The city was founded as the Greek colony of Aspalathos in the 3rd or 2nd century BC on the coast of the Illyrian Dalmatae, and later on was home to Diocletian's Palace, built for the Roman emperor in AD 305. It was a colony of the polis of Issa, the modern-day town of Vis, itself a colony of the Sicilian city of Syracuse. The Greek settlement lived off trade with the surrounding Illyrian tribes, mostly the Delmatae. It became a prominent settlement around 650 when it succeeded the ancient capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia, Salona.
By a popular theory, the city draws its name from the spiny broom, after which the Greek colony of Aspalathos or Spalathos was named. The theory is dubious as it is Spanish broom that is a very frequent plant in the area.
As the city became a Roman possession, the Latin name became Spalatum or Aspalatum, which in the Middle Ages evolved into Aspalathum, Spalathum, Spalatrum, and Spalatro in the Dalmatian language of the city's Romance population. The Croatian term became Split or Spljet, while the Italian-language version, Spalato, became universal in international usage by the Early Modern Period. In the late 19th century, the Croatian name increasingly came to prominence, and officially replaced Spalato in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia after World War I.
After the Illyrian Wars of 229 and 219 BC, the city of Salona, only a short distance from Spalathos, became the capital of the Roman Province of Dalmatia and one of the largest cities of the late empire with 60.000 people. The history of Spalathos becomes obscure for a while at this point, being overshadowed by that of nearby Salona, to which it would later become successor.
After the sack of Salona by the Avars and Slavs, the fortified Palace of Diocletian was settled by Roman refugees. Split became a Byzantine city. Later it drifted into the sphere of the Republic of Venice and the Kingdom of Croatia, with the Byzantines retaining nominal suzerainty.
For much of the High and Late Middle Ages, Split enjoyed autonomy as a free city of the Dalmatian city-states, caught in the middle of a struggle between Venice and Croatia (in union with Hungary) for control over the Dalmatian cities.
Venice eventually prevailed and during the early modern period Split remained a Venetian city, a heavily fortified outpost surrounded by Ottoman territory. Its hinterland was won from the Ottomans in the Morean War of 1699, and in 1797, as Venice fell to Napoleon, the Treaty of Campo Formio rendered the city to the Habsburg Monarchy. In 1805, the Peace of Pressburg added it to the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy and in 1806 it was included in the French Empire, becoming part of the Illyrian Provinces in 1809.
After being occupied in 1813, it was eventually granted to the Austrian Empire following the Congress of Vienna, where the city remained a part of the Austrian Kingdom of Dalmatia until the fall of Austria-Hungary in 1918 and the formation of Yugoslavia.
In World War II, the city was annexed by Italy, then liberated by the Partisans after the Italian capitulation in 1943. It was then re-occupied by Germany, which granted it to its puppet Independent State of Croatia. The city was liberated again by the Partisans in 1944, and was included in the post-war Socialist Yugoslavia, as part of its republic of Croatia. In 1991, Croatia seceded from Yugoslavia amid the Croatian War of Independence.
Split related tours
We at Monterrasol Travel welcome you to see Split during multi-day small group car tour. Contact us if you would like to customize your tour to Split.
We have developed several tours that visiting this beautiful place. But, if you have a special conditions or any from these tours fit you, please do not hesitate to contact us, we can organize a tour exactly as you would like. And remember, we have no problems to take you from almost any place where you stay, hotel or private accommodation.
tour destinations: Blagaj, Kravica, Međugorje, Mostar, Omiš, Počitelj, Sarajevo
All seasons 4 days Bosnia discovery tour from Split. Visit old towns and monasteries, waterfall and fortresses. Walk streets of multicultural Sarajevo, stay on old Mostar bridge, walk in Počitelj, enjoy beauty of Kravica waterfalls, and walk old Omiš on the way back to Split.
tour destinations: Blagaj, Kravica, Međugorje, Mostar, Omiš, Počitelj, Sarajevo, Trebinje, Tvrdoš, Vjetrenica, Zavala
All seasons 5 days Bosnia discovery tour from Split. Visit old towns and monasteries, cave and fortresses. Walk streets of multicultural Sarajevo, visit calm Trebinje, silent Tvrdos monastery, old with rich history Zavala monastery, refresh in Vjetrenica natural cave, stay on old Mostar bridge, walk in Počitelj and old Devish monastery in Blagaj, enjoy beauty of Kravica waterfalls, and walk old Omiš on the way back to Split.
tour destinations: Blagaj, Jajce, Klis, Konjic, Kravica, Međugorje, Mostar, Počitelj, Sarajevo, Split, Travnik, Trogir, Šibenik
All seasons 7 days tour to discover Bosnia-Herzegovina and visit famous Croatian towns Split, Sibenik and Trogir. Pick up and drop off in Orebic.
In Bosnia-Herzegovina we will see Blagaj dervish monastery, UNESCO town Mostar and its old bridge, visit pilgrimage center Medjugorje, walk and watch wonderful Kravice natural park with waterfalls, climb by narrow streets of medieval fortified town Pocitelj, visit multicultural Sarajevo with its old market, see Ottoman Empire fortress Jajce, meet another medieval fortress Travnik and walk in its old streets.
In Croatia, we will walk historical center of Split (UNESCO World Heritage Site), see coastal town Sibenik, its fortress, historical center and the cathedral, also UNESCO World Heritage Site. Next day we will walk another one UNESCO town, Trogir, and after another night in Split, on the way back, we will visit famous fortress Klis.
tour destinations: Blagaj, Jajce, Kravica, Međugorje, Mostar, Omiš, Počitelj, Sarajevo, Stolac, Trebinje, Tvrdoš, Vjetrenica, Zavala
All seasons 9 days Bosnia discovery tour from Split. Visit Jajce, Travnik, Sarajevo, Mostar. Old towns and monasteries, cave and fortresses. Visit medieval old town Jajce, walk in Travnik fortress, walk streets of multicultural Sarajevo, visit calm Trebinje, silent Tvrdos monastery, old with rich history Zavala monastery, refresh in Vjetrenica natural cave, stay on old Mostar bridge, walk in Počitelj and old Stolac, enjoy beauty of Kravica waterfalls, and walk old Omis on the way back to Split.
Explore 5 Balkans countries Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece in 21 days cultural tour from Zagreb to Athens. Discover Adriatic coast of Croatia; venetian towns of Dalmatian rivier; medieval towns of Montenegro; famous Orthodox monasteries in Bosnia, Montenegro and Greece; archaeological places in Albania and Greece; medieval fortresses of Croatia, Albania and Greece; UNESCO sites of Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece.
This Balkans discovery tour will open for you 6 famous countries: Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, and Greece. Each country have a rich history and many attractions. With this tour we will pass over Adriatic coast and Dalmatian Riviera of Croatia, wonderful hilly nature of Bosnia-Herzegovina, coastal venetian towns of Montenegro, unexpected panoramas of Albania, visit roman sites of Macedonia, and finally come to gem of this tour, beautiful Greece.
We will walk in medieval and venetian towns in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania; will see famous Orthodox monasteries in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro; ancient roman settlement in Albania, Macedonia, and Greece; fortified towns in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro; archaeological places in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Greece; medieval fortresses in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro; UNESCO sites in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Greece.
With this extended 26 days Balkans cultural tour you will explore 6 countries: Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia and Greece. We will pass by Adriatic coast and Dalmatian Riviera of Croatia, wonderful hilly nature of Bosnia-Herzegovina, coastal medieval towns of Montenegro, unexpected panoramas and castles of Albania, meet truly roman sites of Macedonia and rich historic places of Greece.
We will visit medieval and venetian towns in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro; will see famous Orthodox monasteries in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Greece; ancient roman theaters in Macedonia and Greece; fortified towns in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro; archaeological places in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Greece; medieval fortresses of Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania and Montenegro; UNESCO sites in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania and Greece.
February 13, 2021 Kraljeva Sutjeska, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Kraljeva Sutjeska is a village in the municipality of Kakanj, Bosnia and Herzegovina, almost at the middle of Bosnia and Herzegovina territory.
The village hosts a number of important historical sites: 14th century Catholic Franciscan monastery, ruins of the medieval Bosnian Court, an old Bosnian house with the original architecture from the 18th century, and mosque from 15th century, claimed to be the oldest in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Also, very close to the village is located Bobovac, a fortified city of medieval Bosnia and Herzegovina.
January 30, 2021 Ohrid, Macedonia. Ohrid is a city in the country with modern name North Macedonia (before it called just Macedonia). Ohrid once had 365 churches, one for each day of the year, and has been referred to as a "Jerusalem of the Balkans". The city is rich in picturesque houses and monuments, and tourism is predominant. Ohrid and Lake Ohrid were accepted as Cultural and Natural World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Ohrid is one of only 28 sites that are part of UNESCO's World Heritage that are Cultural as well as Natural sites.
January 22, 2021 Szigliget, Hungary. The ruins of the medieval recently restored fortress stand atop the 239m Várhegy hill.
January 7, 2021 Berat, Albania. Berat is the ninth largest city by population of the Republic of Albania. Berat, UNESCO World Heritage Site from 2008, comprises a unique style of architecture with influences from several civilizations that have managed to coexist for centuries throughout the history. Like many cities in Albania, Berat comprises an old fortified city filled with churches and mosques painted with grandiose wealth of visible murals and frescos. Berat is one of the main cultural centers of the country.
December 16, 2020 Bory, Hungary. One of two self-built castles in Hungary (the other is the much more ramshackle Tarodi Var), The Bory Castle In Szekesfehervar was the work of Hungarian sculptor and architect Jeno Bory. Bory built the castle between 1923 and 1959 with the help of several of his students.