Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel
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The Peristyle inside Diocletian's Palace in Split, Croatia

Click on title to view photo in large format: For centuries, the Peristyle of Diocletian’s Palace served as the main gathering place for the town of Split, Croatia. Built at the beginning of the 4th century AD, the palace was originally intended as a private residence for the Roman Emperor Diocletian. Initially, the Peristyle led to the main entrance of his living quarters. Over time, parts of the complex were converted for commercial use, homes, and even Read More

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White paving stones and limestone block buildings in the Old Town of Split, Croatia

Click on title to view photo in large format: Typical street in the Old Town of Split, Croatia features glistening white marble paving stones and buildings of white local limestone. Sidewalk cafes are a common feature on nearly every street in the Old Town, and many of the ancient buildings have been converted to shops. Read More

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Narodni Trg (People's Square), in the old town area of Split, Croatia

Click on title to view photo in large format: Narodni Trg (People’s Square) is the main gathering place for residents of Split, Croatia. Prior to its construction in the 14th century, the main square of the city was the Peristyle, located inside Diocletian’s Palace. As the city expanded, it became evident the Peristyle could no longer accommodate the growing population, thus this new square just to the west of the palace compound was constructed. Today Narodni Trg is Read More

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The harbor, Riva, and Old Town of Split, Croatia

Click on title to view photo in large format: A bird’s-eye view of the harbor and Old Town of Split, Croatia, taken from the hilltop Cafe Bar Vidilica in Marjan Park. The tree-lined seaside promenade in the foreground, known as the Riva, is a favorite spot for sipping coffee, wine, or soft drinks at one its many cafes. Read More

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Two of the most interesting structures in Bihac, Bosnia-Herzegovina: an uncommon octagonal style

Click on title of post to view photo in large format: The city of Bihac, located in far northwest Bosnia-Herzegovina, is home to several unusual historic buildings, including this octagonal “Turbe” (Ottoman mausoleum) and the square Captain’s Tower. The latter is one of the oldest buildings in town and today houses the Regional Museum. Though it is unknown exactly when the Captain’s Tower was built, it was mentioned as early as Read More

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I trampled a few roses before learning why the streets and sidewalks of Sarajevo were covered with red splotches. During the Bosnian War, an average of 329 mortar shells rained down on the city every day for more than 3.5 years, leaving a moonscape of craters. After the war ended in 1995, these holes were filled with red resin. With the unique sense of humor that had allowed Sarajevans to survive the longest siege in the history of modern warfare, residents of the city dubbed these floral-shaped memorials Sarajevo Roses. Once I knew the story, I trod more respectfully.

One of many Sarajevo Roses found throughout the city. These craters from mortar shells were filled with red resin after the war.

One of many Sarajevo Roses found throughout the city. These craters lest over from mortar shells were filled with red resin after the war.

The Bosnian War erupted as a result of the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. Unlike ethnically homogeneous regions such as Slovenia and Croatia, both of which had successfully seceded from Yugoslavia by 1991, Bosnia-Herzegovina was home to Catholic Croats, Orthodox Christian Serbs, and Bosnian Moslems. Bosnia’s declaration of independence in 1992 infuriated Bosnian Serbs, who preferred to maintain allegiance with neighboring Serbia. On April 6, 1992, with the support of military forces from Serbia, they began seizing areas of Bosnia predominantly occupied by ethnic Serbs. Read More