Diocletian's Palace
Tour of Zadar
Tour of Opatija
Tour of Moscenicka
Roman Amphitheater at Pula
Tour of Rovjini

The ferry returned us to the mainland at Split after our days on Hvar.
The main attraction in Split is Diocletian's Palace.  Diocletian built the massive palace in preparation for his retirement on 1 May 305 AD.

To the right is an artist's rendition of what the palace looked like.  Of course the palace is not there any longer in this form but it is still sort of there built into the city.

Above you see the seaside wall of the palace with a row of shops in front of it and some apartment buildings behind the wall, both still making use the Roman construction.

Inside the palace is a warren of shops, houses, and lanes.

Pieces of the third century palace just seem to sit around in random locations.
More ruins built into the fabric of the city.
The outside wall of the palace.  The place was huge.
This is a typical view from inside the palace.
On the drive to Opatija and the Istria Peninsula we drove back into the highlands. 

We stopped on a rest stop near Gospic which had nice views of a lake and a town on the lake.  
  We stopped for a tour in the town of Zadar.

An interesting attraction is the Zadar Sea Organ.  Basically water pressure form the waves creates the sound.

You can listen to the sea organ in several You Tube videos.

Otherwise the main attractions in Zadar are a collection of churchs built around a Roman Forum. 

We went in a Serbian Orthodox Church which I believe is St. Elias.  It had quite a collection of 16th century icons.
This is the church of St. Mary  
This is the Cathedral of St. Anastasia. 
The museum at the cathedral had a large and beautiful collection of relics. 

Personally I don't know what to make of this veneration of body parts.  On the one hand it seems so strange.  On the other if you had a lock of Michael Jackson's hair I'm sure you could get a high price for it at auction.  So maybe we aren't really any different.

Anyway the Catholic veneration of relics is explained here is you want to look into it.
At the end of a long day of driving and touring we arrive at the Hotel Bristol in Opatija.
In the morning we tour Park Angiolina surrounding the Villa Angiolina.

Once the property of Iginio Scarpa, a great lover of nature, many plants were brought from the Far East, South America, Australia and other parts of the world.

The central Opatija park is a horticultural monument covering an area of 3.64 hectares. It is divided into 60 fields and about 159 plant species grow here.
Further into the park is St. Jakov's Church.

Built on the foundations of the past Benedictine monastery, it is mentioned for the first time in 1439. To the left, near the church, the monastery and the cloister are located , with a well in the middle. Between the church and the monastery stands the stone bell-tower. 
The park ends by connecting to the water front promenade that extends through the town.
The promenade wanders for more than 7 miles along the sea side.
We drove into the mountains to the town of Moscenice.

I lifted this picture from the internet. 
Mosćenice is an incredibly well preserved medieval town which houses about 200 people.

The town is a collection of narrow streets, passages, stairways, balconies, small windows and arches that were mostly built during the 13th and 14th century and remained the same until today.
Next day was a full day of touring the Istrian Peninsula.

The main stop was Pula to see the Roman amphitheater.

The Pula Amphitheater is one of the six largest Roman amphitheaters in the world. Erected in the 1st century during the reign of Emperor Vespasian, it was primarily used for gladiator fights in front of 20,000 spectators.

Click for a You Tube video I took while standing in the middle of the arena.

The outer wall of the amphitheater.
The amphitheaters had an extensive underground network that allow performers and sets to be inserted into the action at various locations.
I thought the amphitheater was an amazing thing to see.  After 2,000 years the walls are still standing.
Outside you could get a sense of the size of the building.
We finished the day with a visit to Rovinj another medieval village on the Adriatic.
One of numerous ancient streets running through the town.

Go to Venice

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