History of Split


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 Remains of the amphitheater in Salona  Salona - after Slavs and Avars  Diocletian Palace - 1700 years ago  Diocletian Palace now - inhabited 1700 years

Aspalathos - Spalatum - history of Split

Although the city was originally inhabitated since the 6th century BC as a Greek colony named Aspalathos, todays Split officially counts its years from 295 AD, the starting year of the construction of Diocletian's Palace, which became the very heart of the future city.

Romans conquered Illyrians (3rd century BC), and established the Province of Dalmatia, with Salona (todays Solin) as the capital. Nearby Aspalathos was renamed to Spalatum.

Old Roman emperor decided (end of the 3rd century AD) to retire and enjoy his life in some beautiful place near the sea. He found the perfect spot, with lots of sun to caress his old bones, right here in todays Split. Thus he ordered a construction of a massive palace, a combination of luxurious villa for comfort, and a military camp for safety, Diocletian couldn't have imagined that his marvelous Palace will become the core and the most recognizable sight of Split.

When Salona was destroyed by Slavs and Avars in the 7th century, its displaced Romanic citizens sought refuge in deserted Diocletian's Palace and started a new life among its walls. The new inhabitants adapted the Palace and turned the former private residence into a town.

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Spalatum became part of Byzantium, with political autonomy. In the 11th century, the city was integrated within the Kingdom of Croatia and, in the century to follow, fell under the Croatian - Hungarian rule, keeping a significant independence. By that time, population was largely Croatian and the city had the strong Croatian identity.

The Venetians took over the city in the 15th century. The Venetian rule (1420-1797) has left significant traces in the city's culture and architecture. Despite the reduced autonomy during this period, Split developed into an important trade port.

After a several-year period of Napoleon's rule in the 19th century, Split ended under the Empire of Austria. During that time, Split flourished in many ways - generous investments enabled the construction of new streets, adding a touch of the Art Nouveau style to the city's architecture.

 Peristil - center of Diocletian Palace, UNESCO World Heritage  Split in the Renaissance  Romanesque palace and clock tower  Split - fountain on the riva - old photo

 Eastern walls of Diocletian Palace - Silver gate  Cathedral of Saint Domnius - one of the oldest in the World  Cathedral of Saint Domnius tower - Peristil  Gossip says that Diocletian can be seen strolling the Palace

Split history - Diocletian's Palace

Diocletian's Palace - Invaluable monument of the Ancient times, upgraded with many Medieval buildings and other remarkable architectural elements. This archaeological and historical complex has been enlisted in UNESCO World Heritage List since 1979.

Take a walk among the Palace's walls and explore Vestibul, the entrance hall to Diocletian's residence, with an open dome at the top, and paved with marble slabs.

Cathedral of Saint Domnius was built upon the emperor's mausoleum in the 7th century, with the bell tower dating from the 13th century.
Cathedral preserves the remains of St. Domnius, as well as other church treasures.

Enter the Temple of Jupiter and show some respect for the supreme deity of the Ancient Romans.

If you are looking for a shade, discover the mysterious vaulted halls and corridors of Diocletian's Cellars.

Finally, enjoy your summer evenings on Peristil, the Palace's main square, traditionally used as a remarkable open stage for numerous cultural events during the summer months.

 Dekumanus - main street in Diocletian Palace  Vestibul - entrance hall to Diocletian residence  Temple of Jupiter and a Sphinx  Diocletian Cellars below Diocletian residence

 The City Museum - in the late Gothic Papalic Palace  The Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments  Split Archaeological Museum  Split City Hall on the People Square

Historical attractions - what to see

The City's Museum - The Museum is housed in the late Gothic Papalic's Palace. It keeps a valuable collection of art works, historical artefacts, monuments and documents.

The Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments - Established in the late 19th century, the museum keeps the remains of the Croatian culture from the Middle Ages.

People's Square - Also called the Pjaca, the Square is adjacent to the Diocletian's Palace from the west. It was built probably in the 13th century, as the city expanded out of the Palace's walls. Visit the old City Hall, built in the Gothic style.

Marmont Street - Named after the famous Napoleon's marshal, the Marmont Street borders the city's core from the west and connects the waterfront with the Croatian National Theatre. The street boasts number of impressive buildings, such as the Sulfur Baths Building.
Nowadays, the street is a popular city's shopping area.

Prokurative - The famous city's square is placed west of Diocletian's Palace and is used as a popular outdoor stage for various cultural manifestations, including the Split Festival, a pop music festival that is held every summer.

Fort Gripe - The fortification complex built in the 17th century to defend the city against the Turks. Today, the fort houses the Croatian Maritime Museum, as well as the State Archives.

 People Square - adjacent to the Diocletian Palace from the west  Prokurative square - time of Venice  Marmont Street - time of Napoleon  Fort Gripe - Croatian Maritime Museum