Old Town of Trogir, Croatia

The heart of the Croatian town of Trogir is home to the best-preserved Romanesque-Gothic architecture in all of Eastern Europe. The city was never important enough to warrant destruction, and so today you still walk the quiet streets of 15th century Trogir.

The old town of the Croatian city of Trogir, 25 kilometres west of Split, is a fantastic jewel of medieval architecture. It is one of our 10 most beautiful towns in Croatia.

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On its partly artificial island in the Adriatic Sea off the Croatian coast, Trogir has been hidden behind mighty walls for several hundred years. Miraculously, the city has escaped every military conflict. The historic centre of the pretty Mediterranean town is one of our top 10 sights in Croatia.

PICTURES: Architecture of Trogir

Photo gallery: Trogir Old Town

History of Trogir

The old town of the Croatian city of Trogir, 25km west of Split, is a fantastic jewel of medieval architecture, Croatia - © FRASHO / franks-travelbox
© FRASHO / franks-travelbox

Built by the Greeks as early as the 3rd century BC, Trogir developed into a flourishing trading port over the following centuries.

Under the Hungarian King Koloman, Trogir was granted town charter in 1107 and in the 13th to 15th centuries the moat was built, creating the island and developing the town as it still stands today.

In 1420, when all of Dalmatia went to Venice, the free city of Trogir was also conquered, but the cityscape was at best supplemented and hardly changed.

From the 17th century onwards - also due to lack of space - no new buildings were added at all.

Due to Trogir's relatively minor importance next to Zadar and Split, the city was also never of interest to the major powers and was more or less left to the side - fortunately for its architectural treasures.

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As a result, the old town of Trogir has been completely preserved to this day and was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997 as an outstanding example of urban continuity.

Sights of Trogir

Winding alleys in the old town of Trogir in Croatia - © FRASHO / franks-travelbox
© FRASHO / franks-travelbox

Trogir is connected to the Croatian mainland and the island of Čiovo via two bridges. Its precious old town, a breathtaking open-air museum, has been protected since the Middle Ages by an impressive city wall, most of which today consists of houses built close together.

PICTURES: Impressions of Trogir

Photo gallery: Impressions of Trogir

Kamerlengo Fortress and Sveti Marko Tower

The most imposing fortress Kamerlengo in Trogir is located in the east of the old town, Croatia - © FRASHO / franks-travelbox
© FRASHO / franks-travelbox

The most imposing remains of Trogir's fortifications lie to the east of the old town. The Kamerlengo fortress can be visited during the day and, like the round tower Sveti Marko, was connected to the city walls until the 19th century, before they were partially demolished.

Sveti Dominik Church

The plain bell tower of the 14th-century confraternity church of the Dominican Order in Trogir, Croatia - © FRASHO / franks-travelbox
© FRASHO / franks-travelbox

The path from the Kamerlengo fortress to the old town leads along the quay of a narrow sea road that separates Trogir from the island of Čiovo. On this quay is the simple fraternity church of the Dominican Order from the 14th century with the Renaissance tomb of the noble Sobota family. Through the sea gate you enter the heart of Trogir. Behind it is a small outdoor loggia where the daily fish market takes place.

If you keep to the right after the lake gate, you will see the St. Nicholas Monastery of the Benedictine nuns. However, apart from an art collection, it cannot be visited. After the monastery on the right, you come to St. John's Church, whose Pinakothek displays sacred objects, paintings and sculptures.

Trg Ivana Pavla II

Trg Ivana Pavla II is dominated by the 13th century Cathedral of St. Lawrence, Trogir, Croatia - © FRASHO / franks-travelbox
© FRASHO / franks-travelbox

Just behind St John's Church, John Paul II Square opens up, probably the most magnificent square in Trogir. Here you will find the town hall (Palača Luičic) from the 15th century, which has been rebuilt several times, the town loggia from the early 13th century, formerly a court of justice, with its ornate column capitals, the chunky clock tower from 1477 and the Čipico Palace with its typical Venetian Gothic row of windows.

Winnetou and Old Shatterhand also rode across Trg Ivana Pavla II. In "Winnetou III" Trogir acted as Santa Fe and the town hall as the governor's palace.

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Sveti Lovro Cathedral

The bell tower of Sveti Lovro Cathedral in Trogir features Romanesque, Venetian-Gothic and Renaissance elements, Croatia - © FRASHO / franks-travelbox
© FRASHO / franks-travelbox

Trg Ivana Pavla II is dominated by the 13th-century Cathedral of St. Lawrence opposite the palace. Work on the impressive church continued until 1610. The succession of styles is clearly visible in the bell tower - it features Romanesque as well as Venetian-Gothic and Renaissance elements.

Especially worth seeing is the west portal, a masterpiece by the Dalmatian artist Radovan, completed in 1240, which, with its numerous figures, is considered the highlight of Romanesque sculpture in Croatia. The southern entrance gate of the cathedral is also worth seeing.

City Museum Garagnin Palace

In the Garagnin Palace, not only can the town museum be visited, but also excavations in the beautifully paved courtyard that date back to the time of the Greeks three hundred years before the birth of Christ. Behind the Čipico Palace, the Garagnin Palace is the last impressive building before heading through the plain land gate across the bridge back to the Croatian mainland.

Further links:

Tourist information on Trogir with opening hours of the sights

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