Trogir, Croatia – town built on a tiny island
Published: August 5th, 2014
Author: Mate I
Trogir is the one of the oldest and most exciting cities on the Croatian side of Adriatic coast, located in the center of Dalmatia region.
The charming side of Trogir are made of small islet laying between the gentle hills on the mainland and the coast of the Ciovo Island.
Trogir is small town with population about 12000 citizens is the center of Trogir micro – region, area of 250 square kilometers.
Visit the city with 2300 years long tradition with it’s rich culture created under the influence of old Greeks, Romans, Venetians. Town with high concentration of palaces, churches, towers, fortress on a small island in aevery way deserves it’s nickname “THE STONE BEAUTY”TROGIR (TRAGURION).
History & Culture of Trogir since the beginning
Firts settlements were made by the Greeks between 4th-3rd century BC during theirs hunting activities across Adriatic coast. At the begining of the first century AC, Trogir became Roman municipality “TRAGURIUM CIVIUM ROMANORUM” joined to Salona, center of Roman province of Dalmatia. In fifth century upon the fall of the Roman Empire, Trogir has been evolved into independent town.
In the 6-th century, the Croats settled in Trogir region and began creating works of art. Right from the beginning of the Middle Ages the old Greek town of Tragurion felt the fire of the new medieval culture.
Builders and masons built churches and decorated it with interlaced ornamentation.In the 10-th century citizens of Trogir renewed they old municipal life of the formal Roman “oppidum”. In their efforts against the Venetians, the kings of Hungary got Trogir to their side in return for a guarantee of Independence.
Trogir citizens could freely elect their leaders and already in the 11-th century, the small community crowded on the fortified islet, had its own Bishop who was suffrage of the Bishop of Split.
Prosperity of Trogir was brutally interrupted 1420, when town was occupied by Venetians after long resistance, and it was badly devastated. Trogir occupation by Venetians lasted for almost four centuries, until 1797. In that period, Trogir was rebuild again and many new palaces, houses, towers and fortresses were built.
In short period of independence, Trogir had fallen under Napoleon’s domination which was remembered by significant communal and health – care reforms, and modernization of economy and outside look of the town.
Austrians conquered town one more time (1814 – 1914) when citizens suffered illness, epidemics and hunger. After 1848, process of democratization started, and very shortly, 1877, Croats were rulers in their town. After First World War, Trogir, together with Croatia, became a part of State of South Slovenes, but agony of hunger and indigence wasn’t finished.
Real improvement in standard of living started in early 70-ies when Shipyard was opened and tourism were employing more then 50% of local population.
Further development was interrupted by aggression on Croatia 1991, when people of Trogir and its economy suffered serious consequences. Ongoing integration processes in European Community started with UNESCO’s acknowledgement of Trogir as a World cultural Heritage in 1997. Today, on the beginning of the new Millennia, Trogir becomes popular tourist destination as it was in ’80-ies.
Places that you must see in Trogir
– is a castle and fortress in Trogir, Croatia, built by Venetian Republic in the mid-15th century by Marin Radoj as part of an expansion of the Veriga Tower, built on the site in the late 14th century.
It was used as location for performances during the summer months. The word kamerlengo (Italian: camerlengo) refers to the title of a Venetian administrative official (a chamberlain).
The Cathedral of St. Lawrence (Sv. Lovre)
– is a Roman Catholic triple-naved basilica constructed in Romanesque-Gothic in Trogir. Since its construction lasted several centuries, it illustrates all the styles that succeeded one another in Dalmatia. It serves now as the most imposing monument in the city of Trogir.
– Local architect and sculptor Master Radovan worked on the cathedral’s gateway (main west portal) early in its construction. Most of the portal was carved by the master himself, but some other hands are distinguishable, those of his pupils and followers.
Finished and signed in 1240, it is a monumental and perhaps unique work of this great Croatian artist, of whom the inscription on the base of the lunette says: “the best of all in this artisanship”
The Duke’s Palace
– located on the main square (Square John Paul II) on the spot where the church of St. Stjepan was. The City Hall, was the expression of the political and economic strength of Trogir in the first half of the 15th century.
The Rector lived in the Palace, and the Small and Great Councils were convened there. In the 17th century it was transformed into a theater with stalls. The theater was destroyed in the fire in 1890 when it was rebuilt into the front having a Renaissance style.
The Marmont Glorijet
– located near Kamerlengo castle, a “gloriette” was built to remind the glory of Marmont, chief Marshall of Napoleon’s armies in Illyria. The French “gloriette”, used for a small round pavilion with colonnades in a park, is written “Glorijet” in Croatian.
Clock Tower and the town Loggia
– city clock tower is all what remains of the small church of Saint Sebastian , built in 1422 to gratitude Saint Sebastian for allegedly protecting the city from the plague. Above the entrance into the tower, the statues of the Christ and of Saint Sebastian are from Niccolo Fiorentino (Nicholas of Florence).
The later Clock Tower is considered as one of his best sculptures.
Right next to the clock tower is the town loggia, which was built in 1311, but the current one is from the 15th century. It was the half-function public object, the protection and stamping-ground and at the same time the courtrooms. If only it can tell the stories from the past centuries.
Courtroom served as a tribunal where all those who have violated the law were condemned, punished and disgraced in front of the fellow-citizens.
– palace was built by Cipiko family and it is located in the town square right across from the Cathedral. The Cipiko family ruled the reign around here for over 300 years and revered for their contribution to Trogir. There is an old and a new parts of Cipiko palace, which were connected by a walkway, that does no longer exist.
The palace itself is a complex of several buildings, eventually merged into a unified whole. The oldest walls date from the early Middle Ages, and most of the assembly created in the XIII. century. The large new Venetian Gothic palace was built by Koriolan Cipiko who won a large sea battle in 1476 and built monuments as part of his spoils of war and creating his legacy.
– port of the city was strategically very secure. The western entrance was closed with chains, and the eastern one with a bascule bridge and defense towers built in the 14th century. The city was entered through the south and north city gate.
There is several type of beaches in Trogir; gravel, sandy, rocky and, in order to make the approach to them easier, partly concrete. This is the list of one who are most popular:
The Pantan beach – 500 km long gravel and sandy beach with pine wood on its east side. It is 1,5 km far from the centre of Trogir. There is a beach bar on , situated direct beside the sea, with cold drinks, ice-cream and light food. Pantan area is protected natural wildlife refuge with a beautiful water-mill Pantan on the north side of the beach.
The Okrug beach – the most popular beach on Trogir’s Riviera, 5 km far from the centre of Trogir. This two km long gravel beach is also called “Trogir’s Copacabana”. Many beach bars and few restaurants keep this place alive during the night.
The Kava beach (in Slatine) – it is situated on the end of the east side of Ciovo, 12 km far from the centre of Trogir, and it is one of unspoiled natural beauties.Only minus for this beach is that you have to pass through a village Slatine and drive little more than 4 km to the east along mostly gravel and, on some places, very rough road.
The Medena beach – 4 km far from the centre of Trogir Medena beach is 3 km ling gravel beach, surrounded by pine wood, and with a variety of sport offer.
How to get there ?
Trogir is very well connected by road, air and sea. The city is situated just next to the Adriatic highway which connects the south of Croatia with the Europe. If you arrive from the north, the main road D1 that goes from Zagreb, over Karlovac, Gracac and Knin, will get you to Trogir. If you arrive from Italy, you should take the Adriatic highway over Rijeka, Senj, Zadar and Šibenik.
Split airport is just 3km away form town center.
Approximately 30 km far from Trogir center there is also a bigger transit centre Split. Split is a town which has extraordinary good bus-connections with every country in Europe, a railway station and a port in which both merchant and passenger ships put to shore.
Every 20 minutes there is a regular bus line from Split to Trogir of a local bus company “Promet” – a bus number 37.
Mild dfferences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year round what classifies Trogir in a Mediterranean-type climate. During May, June, July, August and September you will have a nice average temperature while rainy season is seen in May, June, October, November and December, on average, the warmest month is August and the coolest month is January.