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

Derbent Fortress

Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.

Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.

A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.

The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.

The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.

In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.

In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.