River Jadro, Croatia


The Jadro River rises at the western foot of the Mosor Mountain on 35 m in the area of Klis and flows through the town of Solin before reaching Vranjic Bay.

It is a short karst river of some 4,5 km with an average flow speed of 9m³/s but abounds with water all year round.

The first known inhabitants, the old Ilyrians built their settlement in the area around it because of the water the river procured to their tribes.


At the Roman times and in the early middle ages the river was called Salon and around it developed the largest and the most important port city on the eastern side of the Adriatic Sea, Salona, later also the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia.


The emperor Diocletian, its native, as an old man returned to built his “retirement” palace near the river and the city of his childhood. That small fishing village south-east of Salona is to become the city of Split. He also built the aqueduct from “his river” to the palace he retired that was twice as long as the river itself.


After the destruction of Salona and the arrival of Croats as they started to forget their old god Perun and accepted the Christianity they were baptized in Jadro's waters just like the first Christians in the Jordan River. This is why the Jadro River has remained in Croatia a symbol of the acceptance of Christianity .


In spite that the early medieval Croatian state was based on Salona's remains it has never renewed as a city but stayed rural until the 20th century and the introduction of cement plants.

However, as Jadro – locally called Rika or sometimes Solincica – was the only river with abundant water throughout the year in the area extending from Šibenik to Omiš the numerous watermills had been built on its rapids from the early middle ages that have been grinding grain for the islanders and the farmers from the inland area of Zagora. So, the Salona's that is Solin's area became the regional center of the miller's trade that remained a lucrative business for centuries till the end of the 19th century.

In the whole, there were eleven mills but nowadays the only preserved one is the Gaspina watermill built in the early 18th century that would continue to grind grain until the 1960s and fall into ruins till its renovation when it opened for visitors.


As the Jadro has no contact with any other watercourse it has led to the formation of a rare endemic trout subspecies the Solin softmouth trout (Salmothymus obtusirostris salonitana) that can be found in nearby river Zrnovnica. This trout, locally called Solinka weighing between 2 to 4 kg has maintained but its accurate number is unknown.

WHAT is ICHTHOLOGY           

To preserve that endangered fish species, the upper reaches of the river with its source have been protected as a special ichthyological nature reserve that spans over 78,000 m2, stretching downstream to Uvodić Bridge.


In its lower flow, in Solin, near its mouth, Jadro creates a delta consisting of thirteen islets that are well preserved and maintained, especially the largest of them Gospin otok (Our Lady's islet) that has become one of the most important Maria’s sanctuary.

The most curious promenaders could follow the river downstream in a search of a rare specimen of the swamp cypress (Taxodium distichum), unique in Croatia and protected as a natural monument.

It is unknown who planted this 25 meters high and vital example of swamp cypress some 90 – 100 years ago whose natural habitat are the swamps by the shores of the Gulf of Mexico.


If you are a river enthusiast that happens to be in the area, come, don't be discouraged by the factories because among them you are going to find the Gaspine watermills, Gospin otok, old roman and medieval ruins and the Diocletian's aqueduct. And finally, after fishing the trout you could rest in the shadow of cypress and look at the river flowing and reminding us of Heraclitus and his quote: “Panta rhei, meaning everything flows...


TIC Solin
Ulici Kralja Zvonimira 69
21210 Solin


00 385 (0) 21/210 048

Written by :