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

Cochem Castle

The original Cochem Castle, perched prominently on a hill above the Moselle River, served to collect tolls from passing ships. Modern research dates its origins to around 1100. Before its destruction by the French in 1689, the castle had a long and fascinating history. It changed hands numerous times and, like most castles, also changed its form over the centuries.

In 1151 King Konrad III ended a dispute over who should inherit Cochem Castle by laying siege to it and taking possession of it himself. That same year it became an official Imperial Castle (Reichsburg) subject to imperial authority. In 1282 it was Habsburg King Rudolf’s turn, when he conquered the Reichsburg Cochem and took it over. But just 12 years later, in 1294, the newest owner, King Adolf of Nassau pawned the castle, the town of Cochem and the surrounding region in order to finance his coronation. Adolf’s successor, Albrecht I, was unable to redeem the pledge and was forced to grant the castle to the archbishop in nearby Trier and the Electorate of Trier, which then administered the Reichsburg continuously, except for a brief interruption when Trier’s Archbishop Balduin of Luxembourg had to pawn the castle to a countess. But he got it back a year later.

The Electorate of Trier and its nobility became wealthy and powerful in large part due to the income from Cochem Castle and the rights to shipping tolls on the Moselle. Not until 1419 did the castle and its tolls come under the administration of civil bailiffs (Amtsmänner). While under the control of the bishops and electors in Trier from the 14th to the 16th century, the castle was expanded several times.

In 1688 the French invaded the Rhine and Moselle regions of the Palatinate, which included Cochem and its castle. French troops conquered the Reichsburg and then laid waste not only to the castle but also to Cochem and most of the other surrounding towns in a scorched-earth campaign. Between that time and the Congress of Vienna, the Palatinate and Cochem went back and forth between France and Prussia. In 1815 the western Palatinate and Cochem finally became part of Prussia once and for all.

Louis Jacques Ravené (1823-1879) did not live to see the completion of his renovated castle, but it was completed by his son Louis Auguste Ravené (1866-1944). Louis Auguste was only two years old when construction work at the old ruins above Cochem began in 1868, but most of the new castle took shape from 1874 to 1877, based on designs by Berlin architects. After the death of his father in 1879, Louis Auguste supervised the final stages of construction, mostly involving work on the castle’s interior. The castle was finally completed in 1890. Louis Auguste, like his father, a lover of art, filled the castle with an extensive art collection, most of which was lost during the Second World War.

In 1942, during the Nazi years, Ravené was forced to sell the family castle to the Prussian Ministry of Justice, which turned it into a law school run by the Nazi government. Following the end of the war, the castle became the property of the new state of Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate). In 1978 the city of Cochem bought the castle for 664,000 marks.