The toponymy of Podstrana and Žrnovnica has preserved unique, extremely valuable traces of Old Slavic beliefs, which were brought to this area by the first Croats. These toponyms are the oldest testaments to Croatian presents (7th and 8th century) on the territory of the Republic of Croatia and, together with several other similar localities located along the Adriatic coast and in the hinterland, provide insight into the ancient culture and idiosyncratic worldview of the Croatian people before Christianisation.
Since the ancient times Podstrana has been an attractive location for dwelling thus many antique rustic villas, Renaissance country houses and palaces emerged on the gentle slopes of Perun. Due to its harmonious nature distinctiveness in ecologically preserved surroundings Podstrana is proved to be the most desirable logging area. Nowadays, it is quickly expanding, becoming populated by new inhabitants and therefore turning into an elite suburban Split area. Throughout the history, this area of stone, sea and the sun, situated on the sunny side of the old Republic of Poljica has been changing the outlook and the structure of this locality and its inhabitants who have left many interesting traces of their existence.
The first known inhabitants of Podstrana were the Illyrians, the members of the Dalmati tribe. In the end of the 1st century the Romans founded the oldest settlement on this lively area and called it Pitunium. With the arrival of the Croats, the villages emerged on the mountain slopes mildly sinking into the sea. The oldest village Gornja Vas, facing the sea and the sun, was established in the immediate vicinity of the Mura spring-water.
In the year 839, the first Croatian peace contract (historical mare nostrum (our sea)) was signed between Croatian duke Mislav and the Venetian dodge Peter Tradonik after the victory of young Croatian state over Venice. It was signed near the church of St Martin in Podstrana.
The original area of Podstrana is Stara Podstrana (the old Podstrana), a longitudinal group of centuries-old houses situated below the steep rocks of Vršina with the spirit of the past pulsating throughout their courtyards and lanes. The life of Podstrana poured down to the coastal area where the urbanized settlements of Strožanac, Grljevac, St Martin and Mutogras string up today. By connecting them in an uninterrupted group, Podstrana embraces the sea and forms numerous playful sandy bays and beaches followed by hotels, board and loggings and hostels surrounded by nursed plantations of the Mediterranean plants.
The renewed summer residence Cindro discovers the beauty and harmony of the stony facades rising above the century-old carefully looked after garden. The two sanctuaries of St George’s shrine situated at the top of the hill dazzle in touch with the sky as two magnificent spiritual footholds of sacral early Croatian heritage. The present-day Podstrana inhabitants are proudly taking care of the traces of the past: stone fragments, distaff-shaped bell-towers, neat rosettes, sculptures, reliefs, altar pictures of faithful patrons which present the link between the spirit of tradition and the permanence of our times.
- Megalithic stone blocks of the original Pituntij fortifications in the wall surrounding the graveyard of St. Martin.
- Tumulus Pišćenica
- The fragment of the Roman mosaic on the old graveyard of St. Martin
- Illyrian castle – today’s old Podstrana
- stone bowl from the Roman well in St Martin
- the remains of the Roman stone mill for olives on the graveyard of St. Martin
- stone beam of the ancient wine and olive press
- the reconstruction of Lucius Artorius Castus (respectable Roman figure from I /III century B.C.) epitaph
- Roman god torso found in St. Martin
- relief of Sylvan and nymphs on the church of St. Anthony in the old Podstrana
- sepulchral slab of Cania Urbana, a manager of an estate from 1st Ct BC (used as a tombstone on the graveyard in St. Martin)
- sepulchral slab of Marcus Atius Verecundus I/II Ct B.C. from St. Martin
- sepulchral slab of Atia Jucunda and her daughter Octavia Valentina from St. Martin
- sepulchral slab of Crescentia Varia (I/II Ct BC)
- stone urn of Crescentia Varia
- an ancient sepulchral slab built into the wall above the court-yard entrance into the old Podstrana (built into the wall on the back side of parish-church altar)
- sepulchral slab built into the wall of Cindro house
- late antiquity villa in Polača
- the inscription of Ausonius, a governor of the late antiquity province Dalmatia V/VI Ct B.C.