Diocletian’s Palace

Considered to be one of the most imposing Roman ruins, Diocletian’s palace is certainly the main attraction of the city of Split.

These ruins are some of the most valuable preserved buildings of the Roman era on the Adriatic coast.

Emperor Diocletian, who voluntarily gave up the throne of the Roman Empire, at the turn of the 4th century CE, built the palace and after his retirement settled here, on the beach, in the Illyrian province of Rome.

Today, the Illyrian province is part of Croatia.

The palace was a massive structure and contains not only the palace itself but also buildings, intended for housing military garrison. The whole complex occupied around 30/000 square meters. Today, these ruins lie in the heart of the city of Split.

The ancient fortress has become the old town of Split, with numerous shops, cafes, restaurants and apartments, located in the old buildings on narrow streets of the palace/fortress.

Around 3000 people lives on the territory of Diocletian’s palace today.

Emperor Diocletian had a wish to enter his palace on a ship, without leaving the deck. Today, it is hard to imagine that the lower tier of Diocletian’s palace was once covered with water, and the ship of the Emperor was usually slowly passing between the columns and stopping among the vaulted rooms of the lower tier.

The windows in the lower rooms of the palace are located near the ceiling – in case the water would rise – and even during the day, the illumination here is weak, uneven. Over time, the sea receded, and a city emerged around the palace.

Not much is left in Split from the era of Diocletian – only the palace, the remains of walls and gates.