June 27, 2003
The old Town Hall, dating from the 15th century, bears a striking resemblance to many buildings found in Venice. Its pointed Venetian-style arcade helps it become the graceful landmark of the Narodni Trg, which is the main square or "pjaca". Today the old Town Hall houses the Ethnographic Museum with various historic artifacts. The marble-paved square itself is very pleasant, surrounded by an assortment of shops, cafes and ice cream stands. If you are lucky, you may encounter a group of fun-loving locals singing drinking songs that will make you think you are watching a Croatian version of "Cheers". In nearby Vocni Trg (Vocni Square), there is an octagonal 15th-century Venetian castle tower, but it is shrouded due to construction.
The City Museum of Split is housed in a 15th century palace designed by Croatian architect Juraj Dalmatinac. The interiors are fine, and the front courtyard has an ornate balcony and other artifacts even if you do not enter the museum. If you do go, note that the museum has rather erratic hours.
Just outside of the Golden Gate on the north side of the Palace of Diocletian is a larger than life bronze statue by the great Croatian artist Ivan Mestrovic. It depicts Grgur Ninski, a bishop from the 10th century credited with advancing the Croatian language. Passersby rub the large toe of the sculpture as a good-luck gesture. The flank of walls on the north side of the Palace of Diocletian seems particularly thick.
From journal Bill in Croatia - SPLIT