Saturday, 23 September 2017

Split 1

We spent two nights in Split, so if you will excuse the pun, I will split my Split entries  into four. We split up after lunch on our full day in the City (okay enough split puns), so I spent a bit more time on my own with my camera, so there are more shots to show later.

Anyway, let me start by pointing out that while Split is a big city, the tourist part is amazingly small. It really all belongs within the medieval city, most of which in turn rests with in the confines of Emperor Diocletian's Palace. Sadly for a classics buff like myself, not much of the Roman Palace survives above ground in tact, as much was recycled for the medieval and renaissance city's use. Recycling is not always to be admired.

Anyway, at night the city is busy and atmospheric, and as is our wont we hit town for dinner in a pizza restaurant. Supposedly good pizzas but it was a hot night to be stuck indoors. Luckily they had an outside section covered by an ancient vine and suddenly the place became much more appealing. As you can see - my happy face.

Now this is the point we were originally going to split up, me wandering back to our airbnb and the lads going out on the Town with the youngsters who thronged the centre, especially around the old bell tower - see below.  And indeed we did split up, but for less than half an hour before I got a call saying they were bored, didn't fancy the group pub crawl which they were on and wanted to head back or have a drink. I was still polishing off an ice cream, and had hardly moved from the centre.

Anyway, our airbnb was in an excellent spot, only a very short walk to the Palace, not up a dirty great hill, and was ever so well appointed. A lovely place to be.

So back we went into town.

The boys were keen to expend a bit of energy and go off and do something active. Which would have been fine with me too, but they were looking at rather more extreme waters sports (no, not those sort of water sports - dirty minds) than I fancied, and in any event I wanted to do some sightseeing since we only had a day here. So we had lunch at this rather nice wine bar.

 And then while the boys went frolicking on the beach...

..I started to explore more thoroughly.

Below is the art gallery just outside the old city walls. I judged the exterior (an old hospital) was better than the modern art contents were likely to be and so didn't go in.

 There are four gates into the palace, the golden, silver, bronze and iron gates. best point of entry for us was the Silver Gate - here. The niches above the gates would originally have contained statues, long lost, presumably to the barbaric Christians. A plague on history.

 Inside, the city is a warren of alleys, having lost most of the geometric pattern of the huge original imperial palace. but it makes it an intriguing place to explore.

 There are several renaissance palaces (or town houses if you prefer) in the city - many turned into restaurants.

One, the Papalic Palace, now houses the City Museum.

 The museum is a bit of a mish mash of archaeological fragments on the ground floor and some medieval and later stuff.
Head of Diocletian

 This hall with a restored wooden beam ceiling is one of the most impressive features.

An early film projector. I said it was an eclectic collection.

 Another nice, and sensible , feature of  place like this is that all the streets are very narrow and so you are in shade. A pleasure under a relentless Mediterranean sun in August.

 So here is the cathedral, with Roman columns still in front. This area is the Roman peristyle and is now really the heart of the city, certainly where the crowds gather.

 The emperor imported a number of sphinxes from Egypt. This one is the last to remain manly in tact, the others broken up by superstitious Christians.

Just proving there are some undeveloped places in the city. This would make a great hotel...

 So my next museum was the ethnographic museum - largely housing local costumes. But I didn't go in for the exhibits so much as the building itself, converted out of a church and convent. Including a wine-press.

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