St. Martin’s Church

 

Above the Golden Gate, in the guards' corridor, a long narrow chapel dedicated to St. Martin has existed since the 5th or the 6th century, though it has been rebuilt several times. The delicate stone altar screen from the early-Croatian period (11th ct.) is especially noteworthy. At that time, a belfry was also erected, similar to the one which has been preserved until now in the Western Gate. The dedication to St. Martin, the patron saint of soldiers, but also of tailors and cloth makers — might be connected with the existence of an imperial textile workshop for Roman soldiers' uniforms, and the like, located in this part of the Palace. The name of the Procurator Gynaecei Joviensis Aspalathi is mentioned in the documents that refer to such a workshop. The "Gynaecei" in Split might have been united into a corporation whose patron was St. Martin.

 

 

This smallest and one of the oldest churches in Split is only 1.64 m wide and 10 m long, and is considered the most preserved sacral monument of Antiquity. It is definitely still the most picturesque interior in Split, and it just might be the smallest church in the world.

 

Next to the church, there is a Dominican convent. The first nuns arrived to Split in the 14th century and settled next to the church at the Golden Gate. They were called “picokare”.

 

 

St. Martin’s Church