Split, a world heritage site, is both a major trade port in Croatia, Croatia's second largest town and one of the region's oldest towns. It was here that the Roman Emperor Diocletian (Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus) built his summer home and crypt starting in 295 A.D. Most of the old town of Split has swallowed the massive palace with many of the stone and bricks being used in newer buildings.

The town has had many outside rulers. The Roman, Byzantine, and Austro-Hungarian empires ruled over the area as did the city-state of Venice and even Napoleon. Still, it is Diocletian who shaped the town and it still shows.

Entering Split from the Adriatic
The Split equivalent of Krogers
Diocletians Mausoleum (left), now St. Domnus' Catholic Church
The Peristyle and entrance to Diocletian's quarters in the palace. Most of the interior of the Emperors quarters has long been in ruins.
The palace basement. For years, townspeople poured garbage and building debris into the palace basement meaning when the uncovered it in the 1960s, it was in perfect repair with the classic Roman barrel ceilings. Because of the construction, it exactly matched the rooms above giving archeologists an exact palace floor-plan.
Statue of Grgur Ninski by Ivan Mestrovic - Croatia's greatest sculpture.
View of city from the massive Bell Tower - The heavy winds, rain and polished marble made this a rather harrowing climb while toting my camera equipment.

Here is more information on the palace.

All material Copyright 2000 Drew Sullivan unless otherwise indicated.
All Rights Reserved