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In search of soul of Split – Diocletian palace ?



Some would say that there wouldn’t be Split, if there wasn’t Diocletian. However, would there be a Diocletian’s Palace if there wasn’t scenery that attracted retired Roman emperor to build his Palace here?

Sometimes a hill, valley, river or other similar point can be so much more than just a geographical fact. Marjan is exactly such a case. After all, one of the most common descriptions of Split is “a city under Marjan”. No matter which direction the one is coming from, this small – barely 180 meters high – green hill is a main orientation point. However, Marjan is more than just a nature. On its eastern slopes the first out-of-Palace neighbourhoods were created. Dozens of Marjan small churches and chapels – or records about ancient Greek or Roman temples – witness a millennial spirituality. In early 20th century Marjan became a unique public recreational space through forestation, and construction of kilometres of paths, stairs and viewing points all around. Writing about Marjan is writing about Split history, its spirit and its people, who find their peace in its woods, or paths, or beaches. Recently it’s been also discovered by tourists, as a proof of simple tourism industry rule: guests always enjoy same things or places that locals enjoy.

Enjoying Marjan is possible in so many ways. Literally only minutes from traffic, noise and city fuss you can let yourself float in a silence, completely preserved nature and – yes – spirituality. Just watch what locals do, and follow their steps. Hiking, biking, climbing, jogging, sightseeing, or just enjoying in a view is possible pretty much year round, even if it’s raining you can find a beauty. When weather allows, there is also swimming, kayaking, or just plain sunbathing.