Split Diocletian Palace

1,700 years ago a Roman emperor decided to retire on the Adriatic Sea. Today the remains of this grand palace stand as one of Croatia’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and the historic center of Dalmatia’s largest city Split.


It took the Roman emperor Diocletian about 10 years to construct his retirement palace on his chosen spot where the mountains meet the Adriatic Sea on the Dalmatian coastline. Dating back to 4th century CE, the complex of the imposing palace used to occupy 30,000 square meters including defense military garrison buildings, cellars, temples and forts. While the majority of the palace was built from the famous local limestone, Diocletian spared no expense and imported marble from Italy and Greece along with sphinxes from Egypt.

To the date, this is one of the most impressive Roman ruins yet visitors today will have a hard time picturing the stand-alone palace it is now melted into the city center of Split. The largest city in Dalmatia grew around the Diocletian’s Palace, which now represents its historic city center.  A walk through the narrow streets and alleys unveils a vibrant mix of historic buildings and trendy coffee bars, restaurants and shops. There is no avoiding the palace remains in the city center; the imposing Peristil, the main entrance to Diocletian’s quarters in the Palace, is used today for hosting open air concerts and festivals, while the Cathedral od St. Domnius stands where Diocletian’s mausoleum used to be. Most visitors will want to also walk through the underground Diocletian’s cellars, which were recently even used as a filming location for the popular HBO show Game of Thrones.


  • Guided tour of Diocletian’s Palace
  • Visit the Cathedral of St. Domnius
  • Visit Mestrovic Gallery in Split
  • Visit nearby Salona archeological site

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