Eremitaž sv. Cirijaka

Hermitage of St. Cirijaka

Useful Information

Eremitaž sv. Cirijaka, Split, Croatia. Public Domain.
Location: Marangunićevo šetalište 3, 21000, Split.
On Marjan hill, Split peninsula. Southern side of the hill behind St. Jerome Church. 3 km walk from the Riva.
(43.5092126, 16.4011636)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SubterraneaCave House
Light: bring torch
Guided tours: n/a
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Hermitage of St. Cirijaka, Marangunićevo šetalište 3, 21000, Split.
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15th century church of St. Jerome and hermitage caves erected.


Eremitaž sv. Cirijaka, Split, Croatia. Public Domain.

The hill Marjan is located on the Split peninsula and is full of churches and hermitages. Several buildings were built into natural caves and overhanging cliff faces. Probably the most impressive is the Eremitaž sv. Cirijaka (Hermitage of St. Cirijaka) and the neighbouring Dalsi Eremitaž (Dalsi Hermitage). In the Middle Ages Marjan was a place of pilgrimage for the people of Split and was called Mons Kyrie Eleyson. There was a total of 29 churches and three monasteries. Today only 14 churches still exist, the others fell into disrepair and were destroyed over the centuries. However, the churches or chapels are built above ground, only the two hermitages were built into the caves.

The Renaissance hermitage caves were built in the cliffs directly above and behind the fifteenth century church of Sv. Jeronima or Svetog Jere (St. Jerome). According to legend, the hermitage was the home of Saint Jerome after he fled the city. A Latin inscription says MIHI OPPIDUM CARCER, SOLITUDO PARADISUS EST and thranslates for me the city is a jail, the solitude is freedom. Saint Jerome is the patron of Dalmatia, and he wrote his works here, according to legend. Unfortunately, while the place and the chapel are open without restrictions, the hermitage is closed by a red painted iron door.

Nearby is Karepić Hermitage, which can be entered only by a rope ladder. It was actually a fortress built by the Karepić family in 1523. Its actual use is unknown, the space inside is not sufficient for a longer stay, so it was not inhabited. Probably it was a retreat during raids by Turks or bandits.