Diocletian's Palace, Split

Diocletian's Palace, Split (must see)

The "Palace" of Diocletian is more than a palace. It is really a fortress. It provided not only a private retirement home for the ex-emperor, but quarters for an armed garrison. It was a "key" community like no other. The palace, built at the turn of the fourth century, today forms most of the old town of Split, Croatia.

The palace complex was built on a peninsula about 18 miles from Salona, then the capital of Dalmatia and the birthplace of the retired Roman emperor. When Diocletian died in 312, the palace complex remained a property of the Roman imperium. It was used as a residence and refuge for members of imperial family who were out of favor.

In the seventh century the country was invaded by Avars and Slavs and the city of Salona was destroyed. The people found security within the formidable walls of the palace. Safe behind the walls they formed a new city community. From that time the palace has been continually occupied and today it is the heart of the city of Split.

The mausoleum of Diocletian became the cathedral of Saint Domnius. In time the remains of the fortress home of the emperor dropped out of the consciousness of Europe. Then the Scottish architect Robert Adam surveyed the ruins and published his findings. The palace formed the inspiration for Adam's style of Neoclassical architecture.

The plan of the palace has been found to be an irregular rectangle with 16 towers from the facades and corners. Only the southern facade was unfortified. It provided easy access to the sea and vessels could unload cargo directly through the Sea Gate.

There are three other gates that grant entrance and egress. The North Gate guarded the road towards Salona. The Church of Saint Martin is above the gate. The East Gate faced the town of Epetia, now Stobrec.

The West Gate, was used as the military gate. It remains in use today. The South Gate faces the sea.

Why You Should Visit:
The long history and diverse cultures of Split are distilled and contained in this remarkable Palace.

Tips: Be prepared to do a lot of walking.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Split. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Diocletian's Palace on Map

Sight Name: Diocletian's Palace
Sight Location: Split, Croatia (See walking tours in Split)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Split, Croatia

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