Built as a grandiose retirement home for a Roman emperor, Diocletian's Palace is Split's crowning glory and one of the best-preserved Roman monuments in Croatia.
Begun around AD 295, Diocletian's Palace was a vast and lavish fortified villa, built for the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ruled around the turn of the fourth century. Today its remains cover half of the Old Town of Split, one of the most beautiful cities in Croatia.
Diocletian, who was born in Solin, near modern-day Split, ruled the eastern half of the Roman Empire between AD 286 and 305 and was the first emperor to voluntarily abdicate, retiring to his grand palace in Split, where he died in AD 312. The complex also housed a military garrison and was heavily fortified.
The palace was used by subsequent emperors and much of the structure was retained, reused and modified through the Middle Ages, with houses and churches being built within its boundaries. It is one of the best-preserved examples of Roman architecture in Europe and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Diocletian's Palace is one of the best preserved examples of Roman architecture in Europe, and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site
No visitor to Split can fail to notice the monumental remains of this extensive palace, which has been adapted and extended over the centuries by the local inhabitants.
The original outlines of the Roman walls can still be seen, as well as the imposing gateways, including the impressive Golden Gate. This was used as the Emperor's private entrance. The Silver Gate, which was once hidden by a now demolished church, can also be admired, as well as the peristyle, the grand central square inside the palace.
The octagonal structure within the palace which once housed the Mausoleum of Diocletian was converted into the Cathedral of Saint Domnius in the 7th century, with a Romanesque-style bell tower beginning in the 13th century. Climb to the top for spectacular views across Split and the Mediterranean sea beyond.
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Dioklecijanova ul. 1,