Croatia

A Walk Through Diocletian's Palace

Diocletian's Palace: Historical city within a cityThe Croatian city of Split is in the heart of Dalmatia and boasts a history of hosting - or defending against - the likes of the Greeks, Romans and Slavs at various points throughout the last few millennia. It lies as a jewel in the Adriatic, as yet still largely undiscovered by the glossy travel agents’ pamphlets and tour guide hounds. That is rapidly changing, however, as is the case in all of Croatia. It’s a kick-off for all the sprinkle of islands that lay within easy reach by ferry: Hvar, Korčula, Brač and Vis, to name just a few. One of the most famous people in the city's history, who wasn't actually born here, was Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus Augustus, or known to us simply as Diocletian. He built the palace here on the waters in preparation for his retirement in 305 ACE. This was an unusual move, as no Emperor had ever considered retiring, or had even made it to retirement before being done away with in some gruesome fashion. But against all odds he did retire to the Grand Palace that faced out to spectacular views of the Adriatic, where his hobbies included growing cabbages and persecuting Christians in the purpose-built dungeons below. If you have only a day to spend in Split, it’s worth spending most of it wandering the palace, for one reason: it is arguably the best preserved roman structure still standing in the Mediterranean.

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 Full name: Republic of Croatia

 Population: 4.48 million (CIA, 2012)

 Capital: Zagreb

 Largest city: Zagreb

 Area: 56,594 sq.km. (21,851 sq. mi.)

 Major languages: Croatian, Serbian, Other

 Major religions: Roman Catholic, Orthodox,  Other Christian, Muslim, Other

 Monetary unit: Kuna

 GDP per capita: US $18,300

 Internet domain: .hr

 International dialling code: +385

 Source: CIA World Factbook