Split is the second largest city of Croatia, and the last stop on my Croatian island cruise. At the heart of the city is Diocletian’s Palace, built by Roman Emperor Diocletian in the 4th century, using white stone from the island of Brač, marble from Italy and Greece, and columns and 12 sphinxes from Egypt. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979. The Emperor built the Palace for his retirement, it was originally a combination of a luxury villa, a summer house and a Roman military camp.
Now there are over two hundred buildings within the palace boundaries, providing homes for about 3000 people. The narrow streets now have shops, restaurants, bars and cafes, and are filled with tourists.
The octagonal Cathedral of St. Domnius was built as a mausoleum for Diocletian, who was interred here in AD 311. The tall Romanesque bell tower was constructed between the 13th and 16th centuries and reconstructed in 1908 after it collapsed.