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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrDiocletian’s Palace is one of the famous World Heritage Sites in the beautiful city of Split. It was built at the turn of the 4th century AD by Diocletian, a Roman emperor. Being the most complete remains of all ancient Roman palaces, Diocletian is very well regarded as a cultural and architectural structure, not only in the Adriatic and Croatian coasts but also in the Mediterranean and in Europe. As such, the palace is very well-preserved, protected, and taken care of.
The ancient palace forms a considerable part of the city center and considered as the gem of the city of Split. Tourists and visitors can simply walk around it to be able to enjoy its splendor. To pay a visit to the excavated remains of the palace, one can go under the pavement level.
The city streets are also well-preserved. There are four magnificent gates in the city, that are in themselves, a delight to see. They are Porat Aenea (Mjedena Vrata), Porta Argenta (Srebrna Vrata), Porta Aurea (Zlatna Vrata), and Porta Ferea (Zeljezna Vrata).
Interesting SightsIf you are expecting old, dull, and deserted ruins of a Roman palace, you will be disappointed. The remains of Diocletian’s Palace now serves as a home to streets of various shops, bars, and restaurants. It is the “living heart” of Split, and this is where you will most probably spend most of your time while you are in the city.
The place is teeming with local residents and tourists alike. Here, you can hear lively music from the bars and cafés while observing kids playing football, residents hanging their laundry outside, and old folks watching the action below from their comfortable homes on the second floor.
Within the palace boundaries are 220 buildings that house around 3,000 residents. But they still remain deserted, and eerie courtyards and passageways are hidden by the narrow streets within the palace.
Construction of the palace lasted for 10 long years. The Roman Emperor, Diocletian, invested a lot of money in its construction, using only the best materials. Its marbles were imported from Greece and Italy; its lustrous white stones from the Brač Island; and its sphinxes and columns from Egypt.
The palace measures an astounding 215 meters from the east to the west, including the square corners. The whole structure covers a total area of 31,000 square meters with 26-meter-high walls.
Each of these walls has a gate named after a precious metal – Golden Gate (northern end), Bronze Gate (southern end), Silver Gate (eastern end), and Iron Gate (western end). Between Silver and Iron gates is a straight road called Krešimirova that separates the imperial residence at the southern side from the quarters of the soldier and servants at the northern side.
Meanwhile, the Golden and Bronze gates are facing popular city landmarks, namely the Meštrović sculptures of Gregory of Nin the medieval bishop, and the literary scholar, Marko Marulić.
The original structure of the Diocletian Palace was modified in the Middle Ages. However, instead of ruining its cultural allure, the alterations even increased it. The interesting fusion of old and new, ancient and modern, is what makes this place so enchantingly fascinating.
Getting There and AroundThe Diocletian Palace is accessible via all modes of transportation – by air, land, and water.
By PlaneYou can get to the city via plane through Split Airport, which comes after Zagreb Airport. It is located 25 km west from Split and is near the city of Trogir . The airport is pretty much modern, with free WiFi connection. There are airport buses available.
By BoatFerries run regularly across the Adriatic to and from Ancona and Pescara (Italy), around three times a week. A large ferry, cruising up and down between the coasts of Dubrovnik and Rijeka, also runs twice a week. It stops at a few islands along the way.
By TaxiLocal taxis will get you around the city. From the ferry port, it takes around 30 minutes to go to Split center and costs around 270 KN. But if you are good at bargaining with cab drivers, some can be persuaded to charge 220 KN if you ask in advance.
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Author: bonz_jade. Last updated: Jan 11, 2015