Mausoleum turned into cathedral
If you have been to Split you probably visited the Diocletian’s Palace, that magnificent 3rd century retirement villa of the Roman Emperor Diocletian.
I quite like the legend that our emperor sent out his engineers to find him the most perfect spot in the world where he could settle down. For proud folk of this vibrant city, it is quite natural the engineers came up with the idea of Split. My face beams and my heart beats a little bit faster every time I tell this story. Join me on Best of Split Walking Tour to really get-to-know the Diocletian’s Palace and the Old Town of Split with all the intriguing little secrets and anecdotes of this gorgeous Mediterranean city.
Since Diocletian was a persecutor of Christians, soon in the 7th century when Christians refugees fled from the nearby Salona, his mausoleum was turned into the cathedral. And what does a cathedral need? A belfry, for sure! It was built in the area of the entrance to the temple, in the 13th and in early 14th century. The harmonious slender and monumental edifice has for long centuries determined the visual identity of the city, particularly when viewed from the sea.
St. Domnius, a patron saint of Split
As the belfry became dilapidated during its long history, some work had to be done. The reconstruction was too radical so vivacity that it once used to have was replaced with precision and coldness of the 19th century historicism. However, it holds a special place in the people’s minds here since St. Domnius, a Christian martyr, is a patron saint of Split whose day we celebrate on the 7th May. There is an attractive procession with the saint’s relics through the streets of Split and later more profane activities such as, games, concerts, etc.
The view from the Bell Tower
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Besides its natural beauty, Hvar Island is also well-known for its rich cultural heritage. If you are a history buff, there are plenty of things to explore. The island prides itself not with one, but three UNESCO heritage sites.
Like any other city on the Mediterranean, Split also has a very easy-going lifestyle with a great number of cafés on almost every corner. Thanks to the amazing weather and about 2,700 hours of sunshine a year, it is possible to sit outside and sip your café latte during each season.
Here I am at Vidilica, the first viewpoint of Marjan Park Hill enjoying my coffee and admiring an amazing view of Split and its harbour. The steep walk that I took from the city centre in this heat is definitely paying off.