Adriatic highway

photographs Bojan Mrđenović
written by Barbara Šarić

My excursions relied on luck; I often walked there wandering like a blind man through the vast emptiness and the karst mountains, hoping that I would stumble onto something that would award my efforts, but I was wrong too often!

Alberto Fortis, 1774


If this area receives the deserved attention, it will achieve impressive advances. 

Auguste-Frédéric-Louis Viesse de Marmont, 1856


Come on, people go home, enough of this tourism!

Miljenko Smoje, 1975


The festivity began at 9 a.m., two kilometres south of Trogir. Petar Stambolić, president of the Federal Executive Council gave an appropriate speech, cut the silk ribbon, and then the colourful column of automobiles covered in meadow flowers drove to Split. The citizens gathered on Tito’s coast were addressed by Mika Špiljak, president of the Executive Council of the Croatian Parliament. Long live comrade Tito, the initiator of all our successes, the initiator of this Adriatic main road! Tito recently celebrated his 73rd birthday in Belgrade – the real one and the one shared with the youth, and two days later travelled to Czechoslovakia on a morning flight. Leaving Split, the colourful column baptized the final segment of the Croatian part of the Adriatic road, and in Dubrovnik the festivity ended with a speech by Milijan Neoričić, Minister of Traffic and Connections. The Adriatic highway, 643.8 km long, was open for traffic on 30 May 1965.

In 1847 Andrew Archibal Paton, on only the third day after he left Carlstadt in a post coach, saw the sea from the top of the Vellebitch Mountain. The coach travelled on a steep but impressive road – better than all the alpine passes Paton had travelled – and descended into Obrovazzo and, finally, arrived in Zara, the capital of Dalmatia. Paton left Zara for Sebenico down an excellent dirt road – But how dreary the landscape! He continued by boat. In Ragusa he stayed in what was then the only hotel, Alla Corona – polite service, but the accommodation below level for even a bearable hotel – and the people of Dubrovnik’s vigorous head shaking tried to dissuade him from visiting the Neretva valley – there was nothing there except the plague and mosquitoes.