Croatia is one of the favorite holiday destinations of Poles. It is not surprising, because it is a beautiful country like Luca Modrić's pass to Rodrygo in the match against Chelsea. I must admit that his beauty impresses even on an old traveler like me. I visit Croatia every few years to warm my bones in the sun. Some house elves who dislike me say that, from the sun's heat, it prefers the internal rakija, but these are just stupid slander. Whenever I can, I recommend visiting the Adriatic region to all my friends who are looking for a weather guarantee during the holiday season. I am also lucky that on the occasion of one of the trips I came across Domina, a Croatian woman with a flair for …… Polish. It is thanks to her help that I have created a list of things that should be seen, tasted and attended in Croatia. I will be honest with you, the list of top tourist attractions is very long. You know that I don't like to be boring, that's why I decided to divide my entries about this beautiful country into several parts. Today I invite you to the first episode, I present to you interesting places that have been entered on the UNESCO World Heritage Site, so the basic top things to visit in Croatia.
You can find my first set of the most interesting places worth seeing in Croatia on this map.
Diocletian's Palace in Split Croatia
To write that in Croatia it is difficult not to come across a luxury under the patronage of UNESCO, it would be an exaggeration, but probably a small one. It is this organization that will determine the attractions mentioned in this post. I present the first of them, i.e. the residence built by the Roman Emperor Diocletian. You see, this Roman ruler had something of a Pole about him, because it was the area of today's Croatia, that he chose for his summer residence and the place, where he planned to spend his life after his abdication. The impressive building was built using limestone from the island of Brac, local tuffs and brick fired in the Salon. The sculptures, that were the furnishings of the palace, were even pulled from Egypt. It is hard to miss the palace, even a dwarf like me will find it easily, because it is located practically in the center of Split and stretches along the seaside promenade. There are four gates, named after ores, leading to the building. One of them is Gold so I could feel a bit like in my beloved Gdańsk. It was this gate, that was intended for the emperor and his family, and today I, Gajdek, a modest dwarf, can walk through it. The other three gates are as beautiful as the imperial one and there are beautiful views behind them. The palace itself offers a feast for the eyes and is full of attractions. Three things made a special impression on me. The first is the Temple of Jupiter inside it, for example after the figure of St. John the Baptist, you can see that the emperor did not have a snake in his pocket, but my favorite thing is to sit on the shoulder of the Sphinx. I imagine that I am a cashier. who only lets in those, who answer my question correctly. Another place I like to visit is the Mausoleum. I like that you can find various styles inside: a baroque altar, a medieval chapel of St. Anastasius, the Romanesque bell tower and the ancient relyph. I usually end my stay in the palace with a jackdaw in my hand in the central square called Peristil. It was here, that the subjects gathered to listen to the emperor. It is well preserved and very much resembles similar squares in Rome, so sometimes you get the impression that you are not in Split but the capital of Italy.
Cathedral of Saint James in Šibenik
Another monument on the UNESCO list. It is considered a model combination of gothic and renaissance architecture by smarter art experts than me. I am still surprised, however, how it is possible that this building, built in 1536, did not collapse, although no mortars were used during its creation. The cathedral is surrounded by 70 carved human heads, apparently modeled on the faces of real inhabitants of Šibenik. It was the first time I met an angel… ..wind vane here. This is what the statue on the church roof performs. You must also enter the Cathedral of St. James - it is impressive. By the way, if during your visit to this part of the country on Sunday morning you came across the Church of St. John the Baptist in Szybernik, you will have the opportunity to participate in the Holy Mass in Polish.
Dubrovnik - the old town
It is a place so beautiful that a simple dwarf like me cannot describe it in words, while also being one of the main tourist attractions in Croatia. When you visit them for the first time, you have the feeling of crossing some boundary in space-time, behind which there is a land from several hundred years ago. This atmosphere is enhanced by the fact that the historic square in Dubrovnik is surrounded by defensive walls like a medieval settlement. Two fortresses tower over the gates leading to the Old Town: Minčeta from the north and Bokar from the south. The former, due to its beauty, has become a symbol of Dubrovnik. The most popular street in the city is Stradun, but I usually avoid it and enjoy the historical atmosphere, while walking along the winding side streets. I try to lead my trips in such a way as to cool down for a while with the breeze of the Onofrio fountains, one of the most beautiful I have ever seen in my life. Music lovers will be interested in the Franciscan monastery in which various concerts are held throughout the year. I recommend the Old Town, also after dark, then numerous theater group performances take place in city squares. For me it is a bit tiring, that drunk tourists often think that I am an actor from the story of a sleeping beauty and dwarfs. I am sure that you are not affected by this problem and you will be happy to come here because it is definitely worth visiting the city center in Dubrovnik.
One of the most beautiful islands in the world according to the Traveler magazine, and I cannot disagree with it. Not that I know all the islands, but simply Hvar has everything I need to live. In less than 300 square kilometers you will find beautiful villages with a soul, a mild climate all year round and a great culinary experience. Hvar is often called the Lavender island because this plant and its specific aroma is the dominant crop, thanks to which our eyes enjoy the purple fields growing in the season. The island's capital is the city of the same name, which boasts the longest history of organized tourism in Croatia. The first hotel was built here in 1848. My favorite place in Hvar town is St. Stephen from the 15th century. Walking through it, you can meet numerous gems, for example a well from the 16th century or a Venetian arsenal at the top of which the oldest city theater in Europe functioned. As you know from previous entries, physical condition is not my forte, especially when it comes to climbing. However, the view from the Španjola fortress on the top overlooking the city is worth every drop of sweat, that you leave while climbing. When mentioning the island of Hvar, it is impossible not to mention a place so old, that its age makes the impression even of long-lived gnomes. Of course, I am talking about 'Stari Grad' created in 384 B.N.E. that is, as some say when Aristotle was born. It is the perfect place for a one-day trip. Walking through the colorful narrow streets once again in Croatia, I had the feeling that time has stopped. The feeling was so strong that I was surprised that in the inn I was told to pay for a jug of wine and seafood with a credit card and not with a silver coin. The island of Hvar is the perfect destination in Croatia for a great vacation.
Old Town in Trogir
Trogir's old town is a kind of an island in the shape of a viper head, of course also included on the UNESCO list. It is separated from the mainland by the Moat and the Trogir Channel. No one will be surprised that this Croatian city has gained the name of Little Venice. Even as a dwarf, I must admit that its area is not too large. However, it is so charming, that if we want to admire all the wonders that pass, our pace is very slow and we need a lot of time to see everything. I was the most impressed by the Cathedral of St. Lawrence, a church which construction began in 1193 and ended several hundred years later. This gives an amazing effect of a marriage of different styles. The belfry itself was built for 200 years, and each floor has its own unique character. What particularly delighted me during the visit, were the reliefs depicting biblical scenes. The second place that you must visit is the Ćipiko Palace, the name of which comes from the richest family, for whom this building was erected, actually two buildings connected by a bridge. Whenever I am here, I think that such rich people have a great life, one will argue with his wife and use the footbridge to the other house, to watch the match in peace. The most characteristic architectural element of the palace are three-part windows with a stone balustrade, often decorated with angels.
Basilica of Euphrasius
Another unique monument inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It owes its name to the bishop in whose time (6th century) the development of this sacred complex took place. You know when someone says about some rich looking place that it is a "Byznantium". In this case, there is no metaphor, the momentum with which Euphrasius set up the basilica, means that in this case we are dealing with a masterpiece of Byznatian art. The bishop himself had an ego comparable in size to the building he created, because his name appears in the church 93 times. This number is not accidental as the sum of 9 + 3 was considered magical. After entering the basilica, at the end of the main nave in the apse, the eye is caught by a wonderful Byzantine mosaic. The symbolism characteristic of eastern iconography and the hierarchical arrangement of figures on the mosaic represent the order of the world. However, this is a simplified order, because it does not show, for example, wise gnomes. It does not change the fact, that when you look at the layered graphics, you get the feeling that you are communing with the art of the highest quality. If you still do not have enough contact with the works, you will find a bishop's palace next to it, where you will find works from different historical periods, believe me, it is a real feast for the eyes.
This is where I finish my first entry about Croatia, UNESCO sponsored it today, actually it wasn't, but you can always dream. On the other hand, in each of the points I have presented, you will find an attraction that is on the world heritage list of this organization. Of course, this is just a tiny fraction of the tourist attractions, that will take your breath away. You will find here many islands and islets, Plitvice lakes national park or other national parks such as KRKA, Zlatni Rat beach, mountains, sea and whatever you can wish for. I will try to describe to you more interesting places and my experiences while Croatia travel.
For those who, like me, are already looking for flights to the adriatic coast, I have a surprise. Routes made by my friends. Two of them were created by the aforementioned Domina, who first shows us the capital Zagreb, the city she loves,
Then he takes us on a journey of time to bring us closer to the capital of the Dalmatian coast, i.e. Split,
Finally, Adam Żurek takes us on a walk around Trogir, who will want to convince us that it is the most beautiful city in Croatia.