Dalmatia (Croatian Dalmacija, Italian Dalmazia) is a region of Croatia on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea, spreading between the island of Pag in the northwest and the Bay of Kotor in the southeast.
The inner Dalmatia (Dalmatinska Zagora) stretches from up to fifty kilometres inland in the north to just a few kilometres in the south.
The County of Split and Dalmatia, that together with the sea covers an area of 14,500 km2, has a population of 500,000. Today it is divided in 10 towns and 36 municipalities. The city of Split with a population of 223,000 is the centre of this County.

Zadar | Šibenik | Split | Dubrovnik

Keeping on with the tradition of the administrative division of Croatian territory into counties, that was for the first time in Croatia mentioned in the 10th century, the County of Split and Dalmatia has rightly gained the title of the largest, and as many consider it to be, the most beautiful Croatian county. It is almost difficult to distinguish the factors that contribute to its beauty: nature, history, cultural heritage or its people. In the County that takes great pride in hundreds of kilometres of coastline, mountain peaks and rich tradition woven into each and every pore of life, each of these factors is at least partly responsible for its uniqueness.

The history of this area dates back to the very distant past when the Stone-Age man left the first traces on the Adriatic Coast. The remains on the island of Hvar are 5,000 years old and are dated to the New Stone Age. The archaeological remains from the islands of Brac and Hvar, Split, Trogir and Sinj speak of activities in these areas during the Bronze and Iron Age, and contribute to the beauty of historical complexity. The first millennium before Christ was the period of Illyrian tribes, and the Dalmatia stood out in significance, whereas the Antiquity was characterized by the Greek colonization of these areas. In 389 B.C. Greek settlers founded the town of Issa on the island of Vis, and in 385 the very strong settlement Pharaohs sprang up in the northern cove on the island of Hvar. On land, Greek settlers founded Tragurion (Trogir) and Epetion (Stobrec).
Under the Roman rule, that directed the organization of life along the entire coast, many present-day towns were founded and already then connected with roads, that even today keep those same directions.

Salona, the onetime port of the Illyrian tribe of Dalmatia, became the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. At the time it had 65,000 inhabitants and because of its administrative importance was the meeting point of passengers and tradesmen from the entire Mediterranean.

Salona bears testimony of the earliest traces of Christianity on the east Adriatic Coast. Religion was the reason why many lives were taken, mostly during the rule of Emperor Diocletian who in 303 issued a decree forbidding Christianity. The bishop of Salona and Syrian martyr Domnio (Dujam in Croatian) was the victim of prosecuting of Christianity. In memory of this bishop he is still celebrated as the patron-saint of Split.
Diocletian, a former soldier, probably a native of Salona, who was proclaimed Roman Emperor in 284, had a magnificent palace built from 295 to 305 (nucleus of today's Split) in the vicinity of Salona. When the agreed period of the rule of two emperors came to an end, he retired to the palace where he spent the last ten years of his life.
The Croats settled these areas in the first decades of the 7th century, founding a state in the hinterland with Solin and later Knin as one of its centres.
In those early centuries this region was exposed to Venetians doges and Hungarian rulers, and Klis was for several centuries the centre of the Croatian Primorska Zupanija (Lateral district). During the next centuries the inhabitants experienced the municipal system of developed European states, but also Venetian rule, Turkish attacks, and the very short period of French rule.
At the first democratic elections in 1990 the people of the County of Split and Dalmatia expressed the unanimous desire of the Croatian people for the independent Republic of Croatia.

Historical changes have created an exceptional cultural heritage, styles and treasures that the County of Split and Dalmatia unselfishly presents to all its chance travellers. One of the most significant features of this area are the precious stone structures. An impressive masterpiece in stone is also the portal of the Cathedral in Trogir that was cut out by master Radovan in 1240. Remarkable works recorded in stone in Split are those by Gothic sculptor Bonino of Milan and our greatest Gothic and Renaissance master Juraj Dalmatinac. In Trogir, there are works by his contemporaries Andrija Alesi and Nicholas of Florence. The doors of the Cathedral in Split made of walnut wood by Andrija Buvina in 1214 are considered an impressive work of art in European Romanesque wood sculpture and a masterpiece left to Split.
In the art of painting, painters mostly earned fame with their paintings in churches and chapels. The paintings of the Madonna and saints by Blaz Jurjev Trogiranin and Dujam Vuskovic remain as permanent heritage on church ceilings and altars. Such an art tradition laid the foundation for a series of great painters of the more recent period, such as Emanuel Vidovi who with his dark landscapes and interiors became the most significant Croatian painter of the late 19th and first half of 20th century.
Respecting the tradition, rich cultural and historical heritage, generations of people from the County of Split and Dalmatia worked much beyond the County's territory. Thus, our greatest sculptor was Ivan Mestrovic (1883-1962), a native of Otavice near Drnis, whose works are found in the world's most notable museums and galleries. By the deed of gift of this great artist, the collection of his works is exhibited in the Mestrovic Gallery in Split.
Artistic achievements that always found here inexhaustible inspiration, were followed by the first preserved monuments of literacy in Croatia. The Split Evangeliary, the oldest book in Croatia dating back to the 6th century, is today kept in the Cathedral in Split. As early as the 13th century, archdeacon Tom recorded events, life and customs of that time.
In 1521, the poem Judita written by Marko Marulic from Split was published in Croatian, which earned the author the title of the father of Croatian literature. His works in Latin have been published and translated into many languages. Poets from Hvar, Hanibal Lucic and Petar Hektorovic wrote verses in Croatian, and so created a basis for those that would in the centuries to come describe the beauties of the karst, sea and Zagora as did Vladimir Nazor, Ranko Marinkovic, Tin Ujevic, Dinko Simunovic, Josip Pupacic.

The list of great names connected with drama, opera and ballet coming from even the smallest villages of this County, is a long one, because this County has a rich dramatic tradition that dates back to the theatre in Hvar established in 1612, then the building of the Croatian National Theatre in Split from 1893. Simply, the County of Split and Dalmatia has always been an area that has inspired everyone and left no one indifferent.

Sport is an inseparable part of the County's past and present, the sportsmen from these clubs are holders of numerous Olympic, world and European medals. With their top results, they have spread the fame about this area to all continents making it a phenomenon of sports success.

The County of Split and Dalmatia, that encompasses central Dalmatia, aside from a rich history has a secure future as well. Strong branches of economy: shipping, shipbuilding industry, tourism, agriculture and trade guarantee this. Although it was not in the centre of traffic routes for years, impoverished by war so that development was rendered impossible, these branches of economy have proved their high resistance.
Industrial development relies on three shipyards, cement, chemical and textile industry, building trade and stone-masonry, and well developed shipping industry.
Among the branches of economy, tourism definitely stands out as the most promising. This County disposes of 25,000 beds in hotels and 72,000 beds in private apartments and campsites. There are modern marinas with 1000 berths in this County.
A very significant factor in economic development, particularly tourism is the Airport in Kastela, which accounts for the greatest part of tourist traffic, but also the airport on the island of Brac that has brought the islands closer to European tourists.
The County of Split and Dalmatia has great hopes in its immense advantages - preserved natural environment, clean sea and mild Mediterranean climate, therefore it both sees and builds its future only in accordance with nature's harmony, not affecting it the least.

Zadar is situated on a coastal peninsula with a view of the Zadar archipelago, just in front of the fertile plains of Ravni kotari. The vitality of the town and its inhabitants results from the meeting of the land and the sea.
Zadar was founded in prehistoric times, while the Roman period was at the time of its greatest prosperity. The city was built according to the principles of the Roman urban network, with the largest Forum and a huge temple on the eastern coast of the Adriatic. The ancient city remained up to early Middle Ages when it was burnt to ashes. But life went on. The best proof of this is the fact that the church of the Holy Trinity, from the 15th century refered to as the church of St. Donat. lt was built directly on the ancient Roman Forum while its foundations are made out of fragments of the Roman temple. The medieval and Christian Zadar was the centre of Dalmatia with numerous fortifications, churches and monasteries. During modern times some new monuments were built, and some of the old ones were modified.
The present-day Zadar is a living monument of different historical eras that owing to the combination of circumstances transformed into a modern town. Each step leads you to the evidence of the encounter of different epochs: antique and medieval town walls with the Captain 's tower from the 13th century, antique pavement and medieval churches with city palaces from the 19th century, modern buildings stand next to medieval palaces and monasteries. The first University was founded in the 14th century within the Dominican monastery, Petar Zoranie wrote the first Croatian novel "Planine" ("Mountains") in Zadar where the Faculty of Arts was established in 1956. Zadar has always been a town of beauty and culture. The best proof of this fact is the exceptional Exhibition of Church Art situated within the Benedictine nunnery of St. Mary. Numerous valuable relics, stone ornaments and paintings demonstrate the riches of religious life. Another collection of high value is kept in the Archeological Museum, while the Scientific Library is one of the richest in Croatia.
Zadar is also a town of picturesque ambiences. lts location on a flat peninsula in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea gives the town a certain particularity. The promenade around the peninsula offers an unforgettable impression of the sight of the islands at sunset. Walks around the old town are a real happening for each inhabitanNovember 30, 2009 8:19 PMromenade shore you can enjoy the stories of the glorious past told by each historical stone remnant. The antique Forum with the monumental church of St. Donat and the church-tower of the cathedral make the familiar frame of pleasant repose in the mediterranean sun almost all the year around. Along cosy narrow streets you can experience the sweet scent of Dalmatian cuisine, hear the murmur of the people from numerous cafes, as well as the spontaneous sounds of Dalmatian songs.
The street of Siroka leads to the main town square from the Forum. lt is the commercial and social artery of the town. The square, bordered by the Renaissance monuments: the City Loggia and the City Guardhouse, is the most popular meeting place for the inhabitants of Zadar.
Further eastward is situated the medieval church of St. Simeon consecrated to the town protector St. Simeon. According to the legend from the 13 th century the tradition of the worship of St. Simeon began after the shipwreck of a vessel carrying the relics of the saint near Zadar. St. Simeon's chest, a precious goldsmith work made by the sculptor Francis of Milan in the 14th century is still kept in the church. Southward towards the shore you come to the old medieval part of the town with narrow streets and old houses pulsating with the intensity of life. Northward from the main street in direction of the city walls is the green and fish market, one of the richest on the Adriatic. Farther eastward is the Land Gate built in the 16th century according to the drawings of the Renaissance sculptor Michaele Sanmicheli. From the fortifications still surrounding the majority of the town you have an excellent view of the new part of the town, hotels, beaches and the "Maraska" factory well known for its over one hundred years' tradition of the production of the famous liqueur "Maraschino"

Šibenik is a city and port in northern Dalmatia, not far from the estuary of the Krka river into the Bay of Sibenik, connected by narrow straits with the Sibenik Channel; population 41,012.
The city is arranged amphitheatrically around the natural harbour and on the surrounding hill slopes. The climate is mild. The average air temperature in January is 6.5°C and 24.2°C in July; around 2,750 hours of sunshine a year. Economy is based on industry (non-ferrous metals, aluminium), textiles and food processing as well as on shipbuilding and tourism. The city, with the old fortresses of St. Anne, St. John and Subicevac overlooking it, consists of the Old Town, characterized by narrow and steep alleys in the west, and the modern part in the north and south-east. Sibenik is a cultural centre: the International Child's Festival. There is a department of the Faculty of Economics of the Split University. Chief occupations in the Sibenik surroundings are viniculture, vegetable and fruit growing. Natural beauty of the region (Skradinski Buk, Roski Waterfall, the small island of Visovac on the Krka, the Kornati Archipelago) as well as the rich cultural and historical heritage of the city attract many tourists and excursionists. Sibenik lies at the intersection of the main roads Zadar - Sibenik - Split (M2, E65) and Sibenik - Drnis - Knin (M11.02); the railroad over Perkovic connects Sibenik with the railroad Zagreb - Knin - Split. Ferry connections with the neighbouring islands (Prvic, Zlarin, Zirje, Kaprije, Obonjan).
Today Sibenik is a source of new artist , and political , cultural , educational , traffic and industrial centre of the County of Sibenik-Knin , the organizer of the Sibenik International Children`s festival , the town completely devoted to cultivation of cultural and natural inheritance , but also to the tourism and its gets.
Sibenik was mentioned for the first time under its present name in 1066 in th Chart of Croatian king Petar Krešimir IV, and unlike other towns which were founded by the Illyrians , Greek or Romans , it is the oldest native Croatian town at the eastern shore of the Adratic Sea .
Sibenik was given the status of town and its own diocese in 1298 . Recent discoveries have shown that the settlement of Sibenik was founded on the steep and high ridge ( where today the castle of St Anna is ) long before the Croats arrival on the Adriatic . That elevation was easily defended and from it was a bird´s eye view of the surrounding country , especially of the sea and lower field . It is obvious that later on ( before the Slavs arrived on the Adriatic ) the navigable route to the Illyrian and Roman port of Scardona ( today´s Skradin ) was supervised from here. Ever since its foundation , the town had very important military and strategic role in the fights that Croatian , and later on Croatian and Hungarian rulers were leading at the Adriatic Seaagainst Byzantium and Venice . A long lasting resistance to the Venetian conquering efforts was ended by the fall under the Venetian govering in 1412 , after the town had been under the siege for three years .
From the end of the 15 th century the Turks often threatened Sibenik . Several times it was attacked by the plague . Several times the Turks arrived at the town`s walls with their army , but they never succeded in conquering it . In order to protect itself better by sea and land from the enemy , the town in the 16 th century built the fortress of St Nicholas at the entrance of the chanel ; by the 17 th century its fortifications on the land were improved by the building of the fortress of ST John ( Tanaj ) and Šubiæevac ( Barona ) . They helped Sibenik to resist attacks : the Turks never counquered it . The fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797 brought Šibenik under the authority of Austria after almost 400 years of Venetian domination , and it remained so until the fall of the Austria-Hungarian Monarchy in 1918. From 1921 till 1941 Sibenik was part of the Yugoslav state , and after a short term Italian ( 1941 - 1943 ) and German occupation ( 1943- 1944 ) it was within the borders of only apparently free SR Croatia and Yugoslavia .
Only after the multiparty elections in the spring in 1990 , Šibenik has been living in the sovereign , independent and democratic state , the Republic of Croatia.

Split is the largest and most important city in Dalmatia, the administrative centre of Croatia's Split-Dalmatia county. It is situated on a small peninsula on the eastern shores of the Adriatic Sea, in the foothills of Kozjak and Mosor mountains. With a population of 200.000 it is the second largest city in Croatia.
The pretty city of Split has a rich history. Since ancient times it has, in various guises, served as the economic and administrative centre of the beautiful Croatian Adriatic coastal region, today called Dalmatia. The city sits mainly on a peninsula on the eastern part of the island of Ciovo, although it has nowadays spread onto the mainland and encompasses the mouth of the River Cetina. From the 5th to the 2nd century BC Greek colonists settled the mainland and adjacent islands. Later, came the Romans: in particular the Emperor Diocletian, who, being of Dalmatian origin, elected to build a huge palace at a spot then called Salona, in AD303. A town grew up around the palace, and eventually, by the Middle Ages, the city of Split had begun to develop. Diocletian’s Palace still stands in the very heart of the old part of Split, which charms visitors with its cobbled streets. The greater Split area is characterised by its lush vegetation and green areas, particularly Marjan Hill on the west of the peninsula with its ancient indigenous forest. The city makes an ideal base from which to explore the islands, beauty spots, and historic villages in central Dalmatia.

Transportation/ Arriving
By plane
The airport is located 20 kilometers from Split proper. For more information about this self proclaimed "most important airport at the eastern side of Adriatic Sea" visit the Split airport official website:
Aerodrom - Split, 21120 Split, Kastelanska cesta 96, p.p. 2, Tel (021) 203 555, (021) 203 171, Fax: (021) 203 422, Croatian website www.split-airport.hr
The bus station (Obala Kneza Domagoja bb, tel. 33 84 83/33 84 86. Ticket windows: Open 06:00 - 22:30, Sun 07:00 - 21:30.) is located across the street from the ferry building and adjacent to the train station. Although small, the station is absolutely user-friendly and there is usually at least a few staff members who speak English on hand at all times. Toilets (Open 05:00 - 23:00.) are located to the right of the main ticket window and cost 3Kn. Left luggage (Open 06:00 - 22:00.) is located in front of Platform (Peron) N°3 and costs 2.50Kn/day or 15Kn/day. Currency exchanges are located across the street in the ferry building while the closest ATM is in front of the post office (Hrvatska Poðta) at Domagojeva obala 4. After you've procured some cash you can call mum and tell her how nice it is in Croatia by sauntering up to one of the many kiosks on Obala Kneza Domagoja and procuring a phone card. Most work from 05:00 - 23:00. Public telephones are generously sprinkled along the street. Getting to town is idiot-proof. With the entrance to the bus station behind you the old town will be to your right. Just follow the waterfront and you'll be in town in about six and a half minutes.

Boat / Ferries
The Split ferry building is a bit dishevelled but kind enough to the forlorn non-Croatian speaking foreigner. The main hall (Obala Kneza Domagoja bb, tel. 33 83 33. Local ferry ticket windows: Open 05:45 - 20:30. International and fast ferry ticket windows: Open 07:00 - 20:00.) can be claustrophobic and seemingly totally without order during the high season. Worry not, just push your way through the crowd until you find something resembling a line. Directly outside the main hall there is an automated currency exchange and ATM. To the right of the entrance are the toilets, which cost 3Kn. Café Adria (Tel. 34 76 98. Open 06:00 - 22:00.) is located in front of the ferry building should you want a coffee or light snack. Left luggage facilities, kiosks selling phone cards, and more fast food options are across the street at both the bus and train stations. Getting to town is simple. With the ferry building and the café behind you the old town is located about an eight-minute walk to your left along the waterfront.

The train system in Croatia is far from developed. It is then only logical that the train station (Obala Kneza Domagoja 11, tel. 060 83 34 44. Ticket windows: Open 06:00 - 10:30, 11:00 - 17:00, 17:30 - 22:00.) would also a bit on the retarded side. You're best off checking the schedule in the main hall instead of asking at the information desk for information. They seem to not take their name literally. Following the Izlaz (Exit) signs from the tracks will lead you to the left of the main building. The left luggage facilities (Obala Kneza Domagoja 6. Open 06:30 - 10:30, 11:00 - 17:00, 17:30 - 21:30.) are located to the right of the main building. You must exit out onto the street first as the tracks and the left luggage area are separated by a fence. Storage costs 8Kn/hr or 18Kn/day. If you're feeling lonely, you can purchase a phone card at the kiosk in front of the station (Open 05:00 - 23:00) and call home. Public telephones are generously sprinkled along the street. Finding an ATM or currency exchange and getting to town are a simple process. See By bus station for more information.

By car
Crossing the Croatian border is relatively hassle-free if you have an EU, American or Canadian passport. driving along the narrow corridor that is their coastal highway isn't. Expect large busses to slow down traffic, cars passing on blind curves and absolutely beautiful scenery, which isn't hindered by a large shoulder.

The city is a port and one of the most prominent tourist resorts on the Adriatic Sea coast in the extreme south of Croatia, and the center of the Dubrovnik-Neretva county, positioned at 42.39 N Lat and 18.04E Long. It has the nickname "Pearl of the Adriatic".
The city of Ragusa/Dubrovnik was based on maritime trade, and in the Middle Ages it became the only eastern Adriatic city-state that rivaled Venice. Supported by its wealth and skilled diplomacy, the Latin/Slavic Ragusa/Dubrovnik achieved a remarkable level of development during the 15th and 16th century. Dubrovnik was one of the centers of the development of the Croatian language and literature, home to many notable poets, playwrights, painters, mathematicians, physicists and other scholars
Dubrovnik has a unique political and cultural history (the Dubrovnik Republic, the Statute from 1272), The city has a world-famous cultural heritage and beauty (inscribed on the List of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO). The city is one of the most attractive and famous cities of the Mediterranean. Apart from its outstanding natural beauties and well-preserved cultural and historical heritage, Dubrovnik also offers high-quality visitor opportunities. It is also the city of hotels, of high ecological standards and tourist programs, and is equally attractive in all seasons. Its geographical isolation is compensated by high traffic and communication standards - especially through air traffic and fast hydrofoil boats.
The tourist development of Dubrovnik started before the First World War; quite soon, the exclusiveness of its attractions made Dubrovnik a powerful international tourist centre.
The sightseeing of Dubrovnik and its monuments requires several days. However, already a walk through Stradun, through narrow streets and small squares, monumental ramparts and fortreses, provides enough opportunities to experience the millennial beauty of its shell-shaped urban core, centuries of building, stone-cutting, carving and engraving, the history of the Duke's Palace, libraries, the oldest pharmacy in the south of Europe, etc.
Dubrovnik offers individual choice among numerous museums and galleries, which contain the jewels of Croatian heritage.
The Dubrovnik Museum in the Duke's Palace keeps 15,500 exhibits in its cultural and historical department. A collection of furniture from the 17th-19th century, uniforms of dukes and councillors, aristocratic garments and many other items are exhibited in the authentic halls of the palace. The Maritime Museum (situated in the fortress Sveti Ivan) has a number exhibits on a permanent display, related to the maritime affairs of Dubrovnik and Croatia on the whole, with a particular emphasis on the history of the Dubrovnik Republic. The Museum of the Franciscan monastery keeps all inventories of the old pharmacy, as well as the works of Dubrovnik jewellers, painters and embroiders. The Museum of the Dominican monastery exhibits valuable examples of Dubrovnik painting from the 15th and the 16th centuries, as well as sculptures, jewellery, manuscripts, incunabula and notes (music). The treasury of the Dubrovnik cathedral keeps the relics of St. Blaise, patron of Dubrovnik, and numerous paintings and works of art. The Rupe Ethnographical Museum presents traditional occupations and the rural architecture of the region of Dubrovnik, national costumes and hand-made textiles. Very attractive is also the Aquarium of the Institute of Biology, situated in the fortress Sveti Ivan, comprising interesting marine species.
Dubrovnik has a number of churches, monasteries and hotels scattered all over the town. Its coastal belt is adorned with several marinas, piers and promenades. Because of a magnificent view on the mediaeval Dubrovnik, a walk along the town ramparts is a must for each visitor.
A great number of Dubrovnik restaurants and taverns offer delicious specialities of local and international cuisine. Sports and recreational facilities include playgrounds, courts and requisites for all sports in the sea and on the ground, from tennis and table tennis to sailing and yachting. There are also several gyms and fitness centres with swimming pools, saunas, massage, aerobics, solarium, box gyms, etc.
Dubrovnik is famous for quality hotels. Most of them are situated on the Lapad peninsula and in the area of Ploce, southeast of the old town. The hotel complex Dubrava - Babin Kuk on Lapad has all features of a small town. It has a shopping centre, a bank, an out-patient department, many restaurants and cafés, and a street called the "New Stradun", which connects all hotels.
Dubrovnik is the city of an outstanding cultural and artistic life. The most important event in the cultural life of the city is the Dubrovnik Summer Festival (10th of July - 25th of August), traditionally held since 1950. It is a theatre and classical and folk music festival, since 1956 included in the calendar of world festivals and as such one of the most famous cultural events in the world. Concerts and other performances take place on open stages in the town (Gunduliceva Poljana, Drziceva Poljana, Lovrijenac, Revelin) or in beautiful interiors of the most famous buildings (Duke's Palace, cloisters, churches). The repertoire includes works of Croatian and world classics, performed by the leading personalities from Croatia and abroad, including a number of world-famous actors, directors, conductors, etc. So far several hundreds of them have performed in Dubrovnik. An important part of the Festival are performances of local (Lindo, Lado) and foreign folk music ensembles.
The artistic life of Dubrovnik is characterized by numerous exhibitions taking place throughout the year. Apart from already renowned galleries - the Art Gallery (Put Frana Supila 23), its exhibition space Luza Art Centre (Stradun), Sebastian - occasional and permanent exhibitions are also held in other spaces as well.
Very famous are also Dubrovnik carnival festivities - so-called Dubrovnik "karnevo" (local variant of the word "carnival"), held ever since the early Middle Ages, when they were brought from the neighbouring Italy. Another important event is the Feast Day of St. Blaise, also the Day of Dubrovnik (3rd of February). The feast takes place for the whole week, including religious ceremonies, a procession through the town, concerts, sports events, entertainment and carnival programs. Excursions to Dubrovnik during that week are regularly organized.
In the vicinity of Dubrovnik, in the gorge of the Ombla river, is Miho Pracat ACI Marina; it has 450 berths in the sea and 250 places on the land. Boaters may also use Dubrovnik Marina.

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