry, as part of large-scale industrialization and investment by the Yugoslav Federal Government.

The shipbuilding industry was particularly successful and Yugoslavia, with its Croatian shipyards, became one of the world's top nations in the field. Many recreational facilities were also constructed with federal funding, especially for the 1979 Mediterranean Games, such as the Poljud Stadium. The city also became the largest passenger and military port in Yugoslavia, housing the headquarters of the Yugoslav Navy (Jugoslavenska ratna mornarica, JRM) and the Army's Coastal Military District (equivalent of a field army). In the period between 1945 and 1990, the city was transformed and expanded, taking up the vast majority of the Split peninsula. In the same period it achieved an as yet unsurpassed GDP and employment level, still above the present day's, growing into a significant Yugoslav city.

Since independence

When Croatia declared its independence again in 1991, Split had a large garrison of JNA troops (drafted from all over Yugoslavia), as well as the headquarters and facilities of the Yugoslav War Navy (JRM). This led to a tense months-long stand-off between the JNA and Croatian National Guard and police forces, occasionally flaring up in various incidents.

The most tragic such incident occurred on 15 November 1991, when the JRM light frigate Split fired a small number of shells at the city and its surroundings. The damage was insignificant but there were a few casualties. Three general locations were bombarded: the old city center, the city airport and an uninhabited part of the hills above Kaštela, between the airport and Split. JRM Sailors who had refused to attack Croat civilians, most of them Croats themselves, were left in the vessel's brig. The JNA and JRM evacuated all of its facilities in Split during January 1992. The 1990s economic recession soon followed.

In the years following 2000, Split finally gained momentum and started to develop again, with a focus on tourism. From being just a transition centre, Split is now a major Croatian tourist destination. Many new hotels are being built, as well as new apartment and office buildings. Many large development projects are revived, and new infrastructure is being built. An example of the latest large city projects is the Spaladium Arena, built in 2009.

Geography

Split is situated on a peninsula between the eastern part of the Gulf of Kaštela and the Split Channel. The Marjan hill (178 m), rises in the western part of the peninsula. The ridges Kozjak (779 m) and its brother Mosor (1339 m) protect the city from the north and northeast, and separate it from the hinterland.

Panorama view of Split and surroundings from atop the Marjan

Climate


Split has a borderline humid subtropical (Cfa) and Mediterranean climate (Csa) in the Köppen climate classification, since only one summer month has less than 40 millimetres (1.6 in) of rainfall, preventing it from being classified as solely humid subtropical or Mediterranean. It has hot, moderately dry summers and mild, wet winters (however, winters can sometimes feel cold, because of the north wind Bura and its windchill factor - for example, if the air temperature is 5 °C (41 °F) and strong bura is blowing, it feels like -10 °C (14 °F). Average annual rainfall is more than 820 mm (32.28 in). July is the hottest month, with an average high temperature around 30 °C (86 °F). January is the coldest month, with an average low temperature around 5 °C (41 °F). November is the wettest month, with a precipitation total of nearly 113 mm (4.45 in) and 12 rainy days. July is the driest month, with a precipitation total of around 26 mm (1.02 in). Winter is the wettest season; however, it can rain in Split at any time of the year. Snow is usually rare; since record-keeping began the months of December and January have accrued 1 snowy day on average, while February has averaged 2. In February 2012, Split received unusually large amount of snow which caused major problems with traffic. Split receives more than 2,600 sunshine hours annually.

Climate data for Split (Marjan Hill)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 17.4
(63.3)
22.3
(72.1)
23.2
(73.8)
27.7
(81.9)
33.2
(91.8)
38.1
(100.6)
38.6
(101.5)
38.1
(100.6)
34.2
(93.6)
27.9
(82.2)
25.8
(78.4)
18.1
(64.6)
38.6
(101.5)
Average high °C (°F) 10.3
(50.5)
11.0
(51.8)
13.7
(56.7)
17.4
(63.3)
22.5
(72.5)
26.7
(80.1)
29.8
(85.6)
29.5
(85.1)
25.1
(77.2)
20.0
(68)
14.9
(58.8)
11.5
(52.7)
19.37
(66.86)
Daily mean °C (°F) 7.9
(46.2)
8.3
(46.9)
10.6
(51.1)
14.2
(57.6)
19.1
(66.4)
23.0
(73.4)
25.9
(78.6)
25.5
(77.9)
21.4
(70.5)
17.0
(62.6)
12.5
(54.5)
9.2
(48.6)
16.22
(61.19)
Average low °C (°F) 5.4
(41.7)
5.5
(41.9)
7.6
(45.7)
10.8
(51.4)
15.2
(59.4)
18.8
(65.8)
21.6
(70.9)
21.5
(70.7)
18.1
(64.6)
14.1
(57.4)
9.9
(49.8)
6.0
(42.8)
12.88
(55.17)
Record low °C (°F) −9.0
(15.8)
−8.1
(17.4)
−6.6
(20.1)
0.3
(32.5)
4.8
(40.6)
9.1
(48.4)
13.0
(55.4)
11.2
(52.2)
8.8
(47.8)
3.8
(38.8)
−4.5
(23.9)
−6.3
(20.7)
−9.0
(15.8)
Precipitation mm (inches) 77.3
(3.043)
62.8
(2.472)
63.4
(2.496)
62.6
(2.465)
55.4
(2.181)
49.7
(1.957)
26.3
(1.035)
42.7
(1.681)
71.0
(2.795)
76.5
(3.012)
112.9
(4.445)
103.5
(4.075)
804.1
(31.657)
Avg. rainy days 11 10 10 9 9 9 6 5 7 9 12 12 109
Avg. snowy days 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4
Mean monthly sunshine hours 131.5 147.9 186.8 217.2 273.0 307.4 350.3 324.8 247.3 196.9 130.6 119.3 2,633
Source #1: National Meteorological and Hydrological Service (Croatia) [17]
Source #2: World Weather Information Service [18]

Demographics

According to the 2011 census, the city of Split had 178,102 inhabitants.[3] Ethnically, Croats make up 96.23% of the population,[19] and 86.15% of the residents of the city are Roman Catholics.[20]

The settlements included in the administrative area of the City are:[3]

  • Donje Sitno, population 313
  • Gornje Sitno, population 392
  • Kamen, population 1,769
  • Slatine, population 1,106
  • Split, population 167,121
  • Srinjine, population 1,201
  • Stobreč, population 2,978
  • Žrnovnica, population 3,222

In the wider urban Split's area lives 293,298 inhabitants, while there is 349,314 people in the Split metropolitan area. Urban area includes the surrounding towns and settlements: Okrug, Seget, Trogir, Kaštela, Solin, Podstrana, Dugi Rat and Omiš, while the metro area adds Marina, Primorski Dolac, Prgomet, Lećevica, Klis, Dugopolje, Dicmo, Trilj, Sinj and Supetar on the island Brač. The entire Split-Dalmatia County has 454,798 residents, and the whole region of Dalmatia just under a million.[19]

Inhabitants

Although the inhabitants of Split (Splićani) may appear to be a homogeneous body, they traditionally belong to three separate and distinct groups. The old urban families, the Fetivi, (short for "Fetivi Splićani", "real Split natives") are generally very proud of their city, its history and its distinctive traditional speech[21] (a variant of the Chakavian dialect). The Fetivi, now a distinct minority, are also sometimes referred to (semi-derogatorily) as "Mandrili" - and are augmented by the so-called Boduli, immigrants from the nearby Adriatic islands who mostly arrived over the course of the 20th century.[22]

The above two groups are together distinct, in the Mediterranean aspects of their ethnicity and traditional Chakavian speech, from the more numerous Shtokavian-speaking immigrants from the rural Zagora hinterland, referred to as the Vlaji (a term that sometimes carries negative connotations). The latter joined the Fetivi and Boduli as a third group in the decades since World War II, thronging the high-rise suburbs that stretch away from the centre.[22] By now the Vlaji constitute a distinct majority of inhabitants, causing a distinct shift in the overall ethnic characteristics of the city. Historically more influenced by Ottoman culture, their population merges almost seamlessly at the eastern border with the Herzegovinian Croats and the southern Bosnia and Herzegovina in general.[21][22] Local jokes have always condemned the Vlaji to playing the role of rural unsophisticates, although it is often conceded that it was their hard work in the industries of the post-WWII era that made modern-day Split what it is now.[22]

In recent years, the most pronounced distinction in Split society is one between those well established in the city and the more recent arrivals from Herzegovina (ethnically akin to the Vlaji of the Zagora), who came to Split in increasing numbers in the 1990s.[22]

Economy

Split's economy is still suffering the backlash from the recession caused by the transfer to a market economy and privatization. In the Yugoslav era, however, the city had been a highly significant economic centre with a modern and diverse industrial and economic base, including shipbuilding, food, chemical, plastics, textile, and paper industry, in addition to a large revenues from tourism. In 1981 Split's GDP per capita was 137% of the Yugoslav average.[23] Today, most of the factories are out of business (or are far below pre-war production and employment capacity) and the city has been trying to concentrate on commerce and services, consequently leaving an alarmingly large number of factory workers unemployed.

Brodosplit shipyard is the largest one in Croatia. It employs around 2,300 people, and has built over 350 vessels, including many tankers, both panamax and non-panamax, as well as container ships, bulk carriers, dredgers, off-shore platforms, frigates, submarines, patrol boats and passenger ships. 80% of the ships built are exported to foreign contractors.

The new A1 motorway, integrating Split with the rest of the Croatian freeway network, has helped stimulate economic production and investment, with new businesses being built in the city centre and its wildly sprawling suburbs. The entire route was opened in July 2005. Today, the city's economy relies mostly on trade and tourism with some old industries undergoing partial revival, such as food (fishing, olive, wine production), paper, concrete and chemicals. Since 1998, Split has been host to the annual Croatia Boat Show.

Education

There are 24 primary schools and 23 secondary schools including 11 gymnasiums.

University

Main article: University of Split

The University of Split (Croatian: Sveučilište u Splitu) was founded in 1974. In the last few years it has grown to a big extent. Now it has 26,000 students and is organized in 12 faculties. Currently the new campus is being built, and it will be finished sometime in 2012. It will house all of the faculties, a large student centre with a sports hall, sporting grounds and a university library.

Culture


In 1979, the historic center of Split was included into the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Split is said to be one of the centres of Croatian culture. Its literary tradition can be traced to medieval times, and includes names like Marko Marulić, while in more modern times Split excelled by authors famous for their sense of humor. Among them the most notable is Miljenko Smoje, famous for his TV series Malo misto and Velo misto, with the latter dealing with the development of Split into a modern city.

Despite colorful settings and characters, as well as a cinema tradition that could be traced to early 20th-century works of Josip Karaman, there were relatively few films shot in or around Split. However, the city did produce several famous actors, most notably Boris Dvornik.

Also well known is Ivo Tijardović, and his famous operetta "Little Floramye" (Mala Floramye). Both Smoje and Tijardović are famous artists thought to represent the old Split traditions that are slowly dying out due to the city being overwhelmed by large numbers of rural migrants from the undeveloped hinterland.

Museums and galleries


The Archaeological Museum (Croatian: Arheološki muzej) main collection is housed at Zrinsko-Frankopanska 25 in Split. There is also a branch building in Solin (Salona and Tusculum Collection) and two regional centres at Vid near Metkovic (Narona Collection), and on the island of Vis (Issa Collection). The Split Archaeological Museum is the oldest museum institution in Croatia, founded in 1820 by the decree of the Dalmatian government in Zadar. Some 150,000 artifacts cover prehistoric times, the period of Greek colonization of the Adriatic, Roman Provincial and Early Christian era to the early Middle Ages and the period of Croatian popular rulers). Of special interest is the collection of stone inscriptions from Salona and the collections of Graeco-Hellenistic ceramic objects, Roman glass, ancient clay lamps, bone and metal articles, as well as the collection of gems. In addition, the museum houses an extensive collection of ancient and medieval coins, a submarine achaeological collection, and a rich archive library.[24]

The Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments (Croatian: Muzej hrvatskih arheoloških spomenika ) is the only museum in Croatia dedicated to researching and presenting cultural artifacts of the Croats in the Middle Ages, between the 7th and 15th centuries, particularly the time of the early medieval Croatian state from 9th to 12th century. The collection of early medieval wicker, clay figurines, and old Croatian Latin epigraphic monuments is the largest collection of its kind in Europe.[25]

The Split City Museum (Croatian: Muzej Grada Splita) at Papalićeva 1, is housed in the former Papalić Palace. The collection presents the urban, cultural, artistic and economic heritage of the city. The museum is also home to the Emanuel Vidović Gallery, dedicated to the most important Split painter of the 20th century.[26][27]

The Ethnographical Museum (Croatian: Etnografski muzej) at Severova 1, has a wide range of ethnographic content mainly from Dalmatia. Founded in 1910, the museum collects original and contemporary applications of traditional heritage. They also track contemporary popular culture living with traces of old foundations and preserve and promote the value of folk heritage, renewing them and presenting exhibitions.[27]

The Croatian Maritime Museum (Croatian: Hrvatski pomorski muzej) at Glagoljaška 18 - Tvrđava Gripe has a collection of marine equipment and supplies, weapons and navigation equipment, medals, ship models, uniforms and equipment, and related artwork. A permanent exhibition is planned to complete the presentation of military maritime and naval history, with a presentation that covers the period from the arrival of the Slavs to the present day.[27]

Split Science museum and Zoo (Croatian: Prirodoslovni musej i zooloski vrt) located at Kolombatovićevo šetalište 2 on the Marjan peninsula.[28]

The Gallery of Fine Arts (Croatian: Galerija umjetnina), located at Kralja Tomislava 15, is an art museum that contains works from the 14th century to the present day providing an overview of the artistic developments in the local art scene. The gallery was founded in 1931, and has a permanent exhibition of paintings and sculptures that includes works by major Croatian artists such as Vlaho Bukovac, Mato Celestin Medović, Branislav Dešković, Ivan Meštrović, Emanuel Vidović and Ignjat Job. The gallery also has an extensive collection of icons, and holds special exhibits of works by contemporary artists. In May 2009, the gallery opened its new premises in the old Split Hospital building behind Diocletian's Palace.[29]

The Ivan Meštrović Gallery (Croatian: Galerija Meštrović), on the Marjan peninsula is an art museum dedicated to the work of the 20th-century sculptor, Ivan Meštrović. The gallery displays some of his most significant work, and the building itself is an art monument.[30] The permanent collection includes works of sculpture, drawings, design, furniture and architecture. The gallery building and grounds were based on original plans by Meštrović himself, and included living and working areas, as well as exhibition spaces.[31] Not far from the Gallery lies Kaštelet-Crikvine, a restored chapel that houses a set of wooden wall panels carved by Ivan Meštrović.[32]

Music

One of the most recognisable aspects of Split culture is popular music. Notable composers include Josip Hatze, Ivo Tijardović, Zdenko Runjić - some of the most influential musicians in former Yugoslavia. Also, the more notable musicians and bands from Split are Oliver Dragojević, Gibonni, Daleka Obala, Magazin, Severina, Dino Dvornik, Jasmin Stavros, Neno Belan, Goran Karan, Dražen Zečić, Doris Dragović, Jelena Rozga, Danijela Martinović, Siniša Vuco, Luka Nižetić and others. There is great cultural activity during summers, when the prestigious Split Music Festival is held, followed by the Split Summer (Splitsko ljeto) theater festival.

Sports


Sportsmen are traditionally held in high regard in Split, and the city is famous for producing many champions. The most popular sports in Split are football (soccer), tennis, basketball, swimming, rowing, sailing, waterpolo, athletics, and handball. Residents of Split prefer to call their city as "The sportiest city in the world".

The main football (soccer) club is HNK Hajduk, the most popular club in Croatia supported by a large Fan association known as Torcida Split, while RNK Split is the city's second club. The largest football stadium is the Poljud Stadium (HNK Hajduk's ground), with 35,000 capacity (55,000 prior to the renovation to an all-seater). Slaven Bilić, Aljoša Asanović, Igor Tudor, and Stipe Pletikosa are some of the famous Split natives who started their careers at Hajduk. Basketball is also popular, and the city basketball club, KK Split (Jugoplastika Split), holds the record of winning the Euroleague three consecutive times (1989–1991), with notable players like Toni Kukoč and Dino Rađa both of whom are Split natives.

Split's most famous tennis stars are the retired Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanišević, and Mario Ančić ("Super Mario"). Members of the local rowing club HVK Gusar won numerous Olympic and World Championship medals.

Swimming also has a long tradition in Split, with Đurđica Bjedov (1968 Olympic Gold Medal and Olympic record in the 100 m breaststroke), Duje Draganja and Vanja Rogulj as the most famous swimmers from the city. As a member of the ASK Split athletics club, the champion Blanka Vlašić also originates from the city. The biggest sports events to be held in Split were the 1979 Mediterranean Games, and the 1990 European Athletics Championships.

Split is one of the host cities of the 2009 World Men's Handball Championship. The city constructed a new sporting arena for the event, the Spaladium Arena. Its capacity is 12,000 spectators (in basketball events). The cost of the arena was evenly divided between the city and the government.[33] Ivano Balić, two time IHF World Player of the Year is the most famous handball player to come from Split.

Picigin is a traditional local sport (originating in 1908), played on the famous sandy beach Bačvice. It is played in very shallow water (just ankle deep) with a small ball. Picigin is played by five players. The ball is the peeled tennis ball. There is a tradition of playing picigin in Split on New Year's Day, regardless of the weather conditions, in spite of the sea temperature rarely exceeding 10 °C.

RK Nada are the most successful rugby union club in the Balkan region, with 11 titles in the Yugoslav championship and 14 in Croatia since independence.

The Split SeaWolves is the only team of American football in Dalmatia. Active from 2008, they are currently still developing and the main focus is on a flag football team.

Transportation

The Port of Split, a regional passenger hub.
Split Airport from the air

Split is an important transport center for Dalmatia and the wider region. In addition to the Bosiljevo-Split freeway (A1), all the road traffic along the Adriatic coast on the route RijekaDubrovnik (Adriatic Highway) flows through the city. The city also has a series of expressways and avenues, enabling efficient, fast transit by car around the city and its suburbs. The most important mean of transport in Split is bus, the city being inadequate for trams due to its hilly geography. The local public transport company Promet Split renovated its fleet in 2008 with the latest MAN and Mercedes-Benz models.

Split is also the southernmost integrated point of the Croatian Railway network. Within Split's city centre, railway traffic passes two tunnels before reaching the Central Station. The line to Split is unremarkable; a journey from Split to Zagreb or Rijeka takes around 5 hours, as the line is unelectrified and consists of only one track. Currently, there are no definite plans to upgrade the line, but with the start of work on the new Zagreb-Rijeka railway line in October 2007. The Split Suburban Railway network opened in early December 2006. It currently has one line, running from the Split city harbour to Kaštel Stari. The line is expected to get a second track and be fully electrified in the near future. New, low-floor trains are expected to be implemented as well. This line will also be lengthened, to encompass the aforementioned Split International Airport, and continue on to the towns of Trogir and Seget Donji. Split also plans to construct a mini-metro that is to be operational by 2012.

The Split Airport in Kaštela is the second largest in Croatia in terms of passenger numbers (1,300,381 in 2011), with year-round services to Zagreb, London, Frankfurt and the Cologne Bonn Airport in Germany, as well as heavy tourist traffic in the summer. The expansion of the terminal is scheduled to commence in 2012. The airport is located about 5 miles (8 km) west of Split.

The Port of Split, with its annual traffic of 4 million passengers, is the third busiest port in the Mediterranean, with daily coastal routes to Rijeka, Dubrovnik, and Ancona in Italy. During the summer season Split is connected with other Italian cities as well, such as Pescara. Most of the central Dalmatian islands are only reachable via the Split harbor (with Jadrolinija and Split Tours ferries). This includes the islands of Brač, Hvar and Šolta, as well as the more distant Vis, Korčula and Lastovo. Split is also becoming a major cruise ship destination, with over 260 ship visits, carrying 130,000 passengers. The largest ship scheduled to dock is the 315m long Celebrity Eclipse.

International relations

Twin towns—Sister cities

Split is twinned with:

See also

References

Further reading

Published in the 18th century
Published in the 19th century
Published in the 20th century

External links

  • Official Split web page
  • Parking in Split

Coordinates: 43°30′N 16°26′E / 43.500°N 16.433°E / 43.500; 16.433

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