Usually, when we are returning back to Split city from a day at the sea whether it is a boat excursion or just transfer in question, very often we get question from our guests: „What is that? That green hill left of the city?“
Well, that is Marjan hill, Park Forest. It is so closely connected to Split city and its inhabitants that you can hear people talking about Split like „the town beneath the Marjan hill“. It is most important recreational zone and lung of the city and according to some scientist Marjan influences a lot on Split’s micro climate. It is hill, peninsula and park forest located on the western part of Split peninsula.
The hill itself is just 178 meters high, and the highest peak is called Telegrin. As said before, this hill cannot be divided from the city and Split peninsula, and it stretches from Marmontova Street to the West. Its length is cca 3,5 kilometers and it is 1,5 kilometer wide. Its south part, together with Sustipan peninsula forms an protective arch protecting Split port from waves and wind influence coming from Kaštela bay. Its surface is close to 340 ha and half of it is covered in pine wood.
In 1964 Marjan was protected as a Park Forrest and by that fully protected by the laws of the Republic. Name MARJAN is mentioned for the first time in the first half of 8th century as Marianum and it has been changing the pronunciation during the course of time: Marulianus, Mergnanus, Murnanus, Marnanus, Murnano, Marnano, Mergnano, Mernjan, Marglian, Mirgnan, Megnan. There is also one other name, not connected to previous ones – Mons Kyrie eleison – coming from religious processions and field blessings – so typical for times datein few centuries ago. The name we use today dates back in the 19th century by derivation of name Merjan (still in use within older residetns of Split).
History of Marjan and Split city
Marjan area is connected to Split and can’t be observed separately. First and oldest traces if human existence were found on the slopes of „Bambina glavica“ located on the south slopes and date back to ancient history of mankind. Romans and Roman Empire left more significant notes about Marjan. Their presence dates to the times even before Diocletian’s palace was built, when cape Marjan hosted the temple of Roman goddess Diana (goddess of hunt). Also, at that time the path leading from the temple to the Spalatum settlement existed and that is evidence of how important Marjan hill was. At that time, historians say, Marjan was covered with heavy oak forest. Notes from medieval times also mention Marjan, especially in the City Code from 1312 where it says cutting trees on Marjan is explicitly forbidden.
From medieval time, a lot of eremite settlements existed and many of them later became the foundations for churches. Nowadays, there is quite a few churches on the hill and some of them are valuable as archeological monuments. At the end of 19th and beginning of 20th century, Marjan was naked and free of all forest and served as pasturage and at that time intensive afforestation begins. The result is clearly visible today.
Today, Marjan hill is Park Forest, adored as picnic destination of all its inhabitants and visitors and during summer time it is beach destination both for domestic people and visitors. And also, thanks to the heavy shade provided by pine trees, you can see a lot of people jogging, roller skating, riding a bicycle or just walking.
We look forward meeting you in one of our boats during a private boat excursion when you will probably ask our skippers “What is that green hill over there!?” and they will be more than happy to explain. But remember, whether you book one of our private boat excursion or not – make sure you reserve some time while in Split to visit its symbol – Marjan hill.