Diocletian's Palace is the most famous cultural and tourist attraction of Split, Croatia.
Although called a palace, it is more like a big fortress surrounded by walls and towers.
It was built in the 4th century by Roman Emperor Diocletian who wanted to build a fortress to spend his retirement age. No wonder he chose the beautiful city of Split.
The construction of the palace was finished in 305 AC, and it lasted less than ten years. Today, the palace is part of UNESCO world heritage and includes the old town of Split.
No matter of art knowledge level, Diocletian's Palace is a must-see attraction for every visitor. Many sights from the Roman age are well preserved.
Entrance to the palace is free, because it is part of the city, covering an area of 40 000 m2. However, entrance to the buildings located inside the palace is paid.
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Split Peristyle is one of the most beautiful squares in Croatia. It is surrounded by Cathedral of St. Domnius, entrance to the basement of the Palace and former Jupiter's temple.
Near the entrance to the Cathedral, there are two preserved Egyptian sphinxes which are more than 3000 years old.
The Peristyle is among only a few authentic places in the world that have preserved the full integrity of the ancient Roman architecture.
Visiting Peristyle is free.
The price for visiting the basement of the palace is 5.50 euros (around 40 kuna).
Cathedral of St. Domnius
The Cathedral of St. Domnius was built during the rule of Diocletian. At first, it was not built as a church but was supposed to be the grave of the emperor.
The emperor cast out all Christians who lived in the neighbourhood. Most of them escaped to the nearby islands, yet some were killed. One of them was today's martyr and saint, St. Domnius.
A few hundred years after the emperor's death, Christians returned to Split. They took his sarcophagus out of the building and put the sarcophagus of St. Dominus instead.
The building became a church.
The cathedral bell tower was built in Gothic style in the 14th century.
There are multiple points of visitor interest related to the cathedral: The Cathedral interior, Crypt, Baptistery, Treasury, and Bell tower. Check the ticket prices.
Golden Gate is the name for the north entrance to the palace. It is well preserved, although niches in the wall miss statues.
Just near the gate, inside the palace, there is the split city museum. The museum is part of Papalic Palace, the well-known Renaissance art masterpiece in Split.
There is a cinema called Kinoteka Zlatna Vrata located just out of the gate. Check out program of cinema (Croatian language site)
The Fruit Square
The Fruit Square is located in the southern part of the palace, just near Split Riva. Its main attraction is sculpture of Marko Marulic, the most famous Croatian writer. The sculpture was carved by Ivan Meštrović.
It is worth taking a moment to look at this interesting sculpture.
Accommodation in Diocletian's Palace
Diocletian's Palace is full of attractions and it's located very close to famous beach Bacvice. That's why it is also a great place to look for accommodation.