The People’s Square, known simply as the Pjaca, is one of those places where you can have a cup of coffee or lunch with amazing view of historical buildings. This area was first mentioned in the 13th century and is well-known as the first populated area outside Diocletian’s Palace. As the years and centuries went by, the Pjaca’s function changed. It used to be a centre of information and political activities and it was also used for holding processions. Today, this is a square where you can take a walk, get some rest or study various historical buildings. Thanks to its rich offer, it is also a gathering place for fans of food, literature and art.
Pages of Morpurgo
The Morpurgo bookshop is one of the oldest of its kind in Europe. It was opened in 1860 and it still looks practically the same as it did when it was first opened. You’ll recognise it by its green doors and golden letters of its name. This is where Croatian literary giants such as Vladimir Nazor and Tin Ujevic used to gather. Today, this is still one of the most popular bookshops in the city.
An Ideal of Art Historians
The Pjaca is surrounded by five palaces built in different styles. The Nakić Palace, built in 1902, is an Art Nouveau building which you will easily recognise thanks to the floral pattern on its façade.
The Cipriano de Ciprianis (or Cubrijan Zaninic) Palace also tends to catch the eye of passers-by. Built in the Late Romanesque style, it was once a home to a noble family from the island of Korčula. What makes it particularly interesting are hexaphore windows and the relief of Saint Anthony from 1394 at the corner of the palace. The Renaissance Pavloviv Palace, the Gothic Cambi Palace from the 15th century and the Karepic Palace from the 16th century located next to the former Town Hall are also on the Pjaca Square.
The Town Hall
Once a politicians’ meeting place, the Town Hall is now primarily used by artists and art fans. Nowadays, this Gothic building, once a place of political debates, brims with visitors of exhibitions organised there. Unlike its function, the building’s name remained the same so it is still known as the Old Town Hall.
Unique Time Teller
In the eastern part of the Pjaca Square, on the Romanesque Fortress, a clock built in the 15th century, tends to catch visitors’ eyes. What makes it special is the fact that instead of the usual 12, it has 24 marks. A Gothic belfry, further emphasising its magnificent appearance, is right above the clock. Numerous passers-by often photograph it and try to capture its beauty.
A part of the Pjaca Square has been reserved for those with a sweet tooth who will feel like they’re in heaven at the Kraš confectionery store. “Kraš”, Croatia’s famous confectionery factory, was first opened in 1911 and has been producing treats like candy, waffles, cookies and cocoa products ever since. This is where you can buy bajadera, Kras’ most famous product combining nougat and almonds. A large box costs 10 euro.
The Town Tavern
Opened in 1780, this café has gained a legendary status over the years. This is where people used to come to comment on daily news, watch film screenings and have political discussions. Nowadays, it still attracts a lot of visitors who mostly come here for coffee and to read newspapers. The outdoor terrace offers a view of the Pjaca Square. Here you can have coffee for approximately 1.5 to 2 euro and have a pizza for less than 10 euro.
Having Lunch & Coffee
The NoStress café and bistro is characterised by its modern interior design and traditional food – a combination that seems to be a winner as this place attracts hordes of people at any time of the day. Fish and meat specialities range between 15 and 25 euro. There are many other cafés on the Pjaca as well. People love to come here in morning time, on their way from the farmer’s market, and later in the afternoon. Coffee or juice prices in these cafés range between 1 and 2 euro.
Local Ways to Have Fun
When the night falls, all the fun moves to a rather hidden street just a few metres from the Pjaca Square. There you will find three bars – Linea, Chiba and Gaga. These three bars are just next to each other and here you will always find a lively atmosphere. This is where tourists can meets the locals and see what their idea of good times is.
When it comes to shopping, the Pjaca is also a popular shoe shopping destination. When you’re not sightseeing, you can visit shoe stores such as ShoeBeDo and Mass where you can treat yourself to a new pair of shoes at standard prices.
The Pjaca is an ideal place for a relaxed shopping. Shoe addicts will be pleased to see a large number of stores here. One of them is ShoeBeDo where you can buy all types of shoes at the store’s standard prices. For example, popular Vans sports shoes will set you back 70 euro. The Mass store sells famous brands such as Guess, s. Oliver and Replay. Flats by these brands generally cost around 65 euro. If you want a cheaper deal, the Top Moda, Dolce Iva and Senso shoeshops offer attractive shoewear in the price range between 20 and 30 euro.
Many More Things Await
The Blu store also offers a range of clothes, vanity cases, pencil boxes and other accessories which can make perfect souvenirs. All these products have something in common – blue and white stripes, one of Split’s symbols. You can buy a vanity case for about 10 euro while an average t-shirt will cost you 25 euro.
Croatia Records is a right place for music fans. Here you will find CDs at good prices; we spotted some CDs by world renowned artists for just 10 euro.
The Vero Moda is another famous brand with a large selection of clothes. What stands out from its offer is a great selection of jeans for 50 euro. Those of you who don’t mind paying a bit more for beachwear, will find interesting bathing suits and bikinis for around 200 euro at the Nora Boutique.
Anja Popovic / The Adriatic Times