If you are staying in Split for a week or longer, there are many day trip options. Everyone is talking about Trogir, Sibenik NP Krka, and islands Brac and Hvar. But for those who like exploring archeological sites from the ancient Roman times, Solin (Salona) is the top destination. Having open-air museum which features reconstruction of a former Roman town, Salona is an absolute hit for all travelers interested in history. Many will say that Salona has the same meaning for Split as Pompeii has for Naples.

Salona
Salona

Table of Contents

  1. How to get to Solin
  2. Things to do in Solin
  3. Salona
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How to get to Solin

Today's Solin is located along the river Jadro, 10 kilometres north of Split. The town can be easily reached by car or local bus line number 5 operated by Promet Split.

River Jadro near centre of Solin
River Jadro near centre of Solin

When you arrive in Solin, you will immediately feel its charm and intimacy. In the center of the city there is a large green lawn where children play. Due to its hospitality towards children, Solin is a favourite place for many young families who are establishing their homes in the town.

Children playing in centre of Solin
Children playing in centre of Solin

There are several coffee bars in the town's centre where you can take a favourite drink or an ice cream. There is Church of Our Lady of the Island, the central parish of Solin. The atmosphere of the town is very enjoyable, and I got the impression that Solin is a nice place to live in.

Church our Lady of Island
Church our Lady of Island

An additional grace to the atmosphere of the town is created by the sound of the river Jadro, which passes through the centre of Solin. Jadro supplies Split and its surroundings with drinking water.

Jadro
Jadro

If you walk a few minutes towards the north of Solin, you will notice the former Solin watermill called Gaspina Mlinica. It is an architectural achievement from the 18th century. Grain was obtained until the 20th century when the mill was shut down. Today it's a nice tourist attraction.

Gaspina Mlinica
Gaspina Mlinica

As you continue walking, you will notice the remains of the former church of St. Moses and Peter, which is today called the Hollowed Church. It was built in the 11th century. It's famous for the fact that Croatian king Zvonimir was crowned there. That's the reason why Solin is called Zvonimir's town.

Hollowed Church
Hollowed Church

Salona, as we've already called it an open-air museum, is located one kilometer away from the center of Solin. It can be reached by walking or by car. If you are walking, take a street called Put Salone. Additionally, I recommend wearing sneakers instead of flip flops for a more comfortable movement while exploring the locality.

Ticket price for an adult for visiting Salona is around 7 euros.

As soon as you arrive at the Salona, you will notice at first glance that this is a magnificent and original place. Many archaeological exhibits are located exactly in their real place, where they existed during history.

The first place of interest is the early Christian city of Salona. In the former city centre, there were two basilicas, the bishop's palace, and two Christian oratories where the first Christians were meeting for the prayer. It was a secret place at that time since Emperor Diocletian persecuted Christians.

Former early Christian Salona
Former early Christian Salona
Remains of Basilica in centre of early Christian town Salona
Remains of Basilica in centre of early Christian town Salona

A few meters below there are the remains of a former Roman spa. You can see the reconstruction of all the rooms that were located in the spa. The water was heated in a traditional way, using a fire.

Remains of courtyard of Roman spa in Salona
Remains of courtyard of Roman spa in Salona
Former room with cold water in ancient Roman spa
Former room with cold water in ancient Roman spa

North of the walls of Salona, there are the remains of an early Christian Salonitan shrine. This place is known as the tomb of the most famous Salonitan bishop St. Dujam, whose sarcophagus was moved to Split Cathedral a few centuries later.
Just near this locality, there is a building called Tusculum, which is a small museum and courtyard that serves as a venue for the events of the Solin Cultural Summer.

The former tomb of St. Dujam
The former tomb of St. Dujam
the courtyard of Tusculum where the events of the Solin Cultural Summer take place
the courtyard of Tusculum where the events of the Solin Cultural Summer take place

If you continue walking down Put Salone Street, you will come to two more sites. The first is the remains of the oldest Salona's basilica built in the 4th century. It was constructed over the tombs of 4 martyrs who were killed in 304, during the persecution of Christians: the priest Asterius, Antiochianus, Gaianus, Paulinianus and Telius.

Remains of the former basilica in Salona
Remains of the former basilica in Salona

The last one is the Roman Amphitheater, probably the most interesting exhibit of whole Salona. It was built in the 2th century. It was used for gladiators fight against each other, and for a fight between beasts and gladiators. The auditorium could seat 17000 people.

Many of Salona's martyrs, the most famous of which is St. Dujam, were killed in the amphitheatre, during the reign of Diocletian.

In the 17th century, the Venetians, who ruled Solin and Dalmatia at that time, decided to demote amphitheatre due to strategic reasons and for defence against the Osman Empire. Therefore, we can only see the remains of the amphitheatre.

Remains of the Roman amphitheatre in Salona
Remains of the Roman amphitheatre in Salona

Zvonimr Peran     2020-07-28

I enjoy Croatia, beautiful country with interesting places, history, culture, and people. I want you to enjoy it as well.
Contact me on email info@croatia-tourism.com, or using the form below.

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We will help you experience the best of Solin And Salona.

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