There was once a ruler of the extremely powerful empire, covering almost the entire Europe, who got tired with the world, ruling and politics. He wanted to retire and enjoy the rest of his life in some beautiful, sunny place far away from the conflicts and court intrigues. And as an emperor he had all the money in the world to do that.
It is not a fairy tale, it is the story of Roman emperor Diocletian, the first emperor who voluntarily abdicated. He used his fortune to build a magnificent palace and fortress on Dalmatian coast with windows of his imperial rooms overlooking the turquoise sea of Adriatic whose waters were reaching as far as the base of the palace walls. Such were the beginnings of the city of Split. Diocletian spared no money to adorn his palace with marble and gold and even columns and sphinxes imported from Egypt, creating one of the most impressive ancient Roman structures existing till the present day!
It is somewhat bizarre to realise that the old town of Split is located inside that very palace and walking down its narrow streets and passages, sitting in cafes and restaurants, watching inhabitants living their lives, washing hanging from the windows, kids playing, we are still within the palace limits.
Walking through Split we will get to know the palace and structures that were built for it, sometimes hard to see at first glance, with all the houses that were constructed later within the walls and buildings of the palace. Walk with us to see the preserved gates of the palace, named after precious metals: gold, silver, bronze and iron, stand on the monumental Peristyle where the emperor would address the public and where the Jupiter Temple, once the Diocletian mausoleum stands. Diocletian was a fierce persecutor of Christians and now they laugh last as the temple was converted into a church devoted to one of the emperor’s victims and instead of the Jupiter statue, the statue of St John the Baptist stands under the dome. Get to the Vestibule that once led to the emperor’s private apartments and try to imagine what life in his palace was like.
After the glorious days of the palace came the inevitable destruction and sacking of the region by the Avars and the Slavs. Split entered the sphere of interest of the Byzantine Empire and then the Republic of Venice and the Kingdom of Croatia. Being surrounded by the Ottoman Empire its influences are visible here as well. The modern city of Split that reaches far beyond the old palace is the second-largest city of Croatia and one of the centres of Croatian culture.
Come and visit with us this outstanding place, one of its kind in the world, listed on the UNESCO Heritage List and get amazed! During this 2 hour tour you will see and discover:
This tour is organized in cooperation with our local partner, Free Spirit Tours!
Thank you for choosing Walkative & Free Spirit Tours! If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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