Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Dalmatian Towns – 15 September 2010
After breakfast on a terrace overlooking the sea, we started the day by returning to Split. This time we followed a guide to the Diocletian's Palace. This was the retirement house built by a Roman emperor. With the pick of the entire Roman world, he chose this isolated spot, and the town of Split was born. The outer walls of the palace are mostly intact and other parts here and there remain although not quite as glorious as when Diocletian was there, marble has been stripped and so forth.. We enjoyed an acapella men's group in the Vestibule so much so that we bought their CD. The mausoleum has been turned into a cathedral, and shops have taken over part of the original basement. It's a listed UNESCO site, because it is the largest surviving Roman structure.
From here we went to the highlight of the day - Trogir. This town was originally a small islet between the mainland and a larger island, but it is linked by bridges to both. The town has many original buildings, one of the gems is the Cathedral of St Lawrence. A modest entrance price allows entry to the cathedral and access to the tower, with great views over the town.
We finally finished our day in Sibenik. This town is not so picturesque as the other two, but is also UNESCO, on account of its cathedral. This stone building has a stunning clean white exterior, with many wonderful carvings. The interior is initially disappointing, as the grey stone seems drab and dark. But after reading the details of its construction, it is clear why this building is also UNESCO listed.
It is apparently the largest stone building constructed without wooden or brick supports. It was built from stone from the local islands and was prefabricated and assembled on site.