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 General Information about Dalmatia


Grb Dalmacije (The Coat-of-Arms of Dalmatia)


Today, Dalmatia (Dalmacija) is the region in Croatia enclosed in the north by mountain ranges of the Dinara and in the south by the Adriatic Sea. The coastal area of Dalmatia stretches from the city of Zadar on the north, to the much known tourist city of Dubrovnik on the south. In ancient times it comprised the territories between that from the Adriatic Sea extended almost to the middle of the Balkan peninsula.

The Dalmatia geographic name can be found for the first time in the works of the Greek historian and geography scholar Strabon (60 B.C. - 20 A.D.) : "In the southern direction is Panonia, all the way to Dalmatia".

However, the Greek Polibio, even since the second century B.C., without naming the region, had called its inhabitants "Dalmateis" or "Delmateis". Polibio wrote: "The Lissar and the Daorit populations had sent often, by mutual agreement, ambassadors to Rome, to state that Dalmatians were infesting not just their countryside but also the towns of Epezium (Spalato, today Split) and of Tragurium (Trau, today Trogir). […] The Senate then decided that it was the right time to attack that nation because offended by both pride and fierceness of the Dalmatians and because there were other reasons to do so" (excerpts No.124 and 125).

In the works of Latin authors the inhabitants of Dalmatia were called "Dalmatae" or "Delmatae" and the region "Dalmatia" or "Delmatia".



Roman Emperor Diocletian and his Palace in Split (III century A.D.)


An ancient Roman province, Dalmatia was incorporated into Croatia and remained under Croatian rule for several centuries. In the 1400's, Venice gained control of Dalmatia, the Venetian Empire ruling it for four centuries. In 1797, rule changed to Austria, and then in 1806 Austria ceded Dalmatia to Napoleon and French occupancy. In due course, rule was regained by the Austrian Empire. After World War II Dalmatia became a part of Croatia, within SFR Yugoslavia, and eventually, Dalmatia would become a region of the Republic of Croatia.




Today, Dalmatia is known for its maritime, shipbuilding industry, tourism and a wine producing area. The seaside city of Split is its economic and tourist center. Dalmatia has always kept a specific culture. Two influences are notable. Before Croatian tribes settled here, the region was a highly cultivated Roman area. Therefore, we meet dominant Slavic (Croatian) and minor Romance (Italian) components, when language, music or architecture are concerned.


   "Oda Dalmaciji" 

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