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Diocletian's Palace


Diocletian's Palace (Croatian: Dioklecijanova palača) is an ancient palace built by the Roman emperor Diocletian. Today, it forms the center of the city of Split.


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


Diocletian built the massive palace in preparation for his retirement on 1 May 305 AD. It lies in a bay on the south side of a short peninsula running out from the Dalmatian coast, four miles from Salona, the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. 


The Palace is one of the most famous and complete architectural and cultural features on the Croatian Adriatic coast. As the world's most complete remains of a Roman palace, it holds an outstanding place in the Mediterranean, European and world heritage.


In November 1979, in line with the international convention on cultural and natural heritage, UNESCO adopted a proposal that Diocletian's Palace and the historic city of Split built around the Palace should be included in World Cultural Heritage register.


The Palace is a rectangular building (approximately 215 m by 180 m), with four big towers at its corners, with four gates on each side and four small towers on its walls. There are no openings on the lower parts of the walls, but on the upper parts there is a monumental porch on the south side, and there are arcades on other three sides. During the following centuries, the residents of the Palace and the citizens of the city have adapted this space to their needs, so both the buildings within the Palace and the external walls with towers have greatly changed their original appearance. 



The most important parts of Diocletian's Palace are:



Two main Diocletian's streets are:

  • Cardo (from 1 to 3 in the aerial photo)

  • Decumanus (from 2 to 4 in the aerial photo)


For details, please see the ground-plan in the gallery, and the links.

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