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Diocletian's Palace in Split Croatia

At the end of the third century AD, the Roman Emperor Diocletian built his palace on the bay of Aspalathos. Here, after abdicating on the first of May in A.D. 305, he spent the last years of his life. It took ten years to build this magnificent palace and Diocletian lived there until his death in 313 AD.                                                                                                                         This palace is today the heart of the inner-city of Split where all the most important historical buildings can be found.

Palace is one of the most famous and integral architectural and cultural constructs on the Croatian Adriatic coast and holds an outstanding place in the Mediterranean, European and world heritage.   

Diocletian's Palace was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 as much for the gothic and baroque buildings that date from the middle ages as for its Roman origins.


To this day, 3000 people live or work inside these palace walls.

After Diocletian's death the palace remained  an imperial possesion.                                               The transformation of the palace into the town begun in the seventh century, when the inhabitants of nearby Salona took refuge in the palace during the invasion of Avars and Slavs. (In the 7th century, when the Roman colony of Salona was abandoned, many of its inhabitants sought sanctuary behind the palace's high walls and their descendants lived there until the present day.)

The ground plan of the palace is an irregular rectangle with towers projecting from the western, northern, and eastern facades. It combines qualities of a luxurious villa with those of a military camp.

Only the southern facade, which rose directly from, or very near to, the sea, was unfortified.

A monumental gate in the middle of each of these walls led to an enclosed courtyard.


Dioklecijanova ulica (Cardo)

Now that we have passed the Golden Gates you’ll find yourself in the main street leading straight to the central part of the Palace. Today it is named after the emperor Diocletian - Dioklecijanova street. This was once Cardo Maximus, a much wider street surrounded by collonades providing shade and monumental scale. The street you’ll pass today was defined during the centuries of the transformation of the Palace, its narrow scale defined by medieval houses that were built around the original street, even bridging it over in few places.
The street is now lined with cafes, shops and crafts studios.


The transverse road (decumanus) linking the east and west gates divided the complex into two halves. In the southern half were the more luxurious structures; that is, the emperor's apartment, both public and private, and cult buildings. The emperor's apartment formed a block along the sea front.

The northern half of the palace, which was divided in two parts by the main longitudinal street (cardo) leading from the North Gate to the Perystile, is less well preserved. It is usually supposed that each of these parts formed a large residential complex, housing soldiers, servants, and possibly some other facilities

Water for the palace came from the Jadro river near Salona. Along the road from Split to Salona impressive remains of the original aqueduct can still be seen. They were extensively restored in the nineteenth century.


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Majstora Jurja 13, 21000 Split
Hrvatska (Croatia)
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