There is a lot to do, see and try while in Split. And if you spend enough time in this town, get to know a bunch of local people, you will hear and notice many unique things that will stay in your memory forever. That is Split’s heartbeat.
Along with the stubbornness that you will encounter on every corner and in all the heads (not just in human head: the seagulls, pigeons, cats, dogs, they all have it in Split), there comes that irresistible spice that goes perfectly with the stubbornness: irony.
One of the biggest ironic stories in Split (no, it has nothing to do with Alanis Morissette) is the one that makes tens of thousands people gather on the main Split promenade every year in May, on feast day of our patron saint, st. Duje.
This catholic feast is celebrated on the seventh day of May: a big procession, mass, a fair, bingo, music concert and fireworks, that is how it goes in Split, in short. But the celebration is not the thing we focused on, the big irony is not there, but lies far away in the past, in the story that explains how Duje got that “st.” before his name.
Duje was a christian preacher who came to Split territory to speak about Christ. The problem was he did it while Diocletian was the emperor of the Roman empire – the empire that was a polytheistic state. The emperor didn’t like the “there is only one god” and “we are all equal” theory, so (the story says) in 304 AD he ordered his guys to kill Duje. Emperor Diocletian died a decade later and was put into a beautiful sarcophagus and situated in his beautiful mausoleum, in the middle of his palace – the palace that today everyone comes to see in Split.
Diocletian was (so the story says) the biggest prosecutor of Christians, but after his death time brought big change to Roman empire: Christianity became very popular and soon the emperor realized he needs that huge number of people on his side. That is how Christianity became the only permitted religion in Roman empire. And that is how Christians got the “permission” to turn all the “pagan” temples into churches and – yes, you are guessing it right – to throw Diocletian out of his mausoleum and turn it into a church, plus later into a cathedral. No, that is not all: Duje was proclaimed a saint and his remains were put in a beautiful sarcophagus and brought – well you know where: into the new church/cathedral.
Now, if you don’t call that historic twist irony than there must be something wrong with the dictionary you’re using.
You will find and hear many great stories about Split, you can read about them, or talk about them, the choice is yours, just take care that you make a reservation for a table in Mazzgoon food restaurant because the best place to talk about Split, to celebrate (the patron saint and everything else) and discover Split (by tasting) is well known and many want to have a peace of it.
Mazzgoon food is the best restaurant in Split. Your place. To eat and to love.