Diocletian’s Palace is an ancient palace in Split, built in the 4th century. It was built for the Roman emperor, Diocletian, to reside in during his retirement. In 1979, the palace was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is now one of the most famous tourist attractions in Croatia. Entrance into the Diocletian’s Palace is free, but some parts of the palace, such as the Split Bell Tower, the Cathedral of Saint Domnius Treasury and Split Jupiter Temple, are ticket-only, which can be purchased at the site.
5 Famous Sights to See in Split
Split is the second largest city in Croatia and the largest town in the Dalmatia. It has become a popular destination with many travellers, with plenty of fantastic sights to see. Split has so many interesting spots to visit, among which the famous Diocletian’s Palace is a particular favourite. In our travel guide, we have included helpful travel tips and our most recommended attractions for you to visit.
The Peristyle is in the heart of Diocletian’s Palace and is the perfect spot to capture a great photo of the Bell Tower. The term ‘Peristyle’ dates back to the Ancient Greece and simply means, a ‘courtyard’, typically with columns surrounding it. This would have been the spot where Diocletian would greet his loyal subjects. Today, the Peristyle is a buzzing location with tourists taking photos or sitting on the steps enjoying a drink from a nearby bar, Café Luxor. In the afternoon, you may even get to see the re-enactment of the emperor’s decree held in the Peristyle.
Statue of Grgur Ninski
Located outside the Golden Gate is the iconic statue of the 10th century bishop, Grgur Ninski, created by the renowned Croatian sculptor, Ivan Meštrović. Grgur Ninski was as an important figure, who fought for the right to conduct his religious ceremonies in the old Croatian language, instead of in Latin, helping to promote Christianity. Not only is this statue famous for Ninski’s good work, but visitors from all over the world stop by to rub Ninski’s big toe for good luck!
Just a short drive northeast of Split, you will find the incredible medieval Klis Fortress. This fortress dates back to the 7th century and played an important role in defending the Balkans from the siege of the Mogols and later on the Ottomans in the 1500s. It has also been the seat to many Croatian Kings. The fortress has been built into the side of a rocky cliff, above the small village of Klis and offers breathtakings views overlooking Split, the Adriatic Sea and nearby islands.
Game of Thrones fans may recognise Klis Fortress as Meereen from the TV show, where Daenery’s famously freed the slaves from their masters. You can find out more about our Game of Thrones Tours here >>>
Cathedral of St. Domnius
This is one of the most popular attractions in Split and is located in the centre of Diocletian’s Palace. The cathedral was originally built as a mausoleum to the Emperor Diocletian in the 13th century. The cathedral is made up of two parts, the church and the famous bell tower. Inside the church you will find alters dedicated to Croatian icons, including the patron saint of Split, St. Domnius and the Croatian sculptor Juraj Dalmatinas. The second part of the cathedral is the bell tower. The tower has an impressive Romanesque and Gothic architecture and is 57 meters high. Visitors can even climb the stairs all the way to the top and take in the extraordinary panoramic view of Split.
If you are interested in visiting Split, you can find more information about our cruises here or take a look at our multi-centre holidays where you can combine visits to two or more islands in Croatia. You can also give us a call on +44 208 004 2345 and speak to one of our helpful travel experts to fund out more about our holidays.
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