Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Thursday Thirteen 365: Split, Croatia

I spent the past weekend holed up against the frigid cold reading Rick Riordan’s THE HOUSE OF HADES — 600 pages in less than three days! One of the stops in our young demigods’ quest is Split, Croatia, which got me interested in finding out more about this city and particularly the Palace of Diocletian, which two of the demigods visit.

01. Split is located on Croatia’s western coast, on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea. It is the second-largest city in Croatia, and the largest in the region of Dalmatia.

02. Split is several centuries old, dating back to the building of Diocletian's Palace in 305 CE. However, archaeologists have discovered that the area actually dates back to Greek times, when the colony of Aspálathos was built in the 4th century BCE.

03. Diocletian's Palace was built by the Roman emperor Diocletian at the turn of the fourth century CE. Diocletian was born to a family of low status in 244, but worked his way up through the military ranks to become a Roman emperor from 284 to 305, and died in 311. Today this giant fortress forms the center of the city of Split.

04. Diocletian built his palace in preparation for his retirement on 1 May 305 AD. It is located in a bay on the south side of a peninsula, about four miles from Salona, capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. Half of the palace was intended for personal use, while much of it was a military garrison.

05. The Palace was empty for several centuries after the Romans abandoned it, but nearby residents took refuge inside its walls from invading Slavs in the 7th century. Since that time, the palace has been occupied by homes and businesses within the palace basement and directly in its walls.

06. Diocletian’s Palace was virtually unknown to the West until after the Middle Ages, when a Scots architect, Robert Adam, had the ruins surveyed and published Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia, inspiring Neoclassical architecture.

07. As the world’s most complete remains of a Roman palace, Diocletian’s Palace holds a prominent place in world heritage, and is one of the most famous architectural and cultural sites on the Croatian coast. It was added to the World Cultural Heritage register in 1979.

08. In 2006, the city council approved plans to build about 20 new buildings, including a new mall and garage, inside the palace walls. Once the public heard about it, they successfully petitioned against the proposal and won.

09. The palace was built in the structure of a Roman fortress, with its unfortified southern facade facing the sea, and high walls and towers ringing the three remaining sides. It was a combination luxury villa and military camp, housing up to 9,000 people at one time.

10. The peristyle, a large courtyard, gave access to the imperial apartments on the northern side of the palace, as well as Diocletian’s tomb to the east and three temples along the western edge. Two of those temples were lost or destroyed, while the third, the temple of Jupiter, now a baptistery. Diocletian’s mausoleum is now the site of the Cathedral of St. Domnius.

11. The palace and entire area of Split gets its water from the Jadro River near Salona. Remains of the original Roman aqueduct can still be seen along the road connecting the two cities, and were extensively restored in the 19th century.

12. Today, Diocletian’s Palace forms the heart of the town of Split, with many hotels, shops and restaurants found inside the walls — including a large underground shopping complex with barrel-vaulted ceilings.

13. Several locations around Croatia have been used as film sets for the HBO series Game of Thrones, including the eastern side of Diocletian’s Palace, and the city of Dubrovnik and The Walls of Ston, which were used as King’s Landing. There are many tours offered for GoT fans.

You can view images of the palace here.

LINKING TO: Thursday Thirteen


Ron. said...

It must be burdensome, hauling us all around in that suitcase. Still, I'm sure we're all very appreciative. I know I am. Salute!

Alice Audrey said...

the more you talk about the palace, the more I want to see it.

Shelley Munro said...

It's a gorgeous part of the world. I haven't been to Split but we went to Dubrovnik last year. I'd wanted to visit was ages and it was just as amazing as I thought it would be.

sandyland said...


CountryDew said...

Well, anything to do with GoT will automatically be popular. I never heard of this place so I appreciated the learning experience. Thanks!

Lea said...

Very interesting!
One of the best things about reading books is that it stirs up the mind to learn more.
We have about 4 inches of snow!
Have a great day!

colleen said...

I hope I can at least catch a PBS travel special on this.

Heather said...

Ron: Not burdensome at all, so long as we enjoy the journey. ;)

Alice: Trust me, the more I read about the palace, the more I want to see it. Maybe you can convince your mom to go to Croatia on your next joint vacation. ;-)

Heather said...

Shelley: It sounds like a beautiful area, as well as pretty temperate. Much warmer than it is here right now, in any case. ☺

Thanks, Sandy!

Anita: Yes, GoT tours are sure to be popular. I had never heard of Split before reading The House of Hades, but am certainly glad I took the time to look it up.

Heather said...

Lea: Yes, definitely an awesome benefit to reading. BTW, you have more snow than we got yesterday, which was only about an inch. Just enough to force people to shovel, LOL.

Colleen: You know, you mentioning PBS had me wondering if Rick Steves had featured it in one of his travel shows. Checking the PBS site, I did find an episode on Croatia, which includes a stop at Diocletian's Palace in Split.

PlantPostings said...

Interesting. I didn't realize that some episodes of "Game of Thrones" have been filmed there. I haven't watched it, but that's fascinating. My son visited Croatia (including Split) several years ago, during a study-abroad semester in Italy. I believe he felt that Croatia was second only to Austria in natural beauty, among the European countries he visited.

Forgetfulone said...

The picture of it was beautiful! I had never heard specifically of Split.

Heather said...

Beth: I have seen the first three seasons on DVD, but had no idea parts of it were filmed in Croatia until looking up information on Split. How cool that your son has been there. I'm glad to hear it is as beautiful as it sounds.

Heather said...

Thank you, I'm glad people enjoyed learning about this bit of the world as much as I did.