Croatia , Bosnia, Montenegro-05/11-5/19/2019

Split -Old town-5/14/2019

Diocletian's palace-Peristyle

Diocletian Palace is not simply a cultural monument, it is the only living monument in the world as approximately 3,000 people still live insdie this wold heritabe site.  There is no entrance fee, it is free for everyone so it is always crowded.

Some 11 years into his reign, in the year 295, he ordered the construction of his Palace in the Roman province of Dalmatia near the town Salona (todays Solin), where Diocletian spent time in his youth. The construction of the palace was finished 10 years later, in 305, and as soon as it did, Diocletian decided to abdicate his position as the Roman emperor and he moved to his palace to live the remaining days where he tended to his vegetable gardens.  Diocletian’s Palace is one of the largest and best-preserved examples of Roman architecture in the world. What’s more, it’s the beating heart of the city of Split. One of the palace’s most important and most loved parts is the Peristyle. This was originally the courtyard of the fortress built by one of the last Roman emperors.

The magnificent peristyle is lined with colonnade on tree sides. To the south, they opened onto the Emperor's apartments.  The entrance porch, framed by two 16C-17C chapels can still be seen.  The palace was built from local limestone and white marble.

Though the original Roman architecture is gone, the citizens here rebuilt the area long ago in a similar style. The area used to be the formal entrance way that guided visitors into the hall of Diocletian’s palace.

 

Even the structures themselves speak to the history of this vibrant city. Many of the columns and walls are formed from marble harvested from Brac, a nearby mining island. Other marble has been imported from areas of Italy and Egypt over the course of many years.

 

Now it is a modern square where people meet with friends, relax, have fun and explore the ancient past of the beautiful coastal city.

 

 

A peristyle or peristylium is an architectural term dating back to Ancient Greece. Both the wealthy Greeks and Romans had a peristyle or an inner courtyard within their villa. One of its major characteristics is the set of columns that surround it. The Peristyle of Diocletian’s Palace was naturally more monumental compared to what the rest of the noblemen of Rome had. Still, it had the characteristic columns which are preserved to this day. The courtyard is also paved. Most likely, it didn’t serve solely as a place for relaxation of the emperor, but rather as a venue for religious and other public events.

 

Bell Tower of Saint Dominus.

Saint Dominus was the patron saint of the city of Split and the Bishop of Salona from 284 to 304. The former mausoleum of the Emperor Diocletian is the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world because it has served for so long as a place of public worship. Residents of Split have raised a magnificent bell tower, which today has become the symbol of the city.

 

The tower was built in the 12th century and is one of the oldest and finest you will see in Dalmatia.

 

 

 

These 2 guys dressed as Roman soldiers are the same guys I took picture with.

 

This is the entrance to the temple of Jupiter dedicated to the Ancient Roman god Jupiter.  You have to pay to get in so we did not.

 

Eleven of the twelve granite sphinxes that originally guarded the Peristyle have been destroyed by Christians who took exception to Egyptian imagery in their cathedral, but the twelfth remains, an imposing reminder of the original designer of the mausoleum, Diocletian

To the east the colonnade houses a sphinx from 15 BC brought back by Diocletian from his Egyptian campaign.

 

Not much is left in Split from the era of Diocletian, only the palace and the remains of walls and gates.

 

The rest of the old city is covered with white stone buildings of different periods and styles.

 

 

 

Remains from Diocletian's era with the Bell Tower in the background.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This are use to be a forum and it is now lined with coffee shops.

 

This is another view of the forum over looking the silver gate (this is another entrance into the palace).

 

Ancient pavement and columns in ruin.

 

This is another entrance to Diocletian's palace named the Silver gate. The silver gate is one of the four Principal gates into the old town.

The Silver Gate was used by  Pope John Paul II in his "Pope-mobile" on the way to the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, during his visit to Split in 2000.

 

The Silver Gate was more modest in decorations than the Golden one, and it was closed from the Middle Ages till 1952, only to be thoroughly reconstructed during the destruction of the Baroque church Dušica.

 

This area is a bit touristy as there are a lot of shops selling souvenirs.

 

View of the forum from the silver gate.

We are now heading to Bokeria for dinner

 

 

Next... Dinner at Bokeria

 

 

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