For lovers of history and archeology, there is a wealth of medieval and Roman history to be found in the immediate surroundings of Split. If you are in Split, you must visit Ancient Salona, once the capital of the province and one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire. Only a few kilometers away, there is ancient Salona, which is home to an imposing medieval fortress, perched high on a hilltop. This fortress became a castle to many Croatian kings and is also very famous as one of the filming locations of the Game of Thrones series.
Visit Ancient Salona Ruins
Returning back to the age of the Roman Empire has never been easier! Only 9 kilometers from Split, you’ll get a perfect half-day trip with your friends or family. Salona was the ancient capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. The remains of this ancient city make up the largest archaeological site on the Adriatic coast, and one of the most significant in Europe.
The highlight is the Salona Amphitheatre. Built in the 2nd century, this giant arena could accommodate 18,000 spectators, who would come here to watch gladiators fight to the death. Although not as big as the amphitheater in Pula or Rome, Salona Amphitheatre is of great importance for the history and culture of the locals. Fun fact, Salona Amphitheatre was used for the purpose of filming tv show The Dark Tower, Stephen King’s novel adaptation.
The best-preserved complex in the entire is Manastirine Necropolis, located at the very entrance of Salona archaeological park. Back in Roman times, the dead were buried at Manastirine.
At the site, there is a small 19th-century “museum” you can visit which is mostly a gift shop and ticket office. Outside the museum is a small but charming garden with fantastic views from the hillside.
Visit Klis Fortress
Klis is a small town and municipality in Split-Dalmatia County. It lies between the mountains of Mosor in the east and Kozjak in the west. On top of the hill is situated a well-known medieval fort, which is also a symbol of the town. The town of Klis was named after the steep and tall cliffs where the fort was built. Because of its prominent position and connection between Split and the Dalmatian hinterland, Klis has long been a strategically important place, especially since it was very difficult to conquer. It has magnificent views of the nearby city of Split and of the Adriatic Sea and its islands. Even just the breathtaking view makes this visit worthwhile!
The Klis Fortress is a medieval fortress situated above the homonymous municipality. The fortress was built at an altitude of 360 meters for the purpose of controlling the invasions of the enemies. Due to its strategic position between two mountains, Kozjak and Mosor, the fortress played a major role in defense se of entire Dalmatia. By the end of 2016, a new historical, cultural and tourist attraction was rebuilt on Klis Fortress – the Rector’s Palace.
Just like many other destinations in Croatia, Klis Fortress is featured prominently in the massively popular TV show “Game of Thrones.” Diehard fans will recognize this Games of Thrones fortress near Split as Meereen. Despite all this, Klis Fortress, or Meereen for the fans, remains a rather off-the-beaten-path destination. Inside the fortress, you can explore its ramparts and rooms and visit the small museum exhibiting armor, weaponry, uniforms, and costumes.
One cannot visit Klis without making a stop in Perlica restaurant. It is a famous traditional restaurant in the foothill of Klis where the locals love to go to lunch. The best dish here is undoubtedly Dalmatian roasted lamb which is a must-eat. Besides the lamb, the restaurant boasts a great variety of typical dishes from this area such as Dalmatian “peka”, homemade cheese and prosciutto from Dalmatian Zagora, etc.