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The history of Salona

 

Salona is a Croatian town, today known as Solin. It's name has roots in the Illyrian language. Back in the history, this name is mentioned for the first time in the year 119th BC, during the war between the Romans and the Ilyrians. The beginning of this settlement has happen much earlier. Ancient Greek geographer Strabo said that Salona was the port of the Illyrian tribes of Dalmatia, who probably traded there with the Greek sailors. The remains of the ramparts, Greek objects found in Salona and surrounding area, indicate that the Greeks are the founders of the city. Some say that the beginning of the discovery was in the 4th century before Christ. Obviously, the Salona's strong Greek influence has been there very early, and it is rightly said for the first time Salona was a Greco-Illyrian settlement. In the first century BC, Salona was conquered by the Romans. In the civil war between Caesar and Pompey, the city of Salona sided with Caesar, as it won, so the city has been promoted to a colony, officially called "Colonia Martia Julia Salona." The city has been expanding to the east and west , but also within two new parts beside the older Greco-Roman Ilirian west and east. Therefore, from that time writers meet the plural of the city's name - Salonae.

 

When the Illyria has been arranged as a Roman province, Salona became the cultural, economic, political, and a military center. In later centuries, it was the ecclesiastical center of the province. In Diocletian's time, there were many martyrs.

 

The fact that Diocletian, born in Salona or its surroundings, had build the palace, also build Salona's reputation of this already Centre. This has been testified by it's large port and numerous roads connecting him to other parts of the empire.

 

Last three centuries of old Salona are caracterised by the development of a strong Christian community in the city and its impact on the entire province. Solonian bishop, became Metropolitan of the province of Dalmatia. At that time, a gradual invasions of barbarian people, some of whom, such as the Ostrogoths ever-after the fifth century, came from all over the region and further. While the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Salon, finding it relatively far from the main roads of their penetration, still alive 130 years after, gave shelter to some of the last West Roman emperors. The city was destroyed by the Avars and Slavs around AD 614 year. Citizens who managed to escape, hid on the islands of the Diocletian's palace. It began a life in a new city, today known as - Split.

 

Until today, the old town Solin remains in ruins, but those ruins still show the importance of its size and significance. If you look at the layout of the city, you can see that it has a quite irregular shape, and resembles to an ellipse. Longest axis of the ruins reaches about 1600 meters, and the widest one reaches about 700 meters. The area enclosed by the walls has 72 acres total. In the second century AD, while the danger of the macromans has till been present, the newer part of the city was the first core, surrounded by the walls and fortified towers. Since then, the scope of Salona's walls reaches about 4 miles, and 90 towers total. In the 6th century, during the Byzantine-Gothic wars, some towers were reinforced and given a triangular ends that are seen even today.

 

 

Solin today – the location

 

Solin is situated near the mouth of the river Jadro, 5 km northeast of Split. It consists of three separate parts: the central part of the intersection (Mitnica) to Split, Trogir and Klis (residential and commercial areas of Solin), Majdan, a small valley in the upper course of the river Jadro, a cement factory, and the lower side (St. Kaja ), about 1.5 kilometers west of the central part, on the road to Trogir, with plants and industrial facilities. It is located between the bottom side and the central part of Solin's ancient part called Salona. Alos, it is located beside the main road (M11.03, E71) Split-Sinj.

 

Distance: 
Solin - Split  3 km
Solin - Zagreb 385 km
Solin - Rijeka 369 km
Solin - Osijek 480 km
Solin - Dubrovnik 225 km

 

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