The park-forest Marjan is located on the Marjan peninsula, the western-most part of the Split peninsula. Marjan is a hill whose highest peak is 178 meters tall. The park-forest has over 300 acres, of which 196 is under vegetation. Even though it is relatively small when compared to other such park-forests it is of utmost significance that to its numerous examples of floral life. On the southern slopes of Marjan, there is a lot of autochthonous and cultivated species such as grapevine, olives, vegetables etc. This is in large due to the composition of the soil, which is very fertile.
The northern slopes of Marjan are far less covered in vegetation. This is because the northern slope is made out of limestone, and because it has a poor concentration of nutrient filled humus. Most of the northern slope is covered in rock formations.
Due to its nature, Marjan has often attracted botanists, travel writers, and scientists who wanted to research its vast wealth of floral species. Marjan often looks like a green oasis located in the middle of rock formations on one end and the urban environment of Split on the other. Through the years, citizens of Split did everything in their power to save Marjan from devastation, for instance in the 13th century it was named a closed park, with the purpose of preventing human influence. This suggests that even back then, the people recognized the unique beauty and natural wealth of Marjan. The forest was protected up until the 18th century when devastation began, however through the effort of individuals and organization Marjan has slowly afforested again. In 1964 the park-forest was named a protected natural reservation making it one of the first planted forests to achieve that status. The most famous landmark of the forest is its evergreen vegetation such as Dalmatian Pine, Cedar, and other species of pines.
There are also many archeological digs on Marjan that suggest it was populated even in prehistoric times. Remains of pottery works that date back to the Bronze Age are the oldest artifacts found there. Pieces from Antic have also been dug up along with the temple of Diana, the Roman goddess of hunting.
Marjan also features a lot of sacral objects. The peninsula features twelve churches, the oldest being the church of Saint George that dates back the 9th century. Other notable churches are the church of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows (15th century), the church of Saint Jerome (15th century) and small church Betlem. The church of Saint Jerome is particularly interesting as it features a relief of Saint Jerome made by a notable sculptor Andrija Aleši and in the vicinity of the church there is a Hermit’s Cave, a Cave in which Saint Jerome lived on occasion according to legends. The Jewish cemetery located at Marjan is one of the oldest in the world and it dates back to 1573. It is a historical rarity that contains around 700 graves and it has been named a 1st category monument.
Marjan is the favorite destination for Split’s residents
that want to walk, run, hike, or ride bikes around its many trails. While there you can also visit the ZOO that is located inside the park. Nature enthusiast can spend hours researching all of the corners of this beautiful and unique park-forest.
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