500px Photo ID: 102534255 - Diocletian palace UNESCO world heritage site in Split, Dalmatia, Croatia

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This picturesque colonnaded ancient Roman peristyle (courtyard) lies at the very heart of Diocletian's Palace. In summer you can almost be guaranteed a pair of strapping local lads dressed as legionaries adding to the scene. Notice the black-granite sphinx sitting between the columns near the cathedral; dating from the 15th century BC, it was one of 12 looted from Egypt when the palace was constructed.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Split attractions

1. New Research on Split Cathedral

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Situated opposite the Cathedral of St Domnius, this exhibition features large-scale photos of architectural features of the cathedral along with technical…

2. Diocletian’s Palace

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Taking up a prime harborside position, the extraordinary complex of Diocletian's Palace is one of the most imposing ancient Roman structures in existence…

3. Cathedral of St Domnius

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Split’s octagonal cathedral is one of the best-preserved ancient Roman buildings still standing. It was built as a mausoleum for Diocletian, the last…

4. Vestibule

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At the southern end of the peristil, above the basement stairs, is the vestibule, a grand and cavernous domed room, open to the sky, which was once the…

5. Temple of Jupiter

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Although it's now the cathedral's baptistery, this wonderfully intact building was originally an ancient Roman temple dedicated to the king of the gods…

6. Split Ethnographic Museum

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This mildly interesting museum occupies a former convent built within what was originally the emperor's bed chambers. Downstairs are temporary exhibitions…

7. Split City Museum

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Built by Juraj Dalmatinac in the 15th century for one of the many noblemen who lived within the old town, the Large Papalić Palace is considered a fine…

8. Diocletian's Palace Substructure

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The Bronze Gate of Diocletian's Palace once opened straight from the water into the palace basements, enabling goods to be unloaded and stored here. Now…