Another Day Another City by the Sea

Trogir (28 May 2013)

Split makes a good base from which to explore the region. It is a very well-connected city, whether by land or sea, with many places of interest within easy reach from there. We stayed 4 nights in the city and were able to visit 3 other places easily. Trogir was one such place.

The bus ride to Trogir was a short one, maybe just over half an hour. I was feeling very comfortable on the bus, and I was never a morning person anyway, so I had to tear myself away from my seat and get off the bus when we arrived. I was actually somewhat disappointed to have reached our destination! Whenever I am lazy even sightseeing can become a chore.

Trogir is not a big place. In any case, I doubt that people explore beyond the old city core and this is quite small indeed. It was also a very typical coastal Croatian city.

I am beginning to bore myself but it seems that I am not able to avoid writing about churches whenever I describe a trip in Europe. Come to think of it I have been writing about churches since Israel! Even my only post on Palestine was mainly about a church! However, some of the best sights in Europe are its churches and in every old city or town on the continent the chance of its main church being the biggest highlight on its tourist trail is rather high. This was quite the case with Trogir.

The Cathedral of St Lawrence is, I have to say, quite interesting, but mostly because of its lovely Chapel of St John. The main interior of the cathedral on the other hand was very simple.

Cathedral of St Lawrence

Chapel of St John with the marble sarcophagus of Blessed John of Trogir

Radovan’s Portal (This is the entrance to the cathedral. The Croatians sure love Adam and Eve.)

And as is so often the case with many bell towers of European churches, visitors are usually allowed to climb all the way up for a view of the surroundings. I am pleased to say that I did not deviate at all from the standard tourist activity of climbing up bell towers in Trogir. E however was afraid of heights and so declined to go up with me. She had learnt her lesson after her climb up the bell tower of Split’s cathedral the day before. I wonder why she did not learn that lesson during her climb up the bell tower in Poreč.

View from the bell tower

Some of the most important sights of Trogir are located in and around the cathedral. These include the clock tower and city loggia. The clock tower was once a part of a small church dedicated to St Sebastian. The church was built as thanksgiving to the saint for his protection of the city from the plague in the 15th century. The clock tower is all that remains of that church. The city loggia used to house the courtroom where criminals could be very publicly shamed. I wonder if judges were ever publicly shamed.

Clock tower and city loggia

Ancient courtroom, where self-righteous judges could publicly shame people

Some of the grand buildings in the town include the Cipiko Palace and City Hall. The Ćipiko family was one of the city’s most prominent families in the 15th century. I suppose all the important buildings and houses of important people in that era were commonly placed together. However, considering the excesses of these important people during that time, would it not be wise if they had built their houses of sin away from the houses of God?

St Lawrence and the Cipiko Palace with its distinctive Venetian Gothic windows

City Hall

Trogir is in possession of a marble bas-relief of Kairos and this we saw at the Benedictine Convent of St Nicholas. Kairos was the Greek personification of opportunity, luck and favorable moments. Seeing the artefact made me feel so auspicious. Was it Kairos who had brought us here to see his portrait? However, the ancient art and history gallery at the convent was terribly small. At the end of our visit, E and I felt as if we had gone there, and paid good money, only to see a small piece of marble. I know that we are talking about priceless artefacts here and getting the chance to see them is an invaluable experience, and that sort of thing. However, I am not sure that they need to charge so much money for the upkeep of such a tiny gallery. I hope that some of the money is spent on charity too!

Kairos

I think I can understand why places like Trogir are so popular with tourists. There is that old city of course, and it is right by the sea. In fact the old city is entirely on this little island. It also helps that historic Trogir has world heritage site status and I think the Croatian government is doing quite a lot to promote the city. However I cannot understand why the country’s interior is not promoted quite as much. Do they really have nothing away from the coast worth showing off to visitors?

Along the promenade

Along the promenade outside the old city wall

Looking across to Čiovo Island from the old city

Kamerlengo Castle

Church of St Peter (I think I would have freaked out if I had seen him at night)

Old city house

Unfortunately, the sea does not interest me very much and it takes more to impress me nowadays. After a while, E and I got quite bored and E started pestering, and annoying, me to think about where to have dinner in Split. Yes, she was that bored. Nevertheless, I suppose that if the point is to do extremely little and be in a quaint little place solely for relaxation, then Trogir may be a good choice for a visit. But then again there are more interesting cities along the Croatian coast.

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