Saturday, 31 May 2014

Split



Split, in northern Croatia, is an astonishing place and quite rightly designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The old part of the city clusters in and around the Roman Emperor Diocletian's Palace, built in 305BC. After Diocletian's death, the palace lay empty but, being heavily fortified, it was later occupied by the area's local inhabitants as a place of refuge. Over the years the main structures within the walls have been adapted and many more buildings constructed within the fortress.

Compare the photo above with the drawing below. The photo is of the facade which now faces Split's harbour with its wide promenade of pavement cafés, perfect for sipping cappucino and watching the world go by. Originally this was the outer sea wall of the palace. Look closely and you can see how the original Roman arches and columns have gradually been infilled.


I would have loved to spend more time in this city. It's a fascinating mixture of ancient, awe-inspiring architecture (that inspired the architect Robert Adam) and historic sites (like the Peristyle, the Cathedral of St Domnius) coupled with a really vibrant, modern atmosphere - markets, shops, cafés, tourists and locals all mingling delightfully.

2 comments:

  1. It is amazing to think of this intricate building having been constructed so very long ago, isn't it? Quite a place.

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