On April 10th, 304, it is said that the patron saint of Split, Saint Domnius, met his death, reports Dalmacija News on April 10, 2017.
Every city has its symbols, and it's not neccessary they are centuries old, or as big as Egyptian pyramid. Split has many symbols, its historical heritage and Diocletian Palace are just too strong to be replaced by anything. There are also those small landmarks, places every visitor will remember. One of those is the scaled model of the old town, Diocletian Palace and historical city core protected by UNESCO. This model is usual starting point for all guided tours, the easiest way to make visitors sense the space, to realize where they are.
It's been there, on the same position, since 2006, and tourists just love it, guides use it as a tool, locals meet next to it. Until someone decided it needs a cerain remodelling. Local daily Slobodna Dalmacija found out that someone not very smart torn a model of Saint Domnius bell tower, and did it by using pretty big force, since even parts of scaled imperial square Peristil were destroyed. Why, and who? It can be fixed, of course, damage is not enormous. It's more like "what kind of moron one has to be?"
The biggest Split day has arrived! City will celebrate its patron Saint Domnius day on Wednesday, and it will be the highlight of days-long festivities. Here is what to expect, where to go and what to see.
Diocletian's Palace substructures host Floral Fair, one of the oldest in Croatia, and by far the one in the most spectacular scenery. Roman building and tons of flowers and floral artworks - this must be great.
On Peristil, tonight (Tuesday), Split-native singer Tedi Spalato joins few Dalmatian traditional singing groups on a free concert.
All day Tuesday and Wednesday, Riva will be a place for arts and crafts fair, always nice place to buy traditional products. Regarding that, it's good to know that one of the Saint Domnius festivity customs is to buy something made of wood, like spoons, cutting board, toys, just anything. Of cours, there is also plenty of traditional food around on the fair.
Main thing is on Wednesday. Centuries old procession starts from the Cathedral at 10 am, and goes through Silver (Eastern) gate, than down to Riva, and accross it to the main stage where Holy Mass dedicated to Saint Domnius will be held. Thousands are expected on Riva, and around the old town, good day for browsing Split, to feel its spirit.
Wednesday afternoon, Riva again, public tombola is playing - another great custom. And at night, on the main stage, pop concert by some of leading Croatian stars Neno Belan and Marijan Ban, both Split-born. And, for the end, big fireworks.
Split knows how to celebrate its patron saint. Last days before Saint Domnius festivities, another tradition lives on. Climber Ivica Matkovic climbed on the top of Cathedral's bell tower to raise a Croatian flag, followed by many people gathered on Peristil square, both locals and tourists. Matkovic climbed the 57 meters high tower from the outside, using only his hands to go up the pillons, and arches of the tower. Of course, he was secured with the rope, but that didn't make his achievement a bit easier.
Neither strong wind couldn't stop him, and when he climbed on top of the cross on top of the roof on top of the tower, that wasn't enough for him, he stood up, and waved down to the crowd. Even sit on cross and rested a little with head down.
Here is the whole route, step by step.
There is only short time until the most solemn day in Split, dedicated to Saint Domnius, city's patron saint. As usual, it's far beyond a religious event, a true festa.
Full program was just revealed, and it's really rich, with concerts, folklore performances, exhibitions, fairs, sporting events. Of course, the highlight is the procession on Saint Domnius day, that goes from the Cathedral, around Diocletian's Palace, accross Riva. At the most western part of Riva holy mass will be held on May 7.
To cut a long story short, here is complete schedule of the most important events.
April 28 - May 5: Saint Domnius Cathedral, nine-day preparations in honour of Saint Domnius - Holly masses at 7 pm, spiritual music concert at 8 pm
May 3 at 9 pm: Cathedral krypt, Passion of Saint Domnius
May 6 at 6 pm: Saint Domnius Cathedral, opening of Saint Domnius reliquary and evening mass
May 7 at 10 am: from Peristil to Riva, Saint Domnius Procession and Holly mass
May 1, at 8.30 pm: Riva (Waterfront promenade), performance by folklore group Ivan Goran Kovačić from Zagreb, Croatia
May 2, 8.30 pm: Riva (Waterfront promenade), Performance by folklore group Jedinstvo, Split
May 3, at 7 pm: Riva, music program Disco Inferno Magic
May 3, at 10 pm: Peristil, Night of Tango
May 4, at 8.30 pm: Riva, performance by folklore group Brodosplit, Split
May 5, at 9 pm: Riva, rock concert - Justin's Johnson (Split, Croatia)
May 6 at 8.30 pm: Riva, performance by folklore society Filip Devic, Split
May 6, at 9.30 pm: Peristil, gala concert of Dalmatian traditional klapa singing, featuring Tedi Spalato (Split, Croatia)
May 7 at 5 pm: Riva, children's concert "A Word Remains To The Youth"
May 7, at 9 pm: Riva, fireworks show and rock concert of Croatian stars Neno Belan & Fiumens, and Marjan Ban & Diktatori
May 2-3, 8.30 pm: Uvodica Sirina, traditional festa of Saint Cross parish
May 4, at 12 pm: Cathedral's bell tower, Climbers raising a flag to the tower's top
May 6 and 7: Riva, Saint Domnius fair of art and crafts
May 6 at 8 pm: Diocletian's Palace Substructures, Floral Show opening
May 7 at 12.30 pm: Fish market, Festival of food and wine
Art and culture
May 2, 4 pm: Split City Museum, A Split History Revived; Photographing in Baroque Era Costumes
May 2 and 3, 8 pm: Croatian National Theatre Split, operette Spli'ski akvarel (Split Aquarelle)
May 3, at 5.30: Bozulica dvori, Evening of Dalmatian dialectal poetry
May 3, at 9 am: Spinut, University Rowing Championship, with participation of 16 european universities, including Oxford and Cambridge
May 3, at 2 pm: Riva - Marjan, 14th Saint Domnius half-marathon
May 4, at 10 am: Riva-Marjan-Riva, humanitarian bicycle race
May 4, at 12 pm: City Harbour, 13th International rowing regatta of Saint Domnius, with participation of eights from Split, Oxford and Cambridge
We already announced rowing race that will happen in Split harbour during celebration of city's patron saint Saint Domnius, with participation of rowing eights from Oxford and Cambridge. Now we learned it will have interesting and fun introduction, Lighthouse Disco right in the middle of the port, in front of Port Authority building. As announced on the official Facebook event page, it will happen on May 3, starting at 9 pm, with some old school disco music.
In the next few days, a video on YouTube is about to premier. To make things even better, event is completely free, but to get in you will have to obtain a ticket available on several locations throughout city.
And, as organizers suggested, don't forget your favorite sport sweat-suit, in colours as shining as possible.
For every Christian, Palm Sunday is one of the holliest day, and a part of Easter celebration. In Split, it is always special. Old custom is to take olive branches in churches for blessing, they are more important symbol of this holiday than palms, because of the olive peace symbolism, and as a plant that is so authentic in Dalmatia. Even the name of the holiday in Croatian is different, it's Cvjetna nedjelja, or "Floral Sunday". Of course, palms are still there, to metaphorically salute Christ on his entrance to Jerusalem.
And if you can do all the ceremonies in what is probably the world's oldest cathedral, it's even more special. Split Saint Domnius cathedral once was the emperor Diocletian's mausoleum, turned into a church in early Medieval times. That's irony, a thomb of the emperor who prosecuted Christian became a Christian cathedral. Split archbishop held a holy mass in the cathedral this Sunday, and when bells rang in the morning it brought an atmosphere of holyness in the city.