Tag Archives: Split

On This Day – Tower Of Terror in Trogir, Croatia

While the current travel restrictions are in place I have no new stories to post so what I thought that I would do is to go through my picture archives and see where I was on this day at any time in the last few travelling years.

On 8th June 2009 I was in Croatia visiting the medieval town of Trogir…

Trogir Waterfront

Trogir is about fifteen miles north of Split and is the best preserved Romanesque-Gothic complex not only in the Adriatic, but also in all of Central Europe and inevitably therefore a UNESCO World heritage site.   It was mid morning when we arrived and the town was already very busy.  The old city is built on a little island, only separated from the mainland by a few yards and with access to it over a small bridge.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers

Today we were planning to visit Split but as we were preparing to catch the ten o’clock bus the clouds began their relentless march inland and the heavens opened again and we watched as first Brač and then Split itself slipped from view under a thick grey shroud.

When it had slowed from a downpour to a drizzle I was sent to the shop down the road to get supplies in case we were forced to spend the day in the room, which at that point seemed like a distinct possibility.  At the shop I couldn’t remember which beer I preferred, was it Karlovačko, Ožujsko or Laško so I bought one of each so that I could try them all just to be sure.

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Entrance Tickets – Trogir Cathedral

Trogir Cathedral Croatia

After paying the entrance fees I was delighted to spot a door to a spiral staircase and a climb to the top of the bell tower.  There was a large sign that stated that going to the top was at the visitors own risk and absolving the church of all responsibilities.  We were about to find out why!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Split-Second Story

In 2009 I visited the Croatian City of Split for the second time…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Up Top

Now that the rain had stopped we walked along the quayside as far as the old medieval castle that stands guard (or at least used to stand guard) at one end of the island.  It wasn’t open so after walking around the walls we headed directly back to the centre of the town where it started to rain again.  It was time for more shelter so we chose the grandest building in the town, the thirteenth century church of St. Lawrence, which is the most significant work of the Romanesque-Gothic style in Croatia.

After paying the entrance fees I was delighted to spot a door to a spiral staircase and a climb to the top of the bell tower.  There was a large sign that stated that going to the top was at the visitors own risk and absolving the church of all responsibilities.  We were about to find out why!

The first third of the climb was straightforward and uneventful up the sort of staircase that we have negotiated many times but then the stone staircase stopped abruptly at a first level and the next part of the climb was up a set of precarious wooden steps that had a handrail but nothing else to prevent a careless visitor falling through and ending up in a tangle of broken bones on the stone floor at the bottom of the tower.

Worse than that was the prospect of slipping and falling the other way which would have involved a fall through an open stone window and onto the court yard below with little real prospect of survival.  During the fatal fall however there would have been some excellent views because the higher the steps climbed the view over the roof tops towards the sea on one side and the mountains on the other got better and better.

This was more like the Tower of Terror than the Tower of Trogir.  At the top of the hazardous wooden stairs was a second level where the bells were and then some even more dangerous iron stairs to negotiate to complete the climb to the very top of the tower which involved a struggle through a small opening without any handrails at all and which opened out into the final level where there was time to enjoy the spectacular views and to contemplate and reflect on just how perilous this climb was and to worry about getting back down again.

This was even more unnerving than going up because it was now possible to see just how precarious the decrepit steps were.  The iron was rusting away, the wood was decaying and holding all of this lot up was a series of concrete plinths that looked as though they were in imminent danger of collapse.  Generally I like climbing towers but I wouldn’t tackle this one again in a hurry and I can confess to having been genuinely concerned and very, very pleased to get back to the bottom.

Weekly Photo Challenge: UP

Trogir, Croatia and the Tower of Terror!

The first third of the climb was straightforward and uneventful up the sort of staircase that we have negotiated many times but then the stone staircase stopped abruptly at a first level and the next part of the climb was up a set of precarious wooden steps that had a handrail but nothing else to prevent a careless visitor falling through and ending up in a tangle of broken bones on the stone floor at the bottom of the tower.

Worse than that was the prospect of slipping and falling the other way which would have involved a fall through an open stone window and onto the court yard below with little real prospect of survival.  During the fatal fall however there would have been some excellent views because the higher the steps climbed the view over the roof tops towards the sea on one side and the mountains on the other got better and better.

This was more like the Tower of Terror than the Tower of Trogir.  At the top of the hazardous wooden stairs was a second level where the bells were and then some even more dangerous iron stairs to negotiate to complete the climb to the very top of the tower which involved a struggle through a small opening without any handrails at all and which opened out into the final level where there was time to enjoy the spectacular views and to contemplate and reflect on just how perilous this climb was and to worry about getting back down again.

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A Life in Ruins – Diocletian’s Palace, Split

After we arrived we walked along the recently improved pedestrian area next to the harbour with its rows of bars and cafes and immaculate gardens and lawns and then we retraced our steps from the previous visit and went back into Diocletian’s Palace.

Diocletian became Emperor or Rome in 284AD and set out to reorganise the huge Empire that had become unwieldy difficult to control.  His solution was to split the Empire in two between east and west to make it more manageable and after governing for twenty years he became the first Emperor to resign the position and he built the massive palace for his retirement after abdicating in 305 AD.  When it was built one of its four gates led directly to a quay side but the new promenade has separated the Palace from the sea and the entrance is now through the Palace basement and past a row of market stall vendors.

The palace was built as a massive structure, much like a Roman military fortress with walls two hundred metres long and twenty metres high, enclosing an area of thirty-eight thousand Square metres and it is one of the best preserved Roman palaces in existence because after the fall of the Romans it effectively became the city of Spalatum which eventually became Split and today it continues to host the old town even though there is some very recent unfortunate and rather inappropriate construction inside.

We sat for a while in the sunshine in the People’s Square just outside the Palace gates and planned the remainder of the day.  After a final visit to the Palace for blue sky photographs we left the city and returned to the car stopping at a Konzum supermartket on the way for supplies.

We were staying at the Pink Inn again tonight and Iveska seemed pleased to see us.  Her rooms were immaculately clean and prepared with an obsessive fussiness but this was a charming place and one that I would be most happy to return to again.  All around there were big clouds but fortunately the Pink Inn was under a puddle of blue sky just perfect for sitting on the balcony and enjoying the views of the sea and the endless procession of boats and ships coming and going from the busy port of Split just a few kilometres away.

As the sun started to slide away the temperature began to drop so this was an opportunity for a final walk along the beach and the rocks and a more thorough inspection of the Hotel Meridian.  This was a seriously posh hotel and we drew a few looks of disapproval as we wandered around the lobbies and bars in our best island hopping grunge clothing.  I knew that we had gone too far when we arrived at the Casino with an entrance guarded by a doorman in an expensive suit and a glamorous hostess in a cocktail dress.  I casually enquired about opening hours and when I had got the answer we moved off quickly and returned to the beach.   I’m afraid that I’m not really all that impressed by five star hotels, they always seem so impersonal and pretentious and I was glad to get back to the charming little room at the Pink Inn.

Later we returned to the fish restaurant across the road that was busier tonight but there wasn’t a wedding in the function room to entertain us.  After another fine and inexpensive fish meal, the sixth in six nights, we returned to the balcony at the room and watched an impressive light show over the island of Brač courtesy of a massive electrical storm and we were pleased that we weren’t on the islands tonight.

Croatia, Cavtat

As usual the Easyjet flight was late taking off and also arriving so added to its statistic on late or delayed flights that Michael O’Leary delights in gloating over when he provides benchmark statistics in the Ryanair in-flight magazine each month.  Easyjet are frustratingly relaxed about flight times and I think on the whole I prefer the Ryanair approach.

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Croatia, Trogir Tower of Terror

We were heading for the town of Trogir, which is about twenty kilometres north of Split and is the best preserved Romanesque-Gothic complex not only in the Adriatic, but also in all of Central Europe and inevitably is a UNESCO World heritage site.   It was mid morning when we arrived and the town was already very busy.  The old city is built on a little island, only separated from the mainland by a few metres and with access to it over a small bridge.  This is a popular visitor attraction and parking is inevitably at a premium and at fifteen Kuna an hour easily the most expensive of the week.

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Croatia, Split and Diocletian’s Palace

After we arrived we walked along the recently improved pedestrian area next to the harbour with its rows of bars and cafes and immaculate gardens and lawns and then we retraced our steps from the previous visit and went back into Diocletian’s Palace.

Read the full story…