Diocletian’s Palace – An Ancient World inside a Modern City…
So basically the story goes, as do many stories of ancient history, that this really famous emperor, by the name of Diocletian, was so up himself that he wanted to build a long lasting monument to forever remember him by. This palace was built in preparation for his retirement and he built it in Split as it was only four miles away from the Roman capital in Dalmatia.
After the Roman’s fled, the palace was abandoned for years until those who lived there fled to escape barbarians. After this and to this day, people set up their lives here – living in homes, running businesses and doing every day things.
In 1979 it was declared a world heritage site and a visit to the the old palace ruins you can see why.
It’s very easy to get lost in the old palace as you attempt to navigate through the stone alleyways that house everything from shops, cafes, restaurants to people’s humble homes where they hang out their washing on a line from their window.
While the main parts near the cathedral are decorated with fancy restaurants and markets, it doesn’t take long or many left and right turns to lose yourself in the lives that the Croatians live in these ruins.