When Emperor Diocletian was considering retirement from governing the Roman Empire, he shopped around, found no decent rest homes and decided
to build his own. And so Split was born. This magnificent walled city palace was built to Diocletian’s exacting standards, and today retains
enough original charms to attract visitors by the thousands.
Amid the remnants of his grand residences, pre-Christian sphinxes, and the best marble that neighbouring island Brac could provide, there is
a pleasingly workaday town. Pavement cafés, cosy bars and plenty of shops mix with two lively markets and chic apartments.
Enjoying the highlights of this Unesco heritage city. Start at the Bronze Gate. This once gave sea access to a labyrinth of caverns, created
to elevate the palace. In the Middle Ages, they stored oil and vegetables; today, they are used for exhibitions and craft stands.
Steps lead up to the palace’s central piazza, Peristil. This popular square is an acoustic-rich setting for a cappella singers at dusk.
Narodni Trg (which the locals call “Pjaca”), a pretty square overlooked by a Romanesque clock tower and Venetian-style city hall. Located
outside the walls, it replaced Peristil as the city’s focal point in the 14th century. To the west lies Veli Varos, one of the oldest parts of
town – a charming, tourist-free sector of quiet streets and former fishermen's homes.
The pine-covered heights of Marjan peninsula, 10 minutes west of the centre. Locals come here for hikes and bike rides. At its peak, there
is a wonderful panorama over Split and the islands.
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