Nature reserve, Botanical garden, Last updated on Saturday, 17 February 2018
Marjan hill, the symbol of Split is a green oasis ideal for walks, hikes, and rock climbing.
Marjan hill is located on the peninsula bearing the same name and with its highest of 3 peaks at 178m it offers a view over the entire city of Split, the surrounding towns and islands as well as nearby mountains Kozjak and Mosor.
It was first mentioned in the 8th century, as citizens of the Diocletian's palace needed a place to relax, walk and enjoy nature. Therefore, some areas of Marjan were organized as parks and recreation spaces.
This steep, wooded peninsula, where paths criss-cross its peak became the symbol of Split and is often reffered to as the lungs of the city - an untouched wilderness surrounded by Split and the sea.
Marjan has a lot to offers its visitors - from loads and loads of stairs (you must have noticed the long toned legs of Split's female inhabitants), sweeping views, Mestrovic's gallery,the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments and many more..
On the southern slopes of Marjan a botanical garden was founded in 1951. On an area of about 2 hectares numerous plants of tropical and subtropical regions were planted, while the northern part had a Mediterranean flora. The Botanical Garden was not only educational institutions, but also promoted the cultivation and care of plants. It the early 1960's it successfully collaborated with many botanical institutions worldwide. This garden functioned until the 1980s when it began to deteriorate due to neglecting it. In recent times the department of Biology at the Faculty of Science engaged in its restoration.
Next tot he science museum on Marjan there is also a small ZOO, actually..the smallest ZOO you might ever see. On just 0.65 ha it is hard to adequately provide enough space for the animals. Also, lately there is more news about the state of the Zoo a well as the petitions for closing it than about the animals themselves. But, interesting to mention - the Split Zoo is known for the longevity of the animals. Their famous alligator "Spavalo" (Sleepy) lived 68 years! I just guess he tried to hibernate till the better days.