Split – Emperor Diocletian Palace

November 12, 2011

In Split, we will visit the Diocletian Palace and the plaza in front of the St. Dominic Church.  We walked through the Palace and outside the North  gate to the statue of Bishop Gregory of Nin.  After the guided portion of the tour, we were free to walk around the town of Split and return to the ship on our own.  This post is images of the Palace.  Next post will provide images of the streets of Split.

The Diocletian’s Palace is a building in Split, Croatia, that was built by the Roman emperor Diocletian at the turn of the fourth century AD.  Diocletian built the massive palace in preparation for his retirement on 1 May 305 AD. It lies in a bay on the south side of a short peninsula running out from the Dalmatian coast, four miles from Salona, the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. The terrain slopes gently seaward and is typical karst, consisting of low limestone ridges running east to west with marl in the clefts between them.

The ground plan of the palace is an irregular rectangle (approximately 160 meters x 190 meters) with towers projecting from the western, northern, and eastern facades. It combines qualities of a luxurious villa with those of a military camp, with its huge gates and watchtowers.  

This palace is today, with all the most important historical buildings, in the centre of the city of Split. Diocletian’s Palace far transcends local importance because of its degree of preservation. The Palace is one of the most famous and complete architectural and cultural features on the Croatian Adriatic coast. As the world’s most complete remains of a Roman palace, it holds an outstanding place in Mediterranean, European and world heritage.

The Cathedral of St. Duje (Cathedral of Saint Domnius ) is a complex of a church, formed from an Imperial Roman mausoleum, with a bell tower; strictly the church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and the bell tower to Saint Duje. Together they form the Cathedral of St. Duje.

Gregory of Nin was a medieval Croatian bishop who strongly opposed the Pope and official circles of the Church and introduced the Croatian language in the religious services after the Great Assembly in 926.  His statue was originally located in the Peristyle of Diocletian’s Palace and can be seen in postcards of the pre-World War II period. During World War II, the statue was moved outside the city by Italian occupying forces. Currently, the statue sits to the north of the Palace and Old Town of Split, just outside the Golden Gate.

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