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Trogir is a historic town and Adriatic seaport in Split-Dalmatia County, Croatia. It is located 17 miles due west of the city of Split and its walled old town sits on a small island between the Croatian mainland and the popular island of Čiovo. Today, Trogir’s population is a little under 11,000 (13¼ thousand in the municipality) and serves as one of Croatia’s major shipbuilding yards. The historic centre, with its cathedral, Romanesque and Renaissance buildings and 15th century city walls led it to become listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

Above: Trogir as seen from the mainland to the north. Beyond the old walled town with it's cathedral and fortress lies the island of Čiovo.

The old town will appeal to those who like to explore it's maze of medieval streets, whilst the relatively compact nature of it means getting completely lost should not be of concern. The waterfront promenade, with a selection of restaurants and cafés also attracts a variety of private yachts and small luxury cruise ships.

Map Source:

The town makes an ideal day trip from Split or a relaxing place to stay for a few nights. The old town itself, linking the island of Čiovo with the mainland via two small bridges means that the roads in and out can become heavily congested with traffic, although the good news is (at the time of writing - November 2006) a new bridge is currently under construction just to the east which will soon connect the island of Čiovo directly with the mainland thus alleviating the old town's issues stemming from the current traffic volumes.

Above: The mid 15th century Kamerlengo fortress in Trogir lies on the south-western end of the small island.

The town has a rich history and in some of it's earlier times, Trogir's defensive position allowed it to maintain autonomy from wider ruling areas. Colonised by the Greeks in c. 385 BC, it became part of the Eastern, or Byzantine, Empire in the 6th century AD. Over the next 1,400 years, rulers included the early Croats ( 7th century), the Venetians and Bosnians. Trogir became part of the new Yugoslavia in 1920 and subsequently part of Croatia when it became independent in 1991.

The thumbnail gallery above shows Trogir's old town which is a delight to wander around. The historic centre contains about 10 churches and numerous intact buildings dating from the 13th to the 15th centuries, a period when the city flourished. The 15th century city walls can be seen in a number of photos above and some of the important sites in the old town are briefly described as follows: The Cathedral of St. Lawrence (Sv. Lovre) is a Roman Catholic triple-naved basilica constructed in Romanesque-Gothic style [example photos above: 3, 5, 22, 23, 74]. The main sight in the old town, it is known for its entrance, Radovan's portal, a unique work by one of Croatia's finest masters which was completed in 1240. Called St. John by the locals, the cathedral is the highest building in Trogir. It was constructed over four centuries on the foundations of an old basilica which was destroyed after Saracens attack in 1123. The bell tower stands 47m high and is built in 3 different successive styles (Gothic in style with Renaissance additions). More information on the cathedral may be found on Wikipedia here; The mid 15th century Kamerlengo fortress [shown earlier on the page and from different angles in photos 2, 16, 19, 39 & 43, above] was built by the Republic of Venice. Construction was by Marin Radoj as part of an expansion of an existing late 14th century tower on the same site. It was once connected to the city walls, but is now a standalone structure. The name of the fortress refers to the title of a Venetian administrative official; The 13th century Duke's Palace [Photos 24, 73] or City Hall stands on the main square (St John Square) on the former site of a church (St. Stjepan). The building was an expression of the political and economic strength of the city in the first part of the 15th century and was home to the Rector as well as being the meeting place of councils. It became a theatre in the 17th century, later to be destroyed by fire and rebuilt with a Renaissance style frontage. Various coats of arms of families from Trogir and other places as well as the city's own coat of arms and also a winged lion of St. Mark may be seen on the walls of the building; The town's North Gate [Photo 62] dates from the Renaissance period and hovering atop is a statue of the towns protector, St Ivan Orsini; Dating from the 15th century are the old and new Čipiko palaces [Photos 68 and 70 respectively]; Also seen in photo 68 is the city's 15th century loggia; One of the highlights of Trogir is a stroll along the waterfront on the southern side of the small island and notable buildings along here include the 13th century Lucić Palace [Photo 13], the 16th century South Town Gate [Example, photo 34], the 13th century Church and Monastery of St Dominic [Example, photo 14] and walking away from the waterfront past the Kamerlengo fortress on the western side stands the imposing 16th century St Michael Monastery Church Belfry [Photo 18] and further on the north-western side of the island, the 15th century Tower of St Mark {Photo 42], which like Kamerlengo Castle, survives from the Venetian period. Of course, this is only a brief treatment of this beautiful and inspiring historical town and for anybody who wishes to learn more, I have included some links below.

References and Further Reading

1. UNESCO website Here
2. Trogir Online Guide Here
3. Lonely Planet online Here
4. A brief historical outline can be found on Here
5. Tourist Map. I obtained one from the Tourist Office at Split Airport, although an online copy is available Here

The reader may also find my page on Split relevant. Link Here.

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