SPLIT Dalmatia Croatia - Travel Guide Map
The Peristyle is the central square of the palace, where the main entrance to Diocletian's quarters is located. A monumental court formed the northern access to the imperial apartments. It also gave access to Diocletian's mausoleum on the east (now Cathedral of St. Domnius), and to three temples on the west (two of which are now lost, the third having become a baptistery, originally being the temple of Jupiter). See also Prothyron and Vestibule.
The Peristyle is grand and spacious. One wall is an assortment of architectural styles and materials. Smooth Egyptian columns - each of a different type of stone - that are original to Diocletian's Palace, once supported an open arcade. Later, they were incorporated into the walls of medieval houses - palaces of Split noble families Grisogono, Cipci and Skočibušić.
Due to its unique beauty and unusual acoustics, Peristyle became the ideal theater scenery, perfect for opera classics and works of ancient literature, but also the stage where abundant urban life continues. Having your coffee on the steps circling Peristyle is a unique experience, one of the closest touches of a modern man with the ancient heritage, not only Roman, but also Egyptian, as the Peristyle is closely watched over by a 3500 old and perfectly preserved sphinx, the witness of Split's history in making.