Underwater Heritage of Split-Dalmatia County: 28 Sites, 3 Museums Presented in New Guide

Daniela Rogulj

February 17, 2020 – The first tourist guide for Croatia’s underwater cultural heritage has been presented in Split-Dalmatia County. 

HRTurizam reports that “Underwater Heritage of Split-Dalmatia County” is the name of a new tourist guide presented by County prefect Blaženko Boban, Head of the Department of Tourism and Maritime Affairs Stipe Čogelj, and Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board director Josko Stella. The new guide was also presented by archaeologists Saša Denegri and Silva Kukoč, and Tea Katunarić Kirjakov, archeologist and art historian at the Art Academy of the University of Split.

The project, funded by Split-Dalmatia County in the framework of the Call for Proposals for Financing Projects from the Program of Development, Protection and Valorisation of Maritime Heritage in Split-Dalmatia County in 2019, is the first of its kind in Croatia

There are more than 200 underwater archeological sites in the marine area of Split-Dalmatia County, ranging from single isolated finds of small artifacts to preserved shipwrecks carrying amphora loads and wrecks from World War II. The goal of developing a cultural and tourist guide for the underwater heritage of Split-Dalmatia County is to promote underwater archeological sites to get a complete picture of the richness, diversity and importance of the underwater world, and further develop archeological and diving tourism in Split-Dalmatia County.

The new cultural and tourist guide presents 28 underwater sites and three museum collections with underwater archeological finds. The guide is designed in such a way that the waters of Split-Dalmatia County are divided into five geographical areas (the waters of Split and the Bay of Kastela, the waters of Brač island, the waters of Hvar island, the waters of Vis and Palagruza islands), and covers the period from prehistory to World War II. All localities are approximately indicated on maps, and different colors indicate different depths of sites. 

A separate section also features the Battle of Vis as the most significant naval battle on the Adriatic and the three wrecks that participated in the battle as one of the most significant underwater finds in the Adriatic. The guide represents different types of cultural property from all historical periods, covering the entire waters of the county (ancient remains of architecture and shipwrecks, late medieval shipwrecks, and the remains of modern-day wrecks and planes from World War II). In addition to the historical and geographical information, each site has its depth and accessibility for visitors. The guide is available in Croatian and English.

“With the introduction of this guide, we offer something that should be recognizable, especially to the clientele who will not stand for busy roads and terminals, and their financial potential is exceptional. For this purpose, the underwater heritage of our county stands out as an additional value of our tourist offer. Through the guide presented, almost all the localities of our county are listed, with all the directions, depths, and a breakdown of what is allowed at these locations. In addition to tourism, this guide will serve to protect these beautiful sites. I believe that through the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, tourists who want to see these cultural and tourist values in an organized manner can now become acquainted with them. I also thank the authors of the guide, as well as the county services who have done something extremely valuable and of good quality,”  said Boban.

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