Diocletian's Palace

Split, Croatia

Considered to be one of the most imposing Roman ruins, Diocletian’s palace is certainly the main attraction of the city of Split. The ruins of palace, built between the late 3rd and the early 4th centuries A.D., can be found throughout the city. Today the remains of the palace are part of the historic core of Split, which in 1979 was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

While it is referred to as a 'palace' because of its intended use as the retirement residence of Diocletian, the term can be misleading as the structure is massive and more resembles a large fortress: about half of it was for Diocletian's personal use, and the rest housed the military garrison.

Architecture

The palace has a form of an irregular rectangle with numerous towers on the western, northern, and eastern facades. The southern façade has no towers, because it was rising directly from the waters of the sea. The design of the palace is a mix of villa and castrum architecture. The Emperor’s apartments were located on the southern part of the complex - along the seaside.

Only the foundation and lower floors of these apartments have survived to our days. Diocletian’s octagonal mausoleum (later was reconstructed into a Christian church - one of the oldest in the world) and 3 temples were also located in the southern part of the palace. One of the temples was later turned into a baptistery, the other two were destroyed.

On the crossroad of the two main roads of the palace, the so called Peristyle is located. The Peristyle is a rectangular open court decorated with colonnade and intended to become the heart of the palace, where the most powerful Roman citizens were gathering. 

Here and there in the palace one can find antiques, including three 3500 years old sphinxes, brought to Split from Egypt for the Emperor.

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Details

Founded: 4th century AD
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Croatia

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Paweł Puch (3 months ago)
Amazing place, beautiful, kept in good condition. It's best to visit early in the morning to avoid the crowds of visitors. The atmosphere there is absolutely gorgeous and makes you want to come back there again. From the Palace, you can enter a maze of charming little lanes spreading out all over the old town. This place is a must see!
Ivan Dubok (4 months ago)
Beautiful place and at the night time always have many people with nice restaurants. Almost impossible to get a table and often need to stay in long lines.. So old streets you feel like traveled in the past when walking around. We love every moment being there, would definitely come back.
Laxmi Agarwal (6 months ago)
It's an old fortress in old town of split. You can roam around the fortress. Mostly it's closed so you can see ruins from outside but still it's beautiful. Many GOT scenes are shot here this whole place has cafes and bar, ice cream shops and shopping outlets. it’s beautiful place
Oliver Falk-Becker (7 months ago)
We were so stunned walking through this Roman palace in Split! It is actually the world's most complete remains of a Roman palace. On first sight you may not recognize it as a palace as it looks rather like a city wall. This is because in post Roman times the people of split built their city inside the palace. So you will need some imagination when visiting. Best is to start your way in the cellar, entering from the harbor side. Then walk your way up to the historic Peristyle. Also three of the original four gates are preserved. Our biggest highlight was the temple of Aesculapius. Five stars is not enough for this site and even our kids could not get enough of it!
Ryan Evans (8 months ago)
Really stunning ancient walls, well preserved and a calm place for walks in the evening. Lovely restaurants and shops around the area. Whilst it is one of Splits most popular tourist attractions there really isn't much to see compared to landmarks in bigger European cities
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