DIOCLETIAN'S PALACE(Croatian: Dioklecijanova palača) is an ancient palace built for the Roman Emperor Diocletian at the turn of the fourth century AD, that today forms about half the old town of Split, Croatia. While it is referred to as a "palace" because of its intended use as the retirement residence of Diocletian, the term can be misleading as the structure is massive and more resembles a large fortress: about half of it was for Diocletian's personal use, and the rest housed the military garrison.
Diocletian built the massive palace in preparation for his retirement on 1 May 305 AD. It lies in a bay on the south side of a short peninsula running out from the Dalmatian coast, four miles from Salona, the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. The terrain slopes gently seaward and is typical karst, consisting of low limestone ridges running east to west with marl in the clefts between them.
The Palace is built of white local limestone and marble of high quality, most of which was from Brač marble quarries on the island of Brač, of tuff taken from the nearby river beds, and of brick made in Salonitan and other factories. Some material for decoration was imported: Egyptian granite columns, fine marble for revetments and some capitals produced in workshops in the Proconnesos. The Palace was decorated with numerous 3500-year-old granite sphinxes, originating from the site of Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III. Only three have survived the centuries. One is still on the Peristyle, the second sits headless in front of Jupiter's temple, and a third is in the city museum.
In November 1979 UNESCO, in line with the international convention on cultural and natural heritage, adopted a proposal that the historic city of Split built around the Palace should be included in the register of World Cultural Heritage.
In November 2006 the City Council decided to permit over twenty new buildings within the palace (including a shopping and garage complex), although the palace had been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Monument. It is said that this decision was politically motivated and largely due to lobbying by local property developers. Once the public in 2007 became aware of the project, they petitioned against the decision and won. No new buildings, shopping centre or the underground garage was built.
The World Monuments Fund has been working on a conservation project at the palace, including surveying structural integrity and cleaning and restoring the stone and plasterwork. The palace is depicted on the reverse of the Croatian 500 kuna banknote, issued in 1993.
RIVAThe Riva in Split gained its present form two centuries ago, during the French rule in these parts and the governorship of the Napoleonic Marshal Marmont. Today Riva is the pedestrian paradise for all the inhabitants of Split. It offers a spectacular view of the sea and ships together with the unique morning or afternoon coffee.
Riva is also a scene for the large public gatherings like the homecoming of the Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanišević in 2001 and the welcome for the Freedom Train in 1995.
MARMONT STREETAlthough a conqueror, Napoleon\'s Marshal Marmont was also the driving force behind the urban development of the Dalmatian cities and in return the people of Split preserved his name in the most beautiful city street and coined a medal for him. Marmont's street is not only splendid but historically significant as well. In 1922, a library and a reading room was founded at the present location of Alliance Francaise. It has one of the oldest pharmacies as well as the oldest cinema in town, Karaman. It also has a unique fish market where flies don\'t tend to disturb the merchandise because of nearby sulfur springs.A witty modern fountain, called PIRJA, is not to overlooked! It is still seems to ask: What's the punch line?
MATEJUŠKAIt is a meeting place for the local fishermen, who walked down the slopes of Marjan and Veli Varoš for decades to fill their small wooden boats with sardines that represented everyday survival. The sounds of the seagulls tend to announce the dawn in the imperial inlet, slowly subsiding until the sunset while the fishermen count the daily catch and have a glass of wine followed by a song full of labor, salt and the wind. Matejuška is the only remaining symbol of the fishing tradition in Split. Its stillness resembles that of a postcard image until the strong winds hurl its waves like a flag.Matejuška daily offers real sea worms as bait, fishing stories and hoe made cooking at "Fife", an establishment decorated with a part Split part French spirit of Davor Štambuk, famous and acclaimed sketch artist.It is a pity that the sights of Matejuška no longer feature the former Gusar club house, an origin of the fist European and Olympic medals brought to Split.