Diocletian palace was built by the Roman emperor Diocletian at the turn of the fourth century AD 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. After the Romans abandoned the site, the Palace remained empty for several centuries. In the 7th century, nearby residents fled to the walled palace to escape invading barbarians. Since then the palace has been occupied, with residents making their homes and businesses within the palace basement and directly in its walls. Today many restaurants and shops, and some homes can still be found within the walls. After the Middle Ages, the palace was virtually unknown in the West until the Scottish neo-classical architect Robert Adam had the ruins surveyed and, with the aid of French artist and antiquary Charles-Louis Clérisseau and several draughtsmen, published Ruins of the Palace of Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia (London, 1764). Diocletian's palace was an inspiration for Adam's new style of Neoclassical architecture and the publication of measured drawings brought it into the design vocabulary of European architecture for the first time. A few decades later, in 1782, the French painter Louis-François Cassas created drawings of the Palace, published by Joseph Lavallée in 1802 in the chronicles of his voyages. This palace is today, with all the most important historical buildings, in the centre of the city of Split. Diocletian's Palace far transcends local importance because of its degree of preservation. The Palace is one of the most famous and complete architectural and cultural features on the Croatian Adriatic coast. As the world's most complete remains of a Roman palace, it holds an outstanding place in Mediterranean, European and world heritage.
Southwestern point of the Split harbour is called Sustipan after the old monastery of St. Stjepan under the pines. The monastery was built in the late Middle Ages, and several Croatian kings occasionally enjoyed in its hospitality. In the early 20th century a local cemetery was set here. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by the Communist government and reconstructed as promenade set in concrete. Especially appealing is the gloriet - round colonnade of classicist form that remains preserved until the present day. Hidden among the tall pines are a beautiful vista of the sea and the islands in front of Split. From the western side of the hill, there is the oldest local swimming club Jadran, and from its eastern side a modern ACI Marina.
TEMPLE OF JUPITER
Eminent Scottish architect Robert Adam considered this temple one of the most beautiful European monuments. Rectangular in its floor plan the temple served to celebrate the Jupiter's cult. It lies on an elevated podium, with a six column porch in front of it. Embossed images on the portal, as well as the barrel coffered vault, influenced the early Renaissance architecture of Andrija Alessi and Nikola Firentinac in Trogir. The transformation into a Baptistery happened in the Late Antiquity era, with a construction of a crypt under the building dedicated to St Thomas. In the former temple, at the beginning of the 13th century, a Baptismal Font was made of the altar screen pluteus (11th century), originally seated in the cathedral. One of the posts shows a figure of a Croatian king (Petar Krešimir IV or Zvonimir), making it the earliest presentation of a European king on a Medieval stone sculpture. The Baptistery today is dominated by a Secession sculpture of St John the Baptist, whose name the temple carried after the transformation, this was the work of Ivan Meštrović, while in front of it one of several completely or partly preserved granite sphinxes was placed that Diocletian brought from Egypt. The Baptistery is open for visitors, with an entrance fee.