Salona (Colonia Martia Iulia Salona in Roman times), is the cradle of Roman Dalmatia and its former capital city. It is located near Split. Although its origins date back to the 4th century BC, only with the coming of the Romans in the 1st century did the city become so important—as a port, political, military and trade center with some 60,000 inhabitants!  Three times larger than Pompeii and surely more lavish, more than 90% of the city is still buried, a sad testament to its illustrious past. But the sense of majesty is still here, including the carcass of an almost completely vandalized amphitheatre (the Venetians being the last bandits, removing as much of its marble as possible). With so little left standing, some of the most interesting intact artifacts are some splendid sarcophogi adorned with gorgeous carvings and early Christian remains.  Salona is also thought to be the birthplace of Diocles, a commoner who joined the Roman army and rose through the ranks to become a general and later the Emperor Diocletian. In the 6th and 7thC,  Salona fell to Avars and Slavs from the north and was almost completely destroyed by successive invasions. Centuries later, Croats settled in the ruined and abandoned parts of Salona but never forgot its historical significance. Successive Croatian rulers eventually established the Croatian city of Solin, which Salona is called today, and re-built many of the churches and public buildings.

Tourist Office

Trg Ivana Pavla II. Br. 1,

21220 Trogir
Tel. +385 21 881 412
Fax: +385 21 881 412

–Salona doesn’t have its own, but these folks will help

Our favorite links

–the official historical site, very detailed, with photos and e-mail for more information


Practically every agency offers half-day and full-day tours from Split. Don’t be put off by the heavily traveled commercial/industrial jumble that surrounds the site. Do come prepared to walk around a lot in wide open spaces offering little protection from the sun, so wear a hat, bring water! Best bet is a private guide to get the most out of this eerily sublime place that really makes you wonder what lies beneath!



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