Having one of the best preserved monuments of the Roman Empire and one of the largest buildings throughout antique, the palace of the Roman emperor in a city, is priceless. And when you take into count that it still serves the people who makes it alive in many ways, it is really a unique example in the world.
After he voluntarily abdicated in 305, the Roman Emperor Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletian built a palace beside the place of Aspalathos (lat. Spalatum), near the capital of Dalmatia, Salona. Since the most likely emperor’s origin is from this place, the choice of location is logical.


Emperor’s private villa
The building did not have a role model in the earlier Roman buildings so that it represents the original sample of adjustment to its function. It was the house of a retired emperor and the external and internal appearance reflects elements of lavish imperial villa, fortified camp and Hellenistic city.
The palace lies inside of huge walls that consist of an irregular rectangle dominated by two streets, Cardo and Decumanus, which each end with a city gate (Gold, Iron, Silver and Bronze gate). The northern part of the palace was designated for the army and the emperor’s praetorian and for economic purposes (weaving cloth, warehouses).
The buildings in the southern part had residential character: the emperor’s apartment with large halls, rooms, baths, library, living room and dining room, quarters for his courtiers and guests, and four temples.
After the emperor’s death, probably in 316, his palace became state property that served for exiled Roman nobles and weaving workshops whose workers together with their heirs adapted palace to their needs. Thanks to that and wars throughout history that have forced the local population to seek refuge in a nearby mansion, palace has developed into today’s city of Split…


„Carissimi hospites, intrare, porta palatii aperta est! “
…Who knows how to repay to his emperor. In his honor, the last 12 years the three-day event Days of Diocletian is being held. Every August the whole palace gets attire and vibrancy of ancient times when Diocletian lived. Lectures about the history, presentations of old crafts and exhibition of products, an international tennis tournament of pairs “Diocletian’s cup”, children’s play, Roman football and music concerts are an integral part of the city center those days.
The most important event was on Friday. Emperor’s speech and Empress Prisca’s order legions to lineup and gladiators to start fighting with shout let the games begin opened the 12th Days of Diocletian.
The most interesting thing for large audience to watch was fighting gladiators and emperors’ command of their destinies whether to live or die. The lineup of IV Diocletian’s legion was particularly attractive. Roman women dance with fire and fire-eater performance has impressed the people. It gave a sense of genuine antique entertainment.
Apart from these three days Diocletian in Split live all summer. From 19th of May to 27th September every day at noon at the Peristyle is held changing of the guards and the emperor welcomes gathered tourists and expressed their welcome in Latin.

You too can have your villa in Croatia
Of course, you still get chance to see history in the present, if you come to the most beautiful city in the world, as we like to say. On this occasion, we have the perfect Croatia holiday villas for you: villa Mermaid in town of Podstrana near Split and villa Ivana which is located at the entrance to the city.
First one with four bedrooms is ideal for large families or groups of friends, and you will love it because, in addition to other facilities, there is gym, and some parts are adapted for people with disabilities (pool, bedroom). Villa Ivana, surrounded by peace and quiet, also has a gym and four bedrooms. Garden will delight you with fruits and vegetables; children’s rooms and a small playground on the terrace are just for your children.
After the lessons of history, enjoying the present, and our offer, we are left with nothing but to wish you a safe journey to Split and pleasant reign.

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