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.
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.
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.
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Thanks for the lovely commentary, very inspiring. We need to get out there in the world. Maybe next year.
I thought I replied to this .. Would be nice at some point to be out in the world together!