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Croatia Solta

Image1 If you take a map of Croatia and look at middle Dalmatian islands, to the west of the island of Brac you’ll see a very developed but not very large island of Solta Croatia.
To the west of the island is Brac and to the west is Drvenik Veliki. To the southeast is Hvar, and to the north is Split. Solta belongs to the middle Dalmatian islands. It lies in the central part of the Adriatic Sea, near its eastern coast. In the northwest Solta is ca 360km away from the coast of Marunska lagoon (the most drawn in part of the Adriatic) while from the Strait of Otranto (the border between the Adriatic and the Mediterranean Sea) in the southeast it is distant 390 km. Solta is 185km distant from the Italian coast and from the Croatian mainland 10,7km (Uranjica). It is at a distance of 15 km (9 nautical miles) from Split.

Image2 The natural beauty of Solta has attracted and inspired many well known people. In 295 AD the Roman Emperor Diokletian built his fishery in one of Solta's bays.

The father of Croatian literature, Marko Marulic, wrote parts of "Judita" while spending his leisure time on Solta. In 1555, in honor of Marko Marulic, another great poet, Petar Hektorovic, wrote "Ribanje i Ribarsko Prigovaranje". In the poem he describes his fishing voyage to Necujam, the purpose of which was to remember Marulic.

Today, Solta remains as an oasis of untouched natural beauty, because of the lack of industry and tourism. The traditional way of life is still preserved: As the sun comes up the day begins. Fishermen take to the seas, while you walk to town to get freshly backed bread, home made wine and the daily portion of the town's gossip. As you enjoy your morning coffee and talk about yesterday's events, the fishermen come back offering their catch.
After a day filled with activities like wind surfing, swimming, and fixing little things around the house, you and your friends sip wine, enjoying grilled fish and watching the sunset behind the distant mountains.

Villages

Donje Selo
A beautiful and typical village of island and Mediterranean province with people who live mostly of agriculture but also of fishing because they are oriented towards Maslinica. Donje Selo has beautiful nature (just as other villages), which is a habitat of wildlife. That is the basis for hunting tourism. It is situated at the north-western edge of Sridnje polje, near the main road that goes to the western part of the island, connected with an old road and the cove of Donje Krusice. Except for the high ground Gradine, which could be considered as one of fortified prehistoric positions, traces of life in the antiquity can be seen in the walls of a rectangular building with a floor mosaic. The only remain that confirms the existence of a settlement are the walls from the old Christian period under the Church of St. Jela.
Today’s appearance of the village, built on a small slope shows irregular net of curving streets that enclose the groups of local houses mostly of the same typology.

Gornje Selo
At the foot of the highest peak of the island 170m above the sea level an old village Gornje Selo is situated. It dominates with its appearance and location. It used to be a village of farmers (who made lime before), and now they are seamen and fishermen. The coves in the southern part that gravitate towards Gornje Selo (Livka, Travna, Stracinska, Grabova and Senjska) are precious natural resources for development of tourism for special purposes and also of Mari culture.

It is very attractive and it is a typical example of Mediterranean architecture. Not far away from today’s centre of the village there is a locality Starine (the ruins of a fortification with two towers dating the old antiquity) that before was probably the first centre of the village. The main road of today’s village is the road that goes from the church to the south to the peak of the mount. Near the cemetery there is the highest peak of the island Vela straza (237) where a large crucifix was built that can be seen even from the Vis channel.

Grohote
The oldest and the largest village, natural and economic centre of the island and since 1811 it is the centre of the district. “Kalete” of the village take you hundred years before our time and show you the charms of this small Mediterranean village. In Grohote there is a post office, ambulance with helicopter, fire brigade, police, school, hunting lodge and village hall, marketplace and oil refinery. People live of agriculture, sea and lately they started producing quality Solta lime. Grohote, together with the whole island of Solta is famous for its naïve art painters (Eugen Buktenica, Dinko Sule, Marin Kalajzic).

Grohote is situated in the middle of the island at the north-eastern edge of Sridnje polje and at the crossroads of the main Solta road that connects Gornje Selo in the east and Maslinica in the west and the road that goes to Rogac.

The appearance of the old Christian basilica of St. Stephen which was undoubtedly a parish and a baptismal church is a further evidence of settling character of the first people in Grohote while the find of baptismal font proves the process of Christianization of Illyrian-Roman population of the island in the 5th and 6th century.

Necujam
The youngest village of the island, founded by building summer houses but also by planned hotel building, Necujam is the largest and according to some the most beautiful cove of the island. It is the centre of the island’s tourism and with its apartment village it offers a pleasant holiday to different types of tourists and a lot of them are traditional visitors for decades. The coves of Necujam (Piskera, Maslinica, Podkamenica, Sumpljivina and Tiha) are a great potential for development of nautical and day-trip tourism. It is known that the first visitors who felt the beauty of Necujam were Marko Marulic, the father of Croatian literature, and Petar Hektorovic, a poet and a writer. Even the emperor Diocletian knew about the quality of the local seas of Solta and he had his fishery in Necujam. The Latin name of this place is Vallis Surda – deaf cove, because of its size. Namely, the cove of Necujam is one of the larger on Solta so most of the sounds get lost in it. The best example for that is the fact that when you come by boat to Necujam at night hours, you can hear the sound from the disco-club only when you reach the shore.

This kind of natural characteristic was obviously appreciated by great artists as Marulic and Hektorovic who right here found inspiration for their works of art. In today’s archaeological localities can be found the traces of ancient life. In the cove of Piskera the remains of Roman farm building were found, while in the surroundings were found graves, some pottery and money. Under the sea we can see the remains of the walls by which the cove was enclosed and turned into a fishery. The remains of Roman necropolis were found in the vicinity and also near the cove of Supetar.

Maslinica
Maslinica is the only Solta’s village situated in the cove of the western part of the island. It has beautiful scenery of picturesque cove and pinewood in the southern side and also of its well-protected cove of Sesul and archipelago of seven islands. On the largest of them in the 5th and 6th century an old Christian church with monastery was built and today there are a lot of remains of it. The natural meaning of olive scenery complete historical-architectonic and environmental values of baroque castle and picturesque local houses. Maslinica was made in 1703 when an aristocratic family Marchi asked from a Venetian “providur” permission to found a new settlement and to build a castle with towers for defence of frequent pirate attacks. Today the castle is turned into an attractive and a very famous restaurant "Conte Alberti".
Today Maslinica is very attractive for tourists who want a complete peace during day and night. Ferries and boats don’t come here so Maslinica is connected to Split through Rogac.

Rogac
Rogac is the main port of the island but also a tourist village. Harbour master’s office Split, gas station and beautiful coves (Banje, Kasjun, Zustova and others) are a good promise for development of nautical tourism. As the main port Rogac is daily connected to Split with a few ferry and catamaran lines and with the rest of the island it is connected by taxi and by bus. Private apartments, catering service in Rogac and untouched nature offer you a possibility to enjoy your holidays. As for the time of Rogac’s foundation it was the oldest coastal village on Solta. Just like the port Grohote even the port Rogac that is the closest to Split was always inhabited, but there were never too many inhabitants because of the fear of pirates and because of the distance from Solta’s field.
Tracing back to the Roman period we can see that people lived in Rogac. In the southern cove of Banje there were found remains of a Roman farm building while on the north-western part of the cove were found ancient walls in the sea. The most interesting find was villae rusticae, which contained even a bathroom.


Srednje Selo
From Grohote towards the western part of the island, Srednje Selo is a typical village of this area. With its local architecture, it represents ideal setting for those who want to feel rural tourism. People mostly live of agriculture, sea and in nearby coves of fishing.
Srednje Selo was built on the slopes of the northern edge of Sridnje polje. Its location is good for the protection from the north winds and it makes possible south orientation with the highest exposure to the sun and mistral from the southwest. The village as a settlement was mentioned for the first time in 1535.


Stomorska
Is the oldest port on the island. First families settled in Stomorska as early as in 16th century. Stomorska has been famous for its fleet of big wooden ships that were used to carry Solta's wine and olive oil to markets on mainland and in Italy. Only five or six such ships are still docked in Stomorska. Instead of goods they now take tourists on cruises around the Adriatic.
Stomorska is economicaly the most developed town on Solta. Besides three mini grocery shops, there is a number of restaurants and bars that offer excellent dishes.


The list of churches on Solta
  • St. Nikola’s in Stomorska
  • Our Lady in Necujam
  • Our Lady of Pines (Gospe od Bori) in G. Selo
  • St. John’s in G. Selo
  • St. Stephen’s in Grohote
  • Our Lady of Lourdes in Grohote
  • St. Mihovil’s in Grohote
  • St. Martin’s in D. Selo
  • St. Jelena’s in D. Selo
  • Our Lady of Kadalor
  • St. Teresa’s in Rogac