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Religious tourism

The Split tourist region has several large shrines among which the best known are the Virgin Mary of Sinj, Vepric near Makarska and Solin's Virgin Mary of Otok. About a hundred kilometres southeast of Makarska is the well-known site of the Virgin Mary's appearance in Me�ugorje in neighbouring Bosnia & Herzegovina. What makes central Dalmatia special is the tradition of preserving old folk and religious customs like processions, vigils, walks and vows, usually connected to a Catholic holiday and local patron saints. The Good Friday procession on the island of Hvar is spectacular, as is the 34 kilometre night time votive walks from Split to the shrine of the Virgin Mary of Sinj in which tens of thousand of people from across Dalmatia and outside it take part, lasting the entire night several days before the holiday of the Virgin Mary of Sinj, August 15th.

Almost every, even the smallest tourist place, has open-air celebrations of its patron saint with big feasts in which the hosts and their guests participate. One of these is the "fijera" of St. Duje (St. Domnius), the patron saint of Split, celebrated May 7th. St. Domnius was a priest the Emperor Diocletian had put to death in his attempt to stop the spread of Christianity in his empire. It is an irony of fate that the faithful of Split should lay the saint's bones to rest in the Mausoleum built by the Roman Emperor who had him put to death.

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