Makarska Riviera is perfectly situated between Split and Dubrovnik and is home to many beautiful beaches, as well as Biokovo mountain.
The start of tourism in Makarska Riviera
The development of tourism in Makarska began as early as 1905 and 1906 when the first visitors arrived. Before that, Makarska was a transfer harbour of modest economic resources, but it is more than probable that Makarska was visited even then by curious adventurers, explorers and chance guests. The first excursion to Biokovo of the Saxon King Augustus Frederic I was recorded in 1838.
Prior to the beginning of World War I in 1914, the Osejava Hotel was built in Makarska.
In the early 1960s, the local economy started relying more heavily on tourism. The number of visitors and modern accommodation facilities has constantly been on the rise since then. Tourism, cuisine as well as various handicrafts and trade are the main characteristics of Makarska’s economy. Since then, Makarska has won many tourism awards.
Nightlife on the Makarska Riviera
Makarska is the centre of nightlife in central Dalmatia and beyond. Many nightclubs and beach bars in Makarska are some of the most popular summer destinations for the youth in Croatia. With a wide variety of music, everyone can find something for themselves.
Here are some of the famous night clubs in Makarska:
During the summer, all the nightclubs invite many famous foreign DJs, Croatian singers and bands to play. Open-air coffee bars are located on the waterfront promenade, giving you the feeling that the entire town of Makarska is just one big party.
- Petar Pan
History and culture of Makarska
Apart from nightlife, there is a different side to Makarska - a historical and cultural one. The architecture of the old city centre was shaped over a long period while Makarska was defending itself from conquerors. The narrow streets and houses with windows that practically touch each other are the result of attempts to make full use of the space within the defence walls. In the centre of the town, near the waterfront promenade is the main city square named after Andrija Kačić Miošić. A monument created by Ivan Rendić was erected here in 1890.The square is where various entertainment and celebrations take place. On the northern side of the square stands St Mark’s Cathedral built in 1766 when Nikola Bijanković was bishop. He was responsible for the modern part of the town. Behind the church is the old school built in the late 19th century including Classicist and Neo-Renaissance elements. There is a Venetian fountain on the Kačić Square, dating back from 1775 when the town was supplied with fresh water. It is located between the church and the monument, with an inscription that bans the washing of clothes and giving water to cattle. Some of the most important sights are:
- Ivanišević Baroque Palace
- Tonelli Palace, built in the late 17th century in the Late Baroque style, which today houses the City Museum.
- St Mary’s Franciscan Monastery founded by Franciscans from Bosna Srebrena in 1502. The monastery has two cloisters and two churches. The monastery also has a rich library and an archive holding 50,000 books and magazines, a collection of paintings and statues and a collection of antique monastery items.
- The Malacological Museum is the first museum of its kind in Croatia and is famous world-wide.
- St Phillip’s Church dating from 1758
- St Peter’s Chapel dating from the 15th century
- Napoleon’s monument is located at the entrance of the town (if you are arriving from the direction of Split).
- Revolution Monument to the people of Makarska who fell during the National Liberation and World War II (the planetarium is also located here)
- Monument to fallen members of the Croatian army from the Makarska region who died during the Croatian Homeland War, erected in 2004
- Monument to the first Croatian president in the lower harbour
- Vepric sanctuary, located at the entrance of Makarska
- Botanical Garden located above Kotišina. It has more than 1200 plant taxa among which there are many endemic and relic species from the narrow and wide area around Makarska.