Representing Croatian destinations: Trogir

The town of Trogir is located in central Dalmatia 25 km west of Split, at the northwestern end of the Kaštela Bay. It is the center of the Trogir micro-region, which occupies an area of ​​250 km2. According to the 2011. census, the city of Trogir has 13.192 inhabitants.

Major branches of the economy are agriculture (especially until 1950’s), tourism, shipbuilding or work in one of the many quarries.

On the islet between the mainland and the island of Čiovo in the Bronze and Iron Ages, a settlement was formed, while on the surrounding hills there were fortified settlements – hillforts. In the vicinity of Trogir, large burial mounds have been preserved, including the one on the top of the Plošnjak hill and the so-called The prince’s crowd in Velo (Kaštela) polje. In 2. century is mentioned Tragurion, a settlement of Greek colonists from Issa (Vis), although the colonization of this area probably began in the late 3. century BC. The Greek settlement was surrounded by polygonal stone ramparts, parts of which have been explored and in some places preserved in the foundations of medieval buildings. The city space was organized on a rectangular basis the surrounding land holdings are also rectangularly divided, which can be seen in today’s parcelling.

The altar of the goddess Hera (found in front of the cathedral bell tower), psephism, a relief of a woman at work and the figure of the deity Kairos, which were built into later noble palaces, testify to the Greek settlement, so their local provenance is not entirely certain. The Roman Tragurium is mentioned in several sources, and Pliny the Elder writes that the oppidum Tragurium is famous for its stone. Unfinished ancient pillars, capitals and two altars dedicated to Heracles were found in a quarry on the nearby hill of Sutili. The Roman city developed within the walls, and outside the city there were necropolises from which a large number of tombstones, milestones, urns, sarcophagi originate.

The remains of an ancient forum have been confirmed on the southwest side of the main square. The early acceptance of Christianity in the wider area of ​​the city is evidenced by the remains of a late antique cemetery basilica in Ošljak-Travarica (today’s city market), as well as a number of early Christian churches in and around the city. From the beginning of 7. century, at the time of the gradual formation of the Croatian state, Trogir was one of the cities of Byzantine Dalmatia.

Around the 870s the inhabitants of Trogir are paying tribute to Croatian rulers. In 1000., the people of Trogir took an oath of allegiance to the Venetian doge Peter II. Orseol, and Venetian influence was again felt during the Norman presence on the Adriatic in 1074.-1075., when the inhabitants of the town undertook to the doge Dominic Silvio not to bring Normans and other foreigners to Dalmatia. In the 10. century, Trogir gained an independent diocese (abolished in 1828.), and in 1105. it recognized the rule of the Croatian-Hungarian king Koloman, who gave the city privileges in 1107. (→ TROGIR DIPLOMA).

In the following decades, the rule of the Venetians and Croatian-Hungarian kings changed in Trogir, and in 1133. Bela II. permanently annexed the city to the Croatian-Hungarian Kingdom. The rule of Arpadović was interrupted in 1166.–1180., when Trogir recognized the rule of the Byzantine emperor Emanuel I Comnenus, but Bela III. at the end of 1180. returned Trogir to the Croatian-Hungarian state.  In the second quarter of the 13. century, the pressure of the strengthened Croatian feudal lords from the hinterland on the Dalmatian communes increased. They were suppressed when Bela IV. after the Tatar invasion in 1242. (for which he took refuge in Trogir) consolidated the power of the Croatian-Hungarian kings in Croatia. But with the weakening of the king’s power in the last quarter of the 13. century the Bribir princes again had supremacy over the Dalmatian towns and thus over Trogir.

In that period, the long-lasting Trogir-Split conflict over the border areas in Ostrog (1277.) and the Trogir-Šibenik conflict over the independent Šibenik diocese (1298.) ended. The effort to free itself from the power of the Bribir princes led in 1322. to the Trogir-Šibenik defense alliance against Mladin II. and the transfer of both cities under Venetian rule. After the successful war of Louis I of Anjou against the Venetian Republic, Trogir returned to the Croatian-Hungarian Kingdom in 1358. With weakening  authorities of Trogir at the end of the 14. and in the first quarter of the 15. century frequently changed the supremacy: 1390.-1394. acknowledged the rule of the Bosnian kings, than Sigismund of Luxembourg, 1402.–1408. Ladislav of Naples, then again Sigismund, and finally in 1420., as the last of the Dalmatian cities, he accepted Venetian rule.

In the 16. century, the Trogir commune and the system of city autonomy were built in parallel with economic strengthening, and the Croatian population began to predominate in the city. However, in the 15. and the 16. century, the city experienced an exceptional cultural flourishing and grew into one of the strongest humanistic centers in Croatia.

Economic and cultural decline in the 16. and 17. century was caused primarily by the Ottoman devastation of the Trogir hinterland, which ceased only during the Moravian War (1684.-1699.). With the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797., the city became part of the Habsburg Monarchy (until 1918.), with a brief break for the French administration of 1805.-1813.

In the middle of the 19. century was one of the strongholds of Italian autonomy, and in 1886. the victory in the municipal elections was won by the People’s Party. In 1918., Trogir became part of the State of SCS (Serbs, Croats and Slovenians).  During World War II, it was under Italian occupation in 1941.–1943., and was liberated in 1944.

Regarding Trogir’s kultural heritage, the center of Trogir is in itself the most valuable monument of the city, which in 1997. was included in the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage sites. To this day, the medieval structure of the old town has been preserved with characteristically arranged streets and squares, as well as impressive sacral and secular buildings. Most of the walls with the city gate, which lead to the coast and with the northern gate to the mainland, have also been preserved. The towers on the walls have also been preserved, the most famous being the 14. century Kamerlengo Fortress.

The most important buildings are located on the main town square, in the heart of Trogir. St. Lawrence Cathedral is a symbol of the city, and the portal of the western gate is the most famous monument in Trogir. The cathedral was built in the 13. century. The former Rector’s Palace, and today the City Hall is located on the east side of the square, and across from it is a small church of St. Mary. The 15. century town lodge once had the function of a courtroom and is therefore decorated with reliefs, sculptures and inscriptions on justice. Next to it is the church of St. Sebastian with the city clock instead of the bell tower which was built to save from the plague and the old Croatian church of St. Barbara.

Trogir also boasts numerous palaces such as the Garagnin and Fanfogne families, which now house the city’s main museum. It also includes a rich bibliographic collection of the Garagnin family, in which the famous Pacta Conventa record was found, proof of the founding of the Croatian-Hungarian Kingdom. Along the southern walls of Trogir is the Monastery of St. Nicholas, where Benedictine nuns have been active since its founding in the 11. century. The monastery also has a rich collection of works of art, and the most significant example is the Relief of Kairos, the ancient Greek god. It was discovered in 1928., and is considered one of the most beautiful examples of Greek art in this area. It is believed to date from the 4. century BC and was brought by a traveler from Greece to Croatia. In addition to all the above, but also many other sights of the city of Trogir, a walk through it is a real cultural pleasure and an interesting discovery of history.

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