Top Historic Sights in Split, Croatia

Explore the historic highlights of Split

Cathedral of Saint Domnius

The Cathedral of Saint Domnius in Split is formed from an Imperial Roman mausoleum, with a bell tower; strictly the church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and the bell tower to Saint Domnius. Together they form the Cathedral of St. Domnius. The cathedral was consecrated at the turn of the 7th century AD, is regarded as the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world that remains in use in its original structure, without near- ...
Founded: 7th century AD | Location: Split, Croatia

Diocletian's Palace

Considered to be one of the most imposing Roman ruins, Diocletian’s palace is certainly the main attraction of the city of Split. The ruins of palace, built between the late 3rd and the early 4th centuries A.D., can be found throughout the city. Today the remains of the palace are part of the historic core of Split, which in 1979 was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. While it is referred to as a 'palac ...
Founded: 4th century AD | Location: Split, Croatia

Venetian Castle

The Venetian Castle was built during the 15th century in Split. Built just south-west of the Diocletian"s Palace along the shoreline, the castle had an irregular pentagonal shape with three towers facing north and overlooking the city. The decision to build the castle was made in 1424, however, it wasn"t until 1441 that it was actually built on the grounds of a demolished monastery. By the early 16th century, th ...
Founded: 1441 | Location: Split, Croatia

St. Martin's Church

St. Martin"s Church was built into a small space (an early guardhouse) within the ancient Golden Gate of Diocletian"s northern wall. One of the oldest churchs in the city, Today St. Martin"s Church is one of Split"s tourist attractions and known for its fine 11th centery chancel screen. It is currently in the care of the Dominican sisters, who have a monastery next door. The church itself is open to th ...
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Split, Croatia

Split Archaeological Museum

As the oldest museum institution in Croatia, the Split Archaeological Museum was founded in 1820. The incentive for the establishment of the Museum was provided by the visit of Emperor Francis I to Dalmatia in 1818, which also included visits to Split and Solin. The original museum building was erected in 1821 next to the eastern walls of Diocletian"s Palace, but soon became too small to house the growing number of m ...
Founded: 1820 | Location: Split, Croatia

Ivan Mestrovic Gallery

Ivan Meštrović Gallery is dedicated to the work of the 20th-century sculptor, Ivan Meštrović (1883-1962). The gallery preserves and presents to the public the most significant works of Meštrović, and is in itself an art monument. The permanent collection includes works of sculpture, drawings, design, furniture and architecture. Holdings include original plaster models by the artist, as well as finished works in bron ...
Founded: 1952 | Location: Split, Croatia

Aqueduct of Diocletian

The Aqueduct of Diocletian is an ancient Roman aqueduct near Split, constructed during the Roman Empire to supply water to the palace of the emperor Diocletian. The Aqueduct of Diocletian was constructed between the end of 3rd and beginning of the 4th century AD, at the same time as the palace. The aqueduct took water from the river Jadro, 9 kilometres northeast of Diocletian"s Palace, today Split"s city centr ...
Founded: 4th century AD | Location: Split, Croatia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Trinity Sergius Lavra

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a world famous spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and a popular site of pilgrimage and tourism. It is the most important working Russian monastery and a residence of the Patriarch. This religious and military complex represents an epitome of the growth of Russian architecture and contains some of that architecture’s finest expressions. It exerted a profound influence on architecture in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, was founded in 1337 by the monk Sergius of Radonezh. Sergius achieved great prestige as the spiritual adviser of Dmitri Donskoi, Great Prince of Moscow, who received his blessing to the battle of Kulikov of 1380. The monastery started as a little wooden church on Makovets Hill, and then developed and grew stronger through the ages.

Over the centuries a unique ensemble of more than 50 buildings and constructions of different dates were established. The whole complex was erected according to the architectural concept of the main church, the Trinity Cathedral (1422), where the relics of St. Sergius may be seen.

In 1476 Pskovian masters built a brick belfry east of the cathedral dedicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The church combines unique features of early Muscovite and Pskovian architecture. A remarkable feature of this church is a bell tower under its dome without internal interconnection between the belfry and the cathedral itself.

The Cathedral of the Assumption, echoing the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Moscow Kremlin, was erected between 1559 and 1585. The frescoes of the Assumption Cathedral were painted in 1684. At the north-western corner of the Cathedral, on the site of the western porch, in 1780 a vault containing burials of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family was built.

In the 16th century the monastery was surrounded by 6 meters high and 3,5 meters thick defensive walls, which proved their worth during the 16-month siege by  Polish-Lithuanian invaders during the Time of Trouble. They were later strengthened and expanded.

After the Upheaval of the 17th century a large-scale building programme was launched. At this time new buildings were erected in the north-western part of the monastery, including infirmaries topped with a tented church dedicated to Saints Zosima and Sawatiy of Solovki (1635-1637). Few such churches are still preserved, so this tented church with a unique tiled roof is an important contribution to the Lavra.

In the late 17th century a number of new buildings in Naryshkin (Moscow) Baroque style were added to the monastery.

Following a devastating fire in 1746, when most of the wooden buildings and structures were destroyed, a major reconstruction campaign was launched, during which the appearance of many of the buildings was changed to a more monumental style. At this time one of the tallest Russian belfries (88 meters high) was built.

In the late 18th century, when many church lands were secularized, the chaotic planning of the settlements and suburbs around the monastery was replaced by a regular layout of the streets and quarters. The town of Sergiev Posad was surrounded by traditional ramparts and walls. In the vicinity of the monastery a number of buildings belonging to it were erected: a stable yard, hotels, a hospice, a poorhouse, as well as guest and merchant houses. Major highways leading to the monastery were straightened and marked by establishing entry squares, the overall urban development being oriented towards the centrepiece - the Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Lavra.

In 1993, the Trinity Lavra was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.