Diocletian palace is a antique palace located in Split. It was built around 300. by roman emperor Diocletian. He was living in this palace after he retired in 305. and until he died in 316. The remains of the palace are now part of historical core of the city Split. Palace is protected from UNESCO world heritage program since 1979.
It is unknown when the construction begin, but the presumption is around 295. Some sources say that in time when Diocletian relocated to the palace in 305., the construction still has not been finished. From the names written on the wall of the palace, we find out that some of the builders were from the East, but mostly they were locals using the stone from Brač, even now very famous for its quality. The shape of the palace is a rectangle, characteristic for a military camp built in antique times. The palace was built like a fortress and it had 16 defensive towers. There are four entry doors into the palace, all well preserved. Even though Split is now the largest city in Dalmatia region and second largest in Croatia, at the time palace was being built, Salona, or today Solin, was the leader city in the region. It was just 5-6 km away from the palace. Life in the palace after the death of Diocletian was not turned off. It stayed a property of the roman rulers. Mostly it was used to accommodate exiled members of the royal family. After Salona was ruined in 6. century and the locals were obliged to find some other home, they went to Split and populated the palace. In 7. century, city of Split started to exist in the shape as we know it today.
Now, the palace is one of the main attractions in Split. It is located in the center of Split. Even now it is possible to see the life of the people in the palace. That life style is something specific for Dalmatia region and bare essensce of old tradition. Except private houses, there are also many restaurants, caffe places, pubs and small shops located in Diocletian palace. All of them give a „soul“ to the palace.
If you are going to Croatia, this is a „must see“ attraction!