Diocletian's Palace is the most famous cultural and tourist attraction of Split, Croatia. Although called 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 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.

Reconstruction of Diocletian palace
Reconstruction of Diocletian palace
Basement of the Palace
Basement of the Palace

Table of Contents

  1. Split Peristyle
  2. Cathedral of St. Dominus
  3. Golden gate
  4. The Fruit Square
  5. Accommodation in Diocletian's palace
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Split Peristyle

Split Peristyle is one of the most beautiful squares in whole Croatia. It is surrounded by Cathedral of St. Dominus, entrance to the basement of the Palace and former Jupiter's temple.

Near the entrance to the Cathedral, there are two preserved Egyptian sphinx which are more than 3000 years old.
The Peristyle is among only a few authentic places in the world that reveal Roman antique architecture.

Visiting Peristyle is free.

The Split Peristyle
The Split Peristyle
Split Peristyle
Split Peristyle
Egyptian sphinx
Egyptian sphinx

Cathedral of St. Dominus was built during the rule of Diocletian. At first, it was not built as a church but was supposed to be grave of the emperor.
The emperor cast out all Christians who lived nearby. Most of them escaped to the nearby islands, yet some were killed. One of them was today's martyr and saint, St. Dominus.

Few hundred years after emperor's death, Christians returned to Split. They took his sarcophagus out from the building and put the sarcophagus of St. Dominus instead.
The building became church.

The cathedral bell tower was built in Gothic style in the 14th century.

Price for visiting cathedral is 15 kn (around 2 euro), for bell tower also 15 kn and for Baptistery 10 kn (around 1.5 euro).

Price for visiting the basement of the palace is 40 kuna (around 5.5 euros).

Entrance to the Cathedral
Entrance to the Cathedral
Cathedral bell tower
Cathedral bell tower

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 Museum of Split. The museum is part of Papalic Palace, the most known renaissance palace in Split.

Outside of the gate, there is a cinema called Kinoteka Zlatna Vrata. Check out program of cinema (Croatian language site)

Golden gate
Golden gate

The fruit square is located at the southern part of the palace, just near Split Riva. Its main attraction is sculpture of Marko Marulic, the most famous Croatian and Split writer. It was made by Ivan Meštrović.
It is worth taking a moment to look at this interesting sculpture.

Sculpture of Marko Marulic on Fruit Square
Sculpture of Marko Marulic on Fruit Square

UPDATE 2020: When looking for accommodation options, choose a place which offers full refund on cancellation since COVID-19 pandemic is unpredictable.

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.

Zvonimr Peran     2019-05-23

I enjoy Croatia, beautiful country with interesting places, history, culture, and people. I want you to enjoy it as well.
Contact me on email info@croatia-tourism.com, or using the form below.

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We will help you experience the best of Diocletian Palace.

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