The Diocletian Palace and Korkula

Diocletian was a Roman emperor who ruled from 284 to 305. His imperial residence\military fortress\fortified town took 10 years to build. Built in the 3rd and 4th centuries! Much of it still standing. Lustrous white stone imported from the island of Brač; marbles from Italy and Greece, sphinxes from Egypt.

And while much is still standing, much has changed over the millennia. What you find here in the labyrinthine streets are shops, bars, restaurants and lots of people. The historical aspects include the Peristil, a colonnaded courtyard (with the gorgeous Hotel Luxor on one side) that still boasts one of those 12 sphinxes; the Cathedral of St. Domnius, octagonal in shape and one of the best-preserved Roman buildings still standing. Ironically it was built as a mausoleum for Diocletian, last famous persecutor of the Christians.

Bell Tower – which we climbed. There isn’t a tower we run across that we haven’t been in
View from the Tower. I don’t tire of seeing those red tile roofs.
Colonnades from 11th-12th century
The ceiling of the Temple of Jupiter. Notice the faces depicting a variety of emotions.
Reliquaries – those be bones of the saint in the hollow of the skull.
I’d never seen an image of Christ elevating from a chalice that’s set stop clouds and flanked by puti.

There is also access to a tall Romanesque Bell tower, the treasury which is rich in reliquaries, icons, illuminated manuscripts, etc., and the baptistry, which was originally the Temple of Jupiter, king of the gods, and guarded by another of those imported sphinxes. BTW, those sphinxes we’re literally defaced by the Christians as they were considered to be pagan images.

There was a lot to see within this complex. And that’s mostly what there is to see in Split. There are intriguing areas near Split, so we’ll return post Dubrovnik.

Last image is a photo of our room window, just because I love the exposed stone and brick.

AND NOW – Korčula! (Pronounced Kór-chula)

It’s a 2.5 hour ferry ride from split to Korčula, including a stop at Hvar Island where all the young folk disembark, that is to say, most of the people on the ferry.

Thank goodness we are here during the shoulder season! It must be unbearable in high season, with the narrow meandering streets and stairways packed wall-to-wall. (Same can be said for Split.) This is a perfect time for a visit – still sunny and warm, the Adriatic Sea still swimmable, and not overrun by tourists.

Korčula Town is small and designed in a fishbone layout to best take advantage of cooling winds in summer and to protect from cold buffeting winds of winter. There are directions of winds involved, but I don’t remember the details.

We climbed another tower. Saw another ancient cathedral. I love it all. Each is so distinctly different. There are so many details to relish.

I don’t know the story behind this, but it certainly looks like a case of “This hurts me more than it hurts you.” Is it a different depiction of the devil being slain? In a Google search I only find that it’s an image used on a book cover, Heretics and Politics, by Thomas Fudge.
Archangel Michael slaying the devil. This photo from St. Marc’s cathedral in Korčula Town.

Korčula is also known for is wine and olives. We had both the red and the white and found them to be smooth and flavorful. Unfortunately, we are both sneezing and sniffling, so taking it easy on the intake. I still swam in the clear gorgeous waters today! And had a grand time sifting through the smooth rounded pebbles that make up the beach. Some are coming home with me.

Good night! Sweet dreams.

3 thoughts on “The Diocletian Palace and Korkula

  1. Laurie Carleton October 4, 2022 / 2:50 pm


    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Carmen Franke October 5, 2022 / 8:38 am

    Thanks for the lovely commentary, very inspiring. We need to get out there in the world. Maybe next year.


    • pgsteele4 October 11, 2022 / 1:15 am

      I thought I replied to this .. Would be nice at some point to be out in the world together!


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