Addressed by Pope John VIII as “dux Croatorum”

kroatien croatiaCroatia, officially the Republic of Croatia, is a sovereign state at the crossroads of Central Europe, Southeast Europe, and the Mediterranean. Its capital city is Zagreb, which forms one of the country's primary subdivisions, along with its twenty counties. The region was settled by Liburnians and Illyrians, while the first Greek colonies were established on the islands of Korčula, Hvar and Vis. In 9 AD the territory of today's Croatia became part of the Roman Empire. Emperor Diocletian built a large palace in Split when he retired in AD 305.

During the 5th century, one of the last Emperors of the Western Roman Empire, Julius Nepos, ruled his small empire from the palace. The period ends with Avar and Croat invasions in the first half of the 7th century and destruction of almost all Roman towns. Roman survivors retreated to more favourable sites on the coast, islands and mountains. The city of Dubrovnik was founded by such survivors from Epidaurum.

The name of the Croats is first documented in a source from the 9th century. The name “Hrvat” itself has no Slavic roots, but most likely arose as a foreign name for Slavs from Iran (Sarmatians). It is believed that the “Hrvati” people come from the area of the Persian river (in the Sarmatian language) “Harahvaiti”, which is now called “Sarasvati” due to the sound shift (“h” to “s”).

In addition to the content articles, we publish blogs on many topics. Follow the links indicated. Please click here to our theme-related blog articles with more pictures about our explorations to Croatia.

The ancient amphitheatre of Salona
Boat tour on Cetina River next to Omis
New contacts in Shkoder, Omis and Salona
Arrival at Omis and first exploration hike
Exploration hike Omis - reverse trail
Adventure on the Zip Line high above Cetina River
New archaeological concepts in Siculi
Narona - Roman colony and trading town at Neretva River
Hike to the medivial fortress of Starigrad
Descent from Starigrad passing old stone houses

Salona - capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia

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Salona - capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia

Our time at the Klis fortress was so long that we decided to drive to the ruined city of Salona as dusk was already approaching. As usual, loaded with a lot of information along the way, we returned to Solin and stopped at the ruins of the Roman amphitheatre, which, at least on the ground floor, were excavated and left an extremely impressive impression on us.

The Amphitheatre of Salona next to Split

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The Amphitheatre of Salona next to Split

As is unfortunately the case too often, this time our time window was too narrow, so we were only able to take a short tour of the amphitheatre in Salona. Nevertheless, we were deeply impressed by what we were to see in the immediate vicinity of Split: the remains of the monumental amphitheatre building from Roman times.

Visit to the Split Archaeological Museum

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Visit to the Split Archaeological Museum

Already during our first, short visit to the ruined city of Salona, Robi mentioned the name of an archaeologist who was responsible for the excavations in Split, who we would meet several times during the further course of our stay: Frane Bulić.

The Diocletian's Aqueduct in Split

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The Diocletian's Aqueduct in Split

During our visit to Diocletian's Palace in Split, Robert had already told us about the water supply shortages in the ancient city of Solin.

Split visit to the Bralić family shows caravan aftereffects

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Split visit to the Bralić family shows caravan aftereffects

We were able to spend unforgettable days with Robi and his family in Split. Not only did we find an excellent host and tour guide in Robi, but the so-called family connection with his wife and children was very warm and profound despite the few days which was shown again and again in small gifts, shared morning coffee and also in conversations.

Diocletian's Palace in Asphalatos, then Spalato and today Split

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Diocletian's Palace in Asphalatos, then Spalato and today Split

Early the next morning we drove into Split with Robi, because we were finally going to the well-known old town of Split and to Diocletian's Palace, which actually forms the nucleus of today's city of Split.

The Klis Fortress - bulwark to the Split peninsula

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The Klis Fortress - bulwark to the Split peninsula

The first point of our sightseeing program was scheduled early the next morning, which was to lead to the castle and fortress of Klis. The fortress has always played a crucial role in the eventful history of Split and the surrounding area, as it was the first place to pass if you wanted to get from the hinterland to the coast.

Salona - next destination of our tour along Roman road system

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Salona - next destination of our tour along Roman road system

For several years now, Split has been a popular summer tourism destination in Croatia again, but our travel points with Salona, Klis Castle and Deocletian's Palace in Split were significantly removed from it, and not just seasonally.

Archaeological Excavations of the settlement of Siculi in 2015

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Archaeological Excavations of the settlement of Siculi in 2015

We had learned and appreciated Robert and his team as part of our project journey "A journey of Intimacy and Culture along the Roman Roads" and within his conception to the creation of a truly genuine archaeological cultural tourism so far hardly explored environment in cooperation with the competent authorities, organizations, museums and archaeologists as new perspective for obtaining cultural property that can really create new ways.

Excavations in Siculi - Magna Grecia Part 2

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Excavations in Siculi - Magna Grecia Part 2

For several days, we now dwell in the region around the ancient Salona, take part in the archaeological excavations in Siculi, a first excavation carried out with archeology tourists within an excavation project, which we will continue to support.

Porta Caesarea - a city gate of Salona

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Porta Caesarea - a city gate of Salona

During our second visit to Solin we were again visiting the ancient ruins of Salona near Split together with Robi, this time our main focus was directed to Porta Caesarea and to the still existing parts of the Roman Road in front of the remains of the city gate including the Roman bridge.

Omis - adrenaline fun in a spectacular canyon landscape

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Omis - adrenaline fun in a spectacular canyon landscape

In the middle of the Croatian region of Dalmatia lies the popular small town of Omis, which we have visited several times as a stopover on our tours in the Balkans.

Bosnian War and Destruction of the Stari most

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Bosnian War and Destruction of the Stari most

Mostar is located on the Neretva River and enchants visitors with its narrow streets that are reminiscent of an Ottoman or Turkish bazaar. If you stroll through the streets, you will not be able to avoid the most important building of the place, the bridge Stari Most.

Mostar - a city in the course of history

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Mostar - a city in the course of history

Our visit with the extended tour of the Stari most bridge was so impressive that we immediately decided to extend our stay in Mostar even further, especially since there is also a small campsite in the immediate vicinity.

World famous old bridge "Stari most" crossing Neretva river

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World famous old bridge

Although the young state of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which emerged from the multi-ethnic state of Yugoslavia, is not yet really known as a tourist destination, the more courageous travelers of this country are definitely drawn to the city of Mostar and its most famous landmark, the Stari most bridge.

On the road through the former Republic of Poljica for Omiš

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Republic of Poljica for Omiš

For traffic reasons Robi had chosen the route through the Valley of Poljica to Omiš, just to escape from the tourist traffic at the coast. The valley runs almost parallel to the coastline of the Adriatic, is predominantly used agricultural until today and slowly arises outdoor tourism, although offering interesting mountains and forests for hiking and mountain biking.

Rafting adventure on river Cetina at Radmanove Mlinice

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Rafting adventure on the river Cetina close to Radmanove Mlinice

After a few hiking tours, it was now time to relax a little and even enjoy the pleasure of "daily" life: we wanted to participate in one of the well known rafting tours on Cetina river. We probably do not need to tell anyone of our readers what is going to happen during this so much popularized recreational sport, if, at all, the customer / us usually uses wild water of different levels of difficulty.

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