• Croatian Trails

History of Trogir

Trogir is one of those places where one could say has been around since the beginning of time. There are traces of prehistoric life in this region and, even though archeologists dug meters and meters beneath the sea level, there are still mysteries buried deeper that are yet to be discovered. For now, the oldest discovery in Trogir dates back to 2000 B.C. However, in the nearby caves of Trapeljni Dolci, weapons that date back 45 000 years were discovered so it is safe to say, Trogir has been present for a long time.

One of the questions that has been troubling historians is, has the island always been there or was the mass of land separated at some point in history. This is why we see 2 different version of the city's map - Ptolemy's and Peutinger's. In any case, Trogir is located in the sea canal between the main coast and the island of Ciovo. Because of its strategic location, protected by nature's elements, it was an ideal location for a settlement.

The fertile lands around Trogir were crucial in its history as well as the history of the region. Dalmatia is known for its rugged terrain, the fields that were unfortunately ruined in modern history, played a major part in the development and the prosperity of the area.

It is know that Trogir (Tragurium) was established int he 3rd century B.C. by Greek colonist, traders from the island of Vis. In the first century, Trogir became a Roman province - "Tragurium civium Romanorum" and thus joined Salona which was the centre of the Dalmatian Roman province. After the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century, Trogir developed as an independent city. Croats came in the 6th century and the development of art and cultural heritage started. From the beginning of the Middle Ages, Tragurion felt the impact of the new movement. Builders were building churches in the new style, decorated with unique ornaments that were never seen before. In the 10th century the kings of Hungary got Trogir from the Venetian Republic under the condition that its citizens will remain free therefore enabling them to democratically elect their leaders and in the 11th century have their own bishop.

War came back to the region when the Venetian Republic attacked in the 12th century trying to regain control of the Dalmatian coast that was beneficial to them for many reasons. While still recovering from war, a man from the Kacic family oversaw the construction of the cathedral that still stands proudly today. The city came to an abrupt stop when finally, in 1420. Venetian Republic regained control of the region. They ruled for almost 4 centuries, until 1797. During this period, Trogir was rebuilt and new palaces, houses, forts and much more was built making it what it is today.

During Napoleon's time, Trogir saw major reforms in healthcare, agricultural modernisation, and infrastructure. The Habsburg Empire won and their rule began in 1814 and ended in 1914. Unfortunately, disease and starvation destroyed the region and years of struggle begun. In 1877. Croats were allowed to rule their city but the troubles were far from over. After WWI, Croatia became a part of the South Slovenian State.

The first, real improvement to the conditions of life in Trogir came in 1970s when tourism and shipbuilding were thriving and employing more than half the city's population. UNESCO Heritage Site was declared in 1997 and Trogir has been a popular tourist destination ever since.


Trogir had the first pharmacy in Europe, opened in 1271. near the cathedral. The original document showing this is a part of a private collection but you can see a copy in the museum.

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