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Solin History, Croatia

Just 5 km from Split at the far end of Kastela bay there is the beautiful Solin next to Jadro River. Getting here is easy by bus from Split, just ask about bus number one, it will take you right here.

It is a small town, yet a spiritual hub of the county divided in three Mitnica, Majdan and Donja Strana. The first is at an intersection of three major roads that unite Solin to Split and Trogir while the last one is 1.5 km away from it to the west. Somewhere on the way between Mitnica and Donja Strana you will find the site of ancient Salona the old town around which Solin developed. You can even see the resemblance in the name.

The city has a long and rich history being an important centre during reign of the Romans and it was also among the first Christian settlements. No wonder people celebrate Virgin Mary even today with fast during Mala Gospa festival. Whether you are a believer or not you should visit St. Mary's church that is thought to date from the 10th century. Its importance was also given by the fact that it was the place of the coronation of kings. Of course since the 10th century the church suffered a lot of changes and the one that you can see now was built on the ruins of the previous one in 1878.

During the roman time Salona was an important centre, actually it was the capital of Dalmatia which stretched from the Rasa River in Istria to Albania. It was the largest and most significant centre, a cosmopolitan city with over 60,000 residents. But even before Roman times the city was an important centre of the Illyrian tribe. It was all the time its position that made this place so interesting for all, thus its development did not cease to come. Manufacture developed and glass objects, weapons, precious stone dressing and jewelry were produced. But in the 7th century it suffered decay due to the invasion of the Slavs. It regained importance during the early Middle Ages when it was part of the Croatian state.

Since the 18th century there was a growing interest in the ruins of the place and in the 19th century it became one of the most important archeological centers concerning Old Christian archeology. The ruins are still present today and are a great attraction for tourists but there are not so many so you can visit them in peace and have the opportunity to imagine the city as it once was. The amphitheatre is the most impressive ruin but it was destroyed in the 17th century. You can still see how huge it was and imagine that it could host up to 18,000 spectators. You can also see the ruins of the Roman Baths, the burial place of early Christian martyrs and churches.

A lot has been done to make the city a green space, but one that is really well taken care of. Jadro River’s waterfront is also a place that attracts the eye. The urban development, the industrial complex and the highway infrastructure of today are quite developed. This does not prevent the visitor though from imagining the ancient Salona as it was during the roman times as there are plenty of sights to remind you of that period.

Historical sites make this city so attractive to tourists so come to Solin and learn a bit about the history of the place and be amazed!

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