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People’s Square in the Old Town of Split

Main square in Split, People's square

People’s Square in the Old Town of Split – Immerse into a Renaissance Atmosphere

When you stroll along the streets of the Old Town, the heart of Split, you will inevitably stop when you reach People’s Square. It’s a lively place with magnificent Renaissance and Baroque architecture with charming cafes and happy people. This is where you go to see people and to be seen. Just imagine spending a relaxing afternoon or evening there. There is a lot to discover.

The Square’s History

People’s Square or Narodni trg in Croatian is part of the Old Town of Split just a short walk from Diocletian’s Palace, the main historic attraction in the city. During the time of the Roman emperor, the beginning of the 4th century AD, the Peristyle of his palace was the main gathering point. Diocletian would walk along the narrow paved strip between the giant columns and his subject would show their devotion to him.

When the Roman rule was over, people from the local area began moving within the walls of the palatial complex seeking protection and soon the town was growing fast. Citizens needed a bigger gathering place than the Peristyle and this is how People’s Square emerged. It’s been the main meeting spot in the city since the 14th century and its significance is easy to notice to this date. It is surrounded by a plethora of important buildings.

The Beautiful Architecture

Photo by Indiawest, People's square SplitWhen you are in People’s Square in Split, everywhere you look, you will see magnificent architectural examples. The Renaissance clock tower is one of the oldest buildings in the square. The most impressive one is perhaps the 15th century Town Hall. The palace of the aristocratic Karepic family has unique architectural details including the coat of arms. You don’t have to be an expert to appreciate the beauty of the buildings which are now painted in different shades of white, pink and yellow. Just stand in the center of the piazza, as the locals lovingly call it, and take a look around. It’s breathtaking.

The Shops and Cafes

You don’t have to be a shopping enthusiasts to be lured by the pretty boutiques on People’s Square in Split. There are both international and local brands represented in this charming shopping area so you can readily buy something which will remind you of the warm sun and the Adriatic breeze for years to come. If you get tired of shopping and sightseeing at one point, you can enjoy a refreshing drink in one of the cafes on the square. You will appreciate the slow pace of life in the Old Town. There may be street musicians playing nearby to make your experience even more perfect.

The Key Attractions

Photo by James Seith Photography, People's square at nightDon’t miss out on the opportunity to take a photo with the famous clock tower. The tower was actually built by the Romans and the clock was erected on its ruins. The restored sundial is gorgeous and completely accurate too.
The Town Hall is no longer used for administrative and ceremonial purposes. It is an ethnographic museum now. Go inside to discover how the people of Split have lived over the centuries. There are frequent visiting art and historic exhibitions in the museum, especially during the summer months. It’s a good idea to check what’s on offer in advance to ensure that you will devote enough time to this attraction.

Another key attraction in the area of People’s Square in the Old Town of Split is the 17th century Cindro Palace. It is one of the best examples of Baroque architecture in the entire region. The majestic balcony entrances and stone wall will take you on a travel back in time. It’s easy to feel like royalty in the place where one of the leading noble families of the city, Cindro, have lived. It was also the residence of Marshall Marmoset who served under Napoleon in the beginning of the 1800’s.

Anytime is the best time to visit People’s Square in Split. If you’ve just been exploring Diocletian’s Palace and are at the Peristyle, go west along Kresimirova through the Iron Gate and you will immediately be there. If you are planning to go out and dance the night away, you can enjoy refreshments in one of the cafes to prepare for the big party.

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