SPLIT, a city and port in Central Dalmatia; population 189,388. Situated on a peninsula between the eastern part of the Gulf of Kastela and the Split Channel. A hill, Marjan (178 m), rises in the western part of the peninsula. The ridges Kozjak (780 m) and Mosor (1,330 m) protect the city from the north and northeast, and separate it from the hinterland.
Split has the Mediterranean climate: hot dry summers(average air temperature in July reaches 26 °C) and mild, humid winters (average annual rainfall is 900 mm). Split is one of the sunniest places in Europe: the average daily insolation during the year is about 7 hours (in July about 12 hours). Vegetation is of the evergreen Mediterranean type, and subtropical flora (palm-trees, agaves, cacti) grows in the city and its surroundings. Marjan is covered with a cultivated forest.
Development of steam-shipping, construction of railroad connections with the hinterland before and between the World Wars, and particularly industrialization underlie the economic prosperity and increase of the population in Split. Split is a business, administrative and cultural centre of Dalmatia. Apart from shipbuilding industry, other manufacturers include processing of plastic masses, cement industry, food and other products. Vegetable, fruit and flowers are grown in the surroundings. Split is an important Croatian port in terms of passenger and goods traffic. It is the centre of the maritime connections with the ports on the coast and the islands and terminal railway station of the rail connections with the hinterland. Ferries operate regularly between Split and the central Dalmatian islands, as well as to Ancona in Italy. Ship connections are established, except with the islands, with Pula, Venice, Dubrovnik and Greece. The airport of Split is situated in Resnik (Kastela). Split has many cultural and educational institutions and schools: the University of Split (established in 1974), the theatre, museums, galleries, institutes, and recently a specialized UN institution for protection of environment in the Mediterranean (Regional Activity Centre for the Priority Actions Programme).The Spit Summer, a cultural event (open-air operas, plays and concerts), as well as music perfomances (Melodies of the Croatian Adriatic, Split Festival of Pop Music) take place every year. Split disposes of a variety of sports facilities, swimming pools and piers for sports boats and similar. Both stationary and transit tourism record a permanent increase. New port, hotel and tourist facilities have been constructed. The coves within the city offer several public beaches.
Split has four marinas: Split ACI Marina in the north-western part of the City Port; the sports boats pier Spinut on the northern coast of Marjan; the sports boats marina Poljud in the Poljud Port; the sports boat pier Zenta on the eastern coast of Split. The City Port of Split in the centre of the city is used only for passenger and ferry traffic.
Split is not only an urban, cultural and traffic centre of Dalmatia with road and sea connections to Dalmatia's numerous summer resorts, but it is itself often a tourist and excursionists destination. A city with a 1700-year old tradition, a variety of archaeological, historical and cultural monuments, among which the well-known Palace of Diocletian, inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List, certainly occupies a special position, and the warmth and offer of a modern Mediterranean city. The first detailed tourist guide through the town and its surroundings, published in 1894, bears witness to the long tourist tradition in Split. To be able to grasp the historical significance of the city, one should first visit the museums of Split: the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments - a capital Croatian cultural project, established in 1893 in Knin; the Archaeological Museum from 1820, one of the oldest in Croatia; the Treasury of the Split Cathedral, including a valuable collection of religious art; the Ethnographic Museum, founded in 1910; the Museum of Marine History; the Museum of Natural Science. The Art Gallery, established in 1931, the Collection of the Franciscan Monastery in Poljud, the Mestrovic Gallery, and other are also worth visiting.
Split is a major sports centre (the 1979 Mediterranean Games) with many famous and popular sports clubs and competitors. There are also many sports facilities for recreational purposes. The sports offer includes almost all types of water and other sports, from football, basketball and tennis to mountain climbing and rifle-shooting, water skiing and rowing.
Worth visiting is Marjan Forest Park, the green oasis the citizens of Split have been proud of for generations, carefully maintained and cherished. The park includes promenades, vista points, solariums, nature paths, playgrounds and the Split zoo. A marvellous view is offered from the top of Marjan on the old and new parts of Split. It takes only 15 minutes of pleasant walking to reach Marjan from the historical core of Split through the old quarter Varos. The Marjan stairway, running along the crest of the hill, leads to another, higher top of Marjan, Telegrin, with a vista point offering prospect on the Split peninsula, Kozjak, Mosor, the Kastela Gulf, Salona and Klis, Trogir and Ciovo, and the islands of Solta, Brac, Hvar and Vis. The southern cliffs of Marjan represent in recent times a very good training ground for mountaineers and free climbers, who gather here every April on the occasion of the traditional Marjan Cup.
Split has a variety of restaurants and wine cellars, offering domestic specialities. There are many beaches and public beaches in the city and its surroundings, the most popular of them being Bacvice, a sand beach almost in the very heart of the town.
The cultural and entertainment offer of Split is extremely rich, particularly in the summer, when the city squares, yards and other areas turn into a large open-air stage. The Split Summer, a traditional festival in the middle of the summer season, includes dramas, operas and concerts (from mid-July to mid-August). The Split Saturday Nights are de-voted to classical music. Split also hosts pop-music events, the Art-Summer, folklore shows, the folk feast Day of Radunica, and many other. Major cultural events during the year are the Days of Marulic (in April), the Book of the Mediterranean (in October), and the traditional events include the Day of the Holy Cross, the Flowers Show, the Ball of Split, wine show and other. The Day of St. Doimus (Duje), who is the patron saint of the city, is commemorated on the 7th of May.
Split has several theatres, among which the Croatian National Theatre, established in 1893, deserves a special mention as a house hosting theatrical festivals, the Split Summer and the Days of Marulic. There is also the Youth Theatre, and the Split Puppet Theatre.
Split ACI Marina has 500 berths in the sea and accommodates 100 vessels on the land. Open throughout the year.