You know that we who live here like to consider Split as one of the world's most beautiful cities, almost the centre of the world. Well, exactly 37 years ago, on October 26 1979, UNESCO gave us one of the strongest evidences in favour of this claim. The 4th century Diocletian's Palace and city's historical centre were listed on that day on the World Heritage List maintained by the United Nation's agency for education, science and culture.
It happened just a year after this list was created, and that same year Croatia as part of former Yugoslavia received two more listings on the WHL, with Dubrovnik old town and Plitvice Lakes National Park.
As part of the most important list of historical and natural sites of global importance, Split is today one of the most popular destinations not only in Croatia, but also in the Mediterranean. Its historical centre is an example how this kind of world class monument can be a part of city's life. Being a living organism, not just an empty museum-like shell preserved it for so long. Walking around the old town Split means walking through centuries of one city's life, with endless layers of history, architecture and urban spirit. Of course, it's attractive for visitors from all over the world, but it's also a modern town, with its citizens and their lives, habits and tradition. And that's what makes Split so great; both as a place of living, or a destination to visit. Love it and respect it, so it can live for another 17 centuries.
Split is also so much more than that little, easily toured historical area. It's great to know its beaches, Marjan Forest Park, old and new neighbourhoods, cultural institutions, museums, bars, restaurants, clubs. We are off main season now, but that doesn't mean there is nothing to do in Split. Start with some sightseeing; enjoy nature and our great climate.
And if you belong to a circle of UNESCO sites chasers, it's hard to find better base for touring them than Split. Within two hours of driving or ferry sailing, not less than six of them are reachable. Start with Split and Diocletian's Palace, then take a ride to Šibenik's Saint James Cathedral, on your way back stop in the medieval jewel Trogir, spend a day on island Hvar and visit Stari Grad Plain. About an hour of driving inland is one of medieval graveyards with stećak monuments, with some more of those monuments just across the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. Not far on that side of the border is Mostar old town. And even that is not all. It's possible to see two more of UNESCO sites as a day trip from Split, Dubrovnik and Plitvice Lakes national park. The only one not reachable within a day is Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč.
You want more? UNESCO also has its Intangible World Heritage list, and Split is again great base to get to know some of them: Mediterranean diet, klapa traditional singing, silent circle dance from Dalmatian hinterland, ojkanje singing, Sinjska Alka tournament, Easter time procession on island Hvar, and lace making with agave threads on island Hvar.
Is there any better evidence of Split being the centre of the world?