Split, second biggest town in Croatia, is known for its vibrant city center that is located “inside” the Diocletian’s palace, built by the Roman emperor Diocletian. Today, the Roman palace, the old medieval town next to the palace and the buzzing activity of a typical coastal town work all together to create this fusion of “being in every historical period at once, plus being in the busiest passengers’ port in Croatia”. It is certainly a place you can’t miss in our country. But in this “Sunday trip” I invite you to go out from the Split city center just for a little bit…
Let me just say it – it’s a gallery of sculptures. But before you shut me down, even if you’re not interested in sculptures, or art for that matter, it is certainly a place I would recommend, if you’re looking to escape the city center and enjoy a nice walk by the coast of the Adriatic sea. You really don’t have to go that far from the city center, you just have to reach the “other side” of the Marjan hill, if you’re going from the center. I invite you to the Gallery of Ivan Meštrović.
This place is monumental! Ivan Meštrović is one of the most known Croatian artists, sculptors and architects. He left a legacy of his sculptures all over Croatia and other countries of the world. In the city center of Split itself, you’ll find the enormous sculpture of the bishop Gregory of Nin, like in the photo that I used to announce these May tours.
If you’re from Chicago, you probably know two bronze Indians, the gatekeepers of the Grant Park. They are Meštrović’s work.
The Spearman, photo by Einar Einarsson Kvaran.
If you’re already admiring sculptures of Meštrović, you will certainly not want to miss his “house” in Split. In fact, what is today known as the Meštrović Gallery, is a place designed by the author himself. Sometime in 1920s, Meštrović began buying plots in the area of Meje, western part of Split, planning to construct his future residence. The residence eventually became home to many of his sculptures.
You can stay there for hours, admiring this interesting connection between art, architecture and nature. Everything works together, with statues standing monumentally in a green scenery surrounded by the blue color of the sea.
Not far from a gallery is another work of Meštrović, Crikvine-Kaštilac. A couple of minutes walk from the gallery, always by the sea, you’ll find a sacral and artistic ensemble formed on the remains of 16th century buildings.
Certainly, a nice short trip for your days in Split!
Next tour – Monday, on Instagram!
Through a series of photos on Instagram we will admire one Croatian destination each Monday.