Salona – historical site near Split. If you want to spend a day in a beautiful nature and yet get to know some local history, the best thing to do is to make a half day trip to ruins of Salona. Salona was founded by the Illyrian tribe Delmati 2200 years ago. Roman conquered it and then it became the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. The town was originally surrounded by walls to protect the town from the barbarians. The streets were paved , there was squares, temples, baths, theatre and amphitheatre in the town. At its peak, almost 60,000 people lived there. The town was destroyed by Avar and Slav forces and its residents fled to Split and hid inside the Diocletian’s Palace.
What we see today are the ruins of amphitheatre which was built in 2.century A.D. and integrated into the system of town fortifications. The auditorium could accept 17,000 spectators and the whole place could be covered by canvas in case of rain or to protect the people form the sun. In this amphitheatre Christian martyrs lost their lives, but for the most time the fights were between the gladiators, and from 5th century A.D. when such fights were banned, the gladiators continued to fight animals. In the 17th century Venetians demolished it for strategig reasons during the wars against Turks. The Romas enjoyed visiting baths and the most imprtant ones in Salona are those called the Great Thermae, built in the second or beginning of third century A.D.
Walking form the amphitheatre to the Great Thermae, there are also ruins of basilica cemetery from the 4th century dedicated to five Solin martyrs – the priest Asterio and four soldiers who lost their lives during the Diocletian persecutions. This great complex includes This complex includes the remains of the cathedral (basilica urbana) with its octagonal baptistery, bishop’s court and out-houses and the remains of the bishop Honorius basilica with a ground plan in the shape of a Greek cross. The site is called Kapljuč after the streem that runs nearby from the the hill Kozjak.
To really get to know how the Salona citizens lived visit The Archeological museum in Split were different artefacts from the archeological diggings are kept. Salona – historical site near Split