The area of Dalmatia is one of the oldest geographical and regional concepts in this part of Europe. That coastal belt of Croatia is long about 400 km and wide about 70 km, bounded by the mountains of Velebit, Dinara, and Kamešnica.
It was named after violent Illyrian tribe Delmatae who lived in this area and provided a strong resistance to the army of the Roman Empire. When defeated by Romans, the area was called Dalmatia, in honor of the defeated enemy.
Today's area of Dalmatia is 12103 km2. It is divided into northern, central and southern Dalmatia.
In this area, there are about 980 000 inhabitants. The main economic activities are tourism, maritime, trade, industry and agriculture. Administratively, it covers four counties: Zadar, Sibenik-Knin, Split-Dalmatia, and Dubrovnik-Neretva.
The Split-Dalmatian county is the largest Croatian county with a total area of 14045 km2, of which land covers 4572 km2. It is located in the central part of the southern Croatia, on the areas of the historical region of Dalmatia.
The starting point in the north it is Vrlika, while the south extends to the island of Vis and Palagruža (also the furthest Croatian island), in the west to the Marina, and east to Gradac and Vrgorac.
The Split-Dalmatian county has a Mediterranean climate and natural characteristics, and along its entire length, in the direction of the southeast - northwest, is a place where mountain ranges of Biokovo, Mosor, and Kozjak are born, while Dinara closes the north-eastern border. Between these two mountain ranges, river Cetina sneaks like a snake, which apart from water soaks to fertile Dalmatian fields, is increasingly used for adventure sports like rafting, canoe safari, canyoning, etc.
Because of these conditions and its position, the present-day Split-dalmatian county was very early colonized by Greek colonists, which resulted with emerging cities-colonies such as Traguriona (Trogir), Isse (otoka Visa), Pharosa (Stari Grad on the island of Hvar) , Salone (Solin) i(and) Epetiona (Stobreč).
The city of Split started to develop a little later, with the construction of Diocletian's Palace in early 4th century AD, quickly became a commercial and economic center of Dalmatia. In the 10th century Split became the center of Metropolis, and saw its full flourishing in the 14th century, by creating an independent commune - Civitas Spalatei, with the oldest written preserved Town Statute from 1312. Today Split is the most important tourist and transit port on the Adriatic sea and is the administrative and cultural center of Split-Dalmatia county.
Just on the area of this county, many civilizations and the governments through the millennia left their marks, while the governments kept changing.
This region was ruled by the Greeks, Romans, Croatians, Hungarians, Venetians, Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Habsburg Monarchy, Napoleon, Italy, Yugoslavia and Croatia at the end again.
The two most important cultural and historic sites in this county are Diocletian's Palace in Split and Trogir city centre, which are also protected as a UNESCO's world cultural heritage monuments.