Split (splēt) [key], Ital. Spalato, city (2011 pop. 178,102), S Croatia, on the Dalmatian coast of the Adriatic Sea. It is a major seaport, a regional transportation hub, and a leading commercial center. Shipbuilding and the production of plastics, chemicals, and cement are the leading industries. The city's scenic location and historic monuments make it an important tourist and seaside resort.
Split grew around the palace of Diocletian (who died there), built between 295 and 305. In the 7th cent. the inhabitants of nearby Salona took refuge from the Avars in the palace, which became the nucleus of the city. Split soon was made an episcopal, later an archiepiscopal, see of the Roman Catholic Church and became a flourishing port of medieval Dalmatia. It passed to Venice in 1420, but the Treaty of Campo Formio (1797) gave it to Austria, to which it was restored (1815) after the Napoleonic Wars. It was included in Yugoslavia in 1918. The city was the site of much fighting after the breakup of Yugoslavia.
The city has an archaeological museum, an oceanographic institute, and a university. The palace of Diocletian is the most remarkable among the Roman remains in Split. Its other ancient buildings include the cathedral and the baptistery, both originally Roman temples; parts of its ancient walls and gates; and the town hall.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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