Split Architecture

Guide to Historic Architecture in Split

We spent a month in Split researching the historic architecture. We’ve summarized the information we collected so you can enjoy Split architecture as soon as you arrive!

Split, located on the stunning Dalmatian Coast of Croatia, is a true gem for architectural enthusiasts. This charming city boasts a rich history beautifully reflected in its awe-inspiring architectural sights. One of the most iconic attractions in Split is the remarkable Diocletian’s Palace. Built in the 4th century by the Roman Emperor Diocletian, this palace is an extraordinary blend of Roman and Medieval architecture.

As you stroll through the palace’s narrow streets and explore its labyrinthine passageways, you’ll be transported back in time. Marvel at the intricate stone carvings, the majestic columns, and the towering walls that have withstood the test of time. The palace’s unique layout, with its mix of residential, military, and religious structures, is a testament to the ingenuity of its builders.

Another architectural wonder in Split is the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, located within Diocletian’s Palace. This magnificent structure showcases an exquisite combination of Gothic and Romanesque styles. Its bell tower offers panoramic views of the city and the breathtaking Adriatic Sea.

Venturing outside the palace walls, you’ll discover the Renaissance-style Prokurative Square. This elegant square, also known as the Republic Square, is lined with beautiful buildings that exemplify the grandeur of the Renaissance era. The symmetrical facades, arched windows, and ornate detailing make it a favorite spot for locals and tourists alike.

A short walk from Prokurative Square leads you to the stunning Split City Museum in the Papalić Palace. This Baroque-style palace showcases an impressive collection of artifacts that trace the city’s rich history. Its grand staircase, intricate ceiling frescoes, and opulent interiors make it a true architectural masterpiece.

Split offers a wealth of historical treasures for those fascinated with architecture. From the Roman and Medieval influences in Diocletian’s Palace to the Gothic and Romanesque styles of the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, each architectural wonder tells its own story.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Attractions in Diocletian’s Palace

Diocletian’s Palace is the most famous cultural and tourist attraction in Split. Although it is referred to as a palace, it resembles more of a fortress with walls and towers. The palace was constructed in the 4th century by the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who intended to use it as a fortress during his retirement. The construction of the palace took less than ten years and was completed in 305 AD. Today, the palace is a UNESCO World Heritage site and includes the old town of Split.

PERISTYLE in Split Croatia

Split Peristyle

Architect:

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Address: 21000 Trg Peristil BB, 21000, Split, Croatia

The Split Peristyle (Peristil), a square located at the eastern part of Diocletian’s Palace, is considered the most beautiful in the city. It is surrounded by the Cathedral of St. Domnius and the entrance to the basement of the Palace. Near the entrance to the Cathedral, there are two preserved Egyptian sphinxes which are more than 3000 years old.

CATHEDRAL OF ST. DOMNIUS in Split Croatia

Cathedral of St. Domnius

Architect: Nikola Tvrdoje

Style: Ancient Roman, Romanesque

Built: 4th century (mausoleum); 7th century (converted to cathedral)

Address: Ul. Kraj Svetog Duje 3, 21000, Split, Croatia

The Cathedral of Saint Domnius, also known as the Sveti Dujam or Sveti Duje, is a Catholic cathedral in Split, Croatia. The mausoleum of Emperor Diocletian was constructed in the early 4th century as one of the four temples of the Imperial Palace. Later, in the 7th century, bishop John of Ravenna transformed the Diocletian’s mausoleum into a cathedral, thus establishing the cathedral of S. Dujam. The cathedral bell tower was built in the Gothic style in the 14th century.

The Cathedral of St. Domnius is an exceptional piece of architecture that dates back to the reign of Emperor Diocletian. Initially, Diocletian wanted to construct his mausoleum in the area where the cathedral stands today, but history had other plans. The bones of Christian martyrs who were persecuted by Diocletian, including St. Domnius, were brought into the building, and it became Split Cathedral.

The cathedral is located in the Diocletian’s Palace, within the old town, near the square known as Split Peristyle. The Peristyle Square is the central spot for all visitors of Split, as it features the most beautiful architecture and well-preserved monuments. It is one of the most authentic attractions of Roman culture in the world.

There are five points of interest related to the cathedral:

  • The Cathedral Church (former Diocletian’s Mausoleum)
  • Bell tower
  • Cathedral baptistery (former Temple of Jupiter)
  • Treasury (former Temple of Cybele)
  • Crypt of St. Lucy
DIOCLETIAN'S CELLARS in Split Croatia

Diocletian's Cellars

Architect:

Style: Roman

Built: 4th century AD

Address: Ul. Iza Vestibula 3, 21000, Split, Croatia

The Cellars of Diocletian’s Palace, also known as the “basement halls,” is a series of underground structures in the southern part of Diocletian’s Palace. They were used to support Emperor Diocletian’s private quarters and are considered one of the most well-preserved ancient complexes of this kind globally.

The basement halls of Diocletian’s Palace, or substructures, are a well-preserved complex from classical antiquity. This space has 60 rooms that mirror the floor plan of the buildings above. It was initially used for storage and to elevate the imperial residence above ground level. In the early Middle Ages, part of it was inhabited, but later residences were removed during reconstruction.

Although mostly buried and inaccessible, the basements were cleared and opened to the public in the 1950s and 1960s. Restoration of the eastern wing was completed in 1995. Today, visitors can access the basement halls from the seafront promenade or via stairs from the peristyle. It is a popular historical attraction that hosts various events, including art exhibitions, theatre performances, and gastronomic fairs.

The basement halls have also become famous as a filming location for the “Game of Thrones.” Fans can recognize it as the setting for Meereen, Queen Daenerys Stormborn, and her dragons.

CHURCH OF ST. ROCH in Split Croatia

Church of St. Roch

Architect:

Style: Renaissance

Built: 1516

Address: Poljana kraljice Jelene, 21000, Split, Croatia

The Church of St. Roche, built in 1516, is a beautiful example of Renaissance architecture. Interestingly, it was constructed by converting a Romanesque 13th-century house, with the northern wall remaining intact. What’s more, part of the colonnade of the portico of the Decumanus of Diocletian’s Palace has been integrated into the church’s southern wall. It’s worth noting that St. Barbara’s Church used to be located right beside it.

BAPTISTERY OF ST. JOHN JUPITER’S TEMPLE in Split Croatia

Jupiter’s Temple

Architect:

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Built: 295 to 305 AD

Address: Ul. Kraj Svetog Ivana 2, 21000, Split, Croatia

The Temple of Jupiter was built from 295 to 305 AD as part of the construction of Diocletian’s Palace. It was dedicated to the supreme Roman god and Diocletian’s divine father, Jupiter. The temple is located in the western part of the imperial complex, near the Peristyle.

The temple was turned into the Baptistery of St. John the Baptist in the 6th century AD.

Above the temple entrance is a relief depicting various gods and heroes, such as Victoria, Triton, Helios, Hercules, Jupiter, and Apollo. The doorways are richly decorated, especially the impressive barrel-coffered vault of the temple.

Inside the temple are sarcophagi in which two Archbishops of Split, Ivan of Ravenna (died c. 10) and Lovre (died c. 1099), were buried. In addition, a large bronze statue of St. John the Baptist was made by Ivan Maštroviae. A Renaissance sarcophagus of Jakov Selembrije from the 16th century is placed in front of the baptistry.

Vestibul in Split Croatia

Vestibule

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Address: Ul. Iza Vestibula 1, 21000, Split, Croatia

The Vestibule, also known as The Rotonda or The Atrium, is the first section of the imperial corridor in Diocletian’s Palace that once led from the Peristyle to the imperial apartments.

Religious Buildings in Split

Split boasts a wealth of historical heritage, and its religious buildings witness this. With a range of magnificent churches and ancient cathedrals, each structure has its tale of faith and devotion.

Church of St Martin in Split Croatia

Church of St. Martin

Architect:

Style: Romanesque and Ancient Roman

Built: 6th century (within a 4th-century structure) renovated (9th century)

Address: Dioklecijanova ul. 10, 21000, Split, Croatia

The Church of St. Martin is one of the oldest churches in Diocletian’s Palace. It was built between the 5th and 6th centuries in the sentries’ walkway above the Golden Gate and has undergone numerous renovations. The church is particularly notable for its Early Romanesque chancel screen from the 11th century, which remains in its original location. The screen bears an inscription that speaks of the church’s dedication to the Virgin, St. Gregory the Pope, and St. Martin. Since the 14th century, a Dominican convent has stood adjacent to the church.

The church’s present appearance is a replica of the early Croatian church from the 6th century. An altar partition in the pre-Romanesque style was added in the 11th century and has been preserved in its original location. This uniqueness places the small church of St. Martin among the best-preserved sacral monuments of the ancient world. Today, the church is an integral part of the Dominican nunnery.

Church of Our Lady of the Bell Tower in Split Croatia

Church of Our Lady of the Bell Tower and the Municipal Clock

Architect:

Style: Romanesque (belltower); Romanesque (clock)

Built: 6th century; 16th century (clock)

Address: Ul. Ispod ure 2, 21000, Split, Croatia

The Church of Our Lady of the Bell Tower (Gospa od Zvonika) has a fascinating history dating back to the 6th century. It was built on the sentries’ walkway above the Iron Gate of Diocletian’s Palace and was originally dedicated to Saint Theodore. In the 11th century, an Early Romanesque bell tower was added, making it the oldest preserved bell tower on the Croatian side of the Adriatic.

During this period, the church received significant contributions from Firminus, a city benefactor, and his first and second wives, Magi and Brita. Notable remnants from this era include fragments of a chancel screen with an inscription mentioning their names. In the 13th century, the church was renamed after the installation of the icon of Our Lady of the Bell Tower, which is currently safeguarded in the treasury of Split Cathedral.

Adjacent to the Iron Gate and facing the square (Pjaca), a Romanesque tower was built. In the 16th century, a Romanesque municipal clock was installed in this tower, adding a touch of modernity to the ancient structure. The church and its surrounding elements stand as a testament to the rich historical and architectural heritage of the region.

Church of the Holy Spirit in Split Croatia

Church of the Holy Spirit

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Address: Domaldova ul. 7, 21000, Split, Croatia

Dominican Church and Monastery of St. Catherine of Alexandria

Dominican Church and Monastery of St. Catherine of Alexandria

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Address: Hrvojeva 2, 21000, Split, Croatia

Dominican Monastery of St. Catherine of Alexandria

Remains of the Church of St. Michael in Ripa Maris in Split Croatia

Remains of the Church of St. Michael in Ripa Maris

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Address: Ul. Mihovilova širina 1, 21000, Split, Croatia

Remains of the Church of St. Michael in Ripa Maris are inside Diocletian’s Palace. According to tradition, the Church was founded by St. John of Ravenna and later expanded in the 11th century. Unfortunately, the church was demolished in 1906.

Church of St. Philip Neri in Split Croatia

Church of St. Philip Neri

Architect:

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Built: 1679 to 1680

Address: Poljana Grgura Ninskog 1, 21000 Split

In 1672, a clergyman named Nikola Bjanković from Split and a Bishop from Makarska decided to establish a Philippine congregation and construct a church dedicated to St. Philip Neri. The church was built on the site of the Papalić house, which was donated by a nobleman named Frane Soppe Papalić. Additionally, two more sites were purchased adjacent to the house. The church’s construction began in 1679 and was completed by 1680.

One-time Convent of the Poor Clares of St. Nicholas in Split Croatia

One-time Convent of the Poor Clares of St. Nicholas

Architect:

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Built: 15th century

Address: Ul. Iza Vestibula 4, 21000, Split, Croatia

The site where the Diocletian’s Palace’s triclinium and residential area once stood was later used as the location of the Split Poor Clares convent from the 15th century until 1884. This historically significant complex has been thoroughly investigated and found to have exceptional historical stratigraphy. Nowadays, the complex houses the Ethnographic Museum, which displays parts of a Romanesque street, the Chapel of St. Andrew de Fenestris, the Palace of King Ladislav of Naples, the palace of the noble Božlčević (or Natalis) family, and other features dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries.

Church and Monastery of St. Francis in Split Croatia

Church and Monastery of St. Francis

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Address: Trg Franje Tuđmana 1, 21000, Split, Croatia

The Church and Monastery of St. Francis has a 13th-century cloister and houses the tomb of Croatian author Marko Marulić.

The Bell Tower and the Chapel of the Holy Arnir

The Bell Tower and the Chapel of the Holy Arnir

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Split Synagogue

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Old Archiepiscopal Seminary – Islamic Place of Worship in Split Croatia

Old Archiepiscopal Seminary – Islamic Place of Worship

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Palaces in Split

Split is not only known for its religious buildings but also for its magnificent palaces that stand as symbols of the city’s rich history. These palaces serve as a testament to the grandeur and luxury of the past, offering visitors a glimpse into the lives of those who once resided within their walls.

Large Papalic Palace in Split Croatia

Large Papalic Palace

Architect: George of Dalmatia (Juraj Dalmatinac)

Style: Gothic-Renaissance

Built: 15th-century

Address: Papalićeva Ulica 1, Split, Splitsko-dalmatinska 21000, Croatia.

Papalic’s Palace, a 15th-century gothic-renaissance masterpiece made by Juraj Dalmatinac, is located next to the Golden Gate. Nowadays, it is the location of the Split City Museum.

The Late Gothic palace was put up in the mid-15th century by the patrician Split Papalić family, who entrusted the construction to George of Dalmatia and his workshop. It was a place that in its time hosted the meeting of the Split Humanist Circle. With a richly decorated portal, loggia, well and external staircase in the courtyard, with its large salon, painted ceiling and four-light mullioned window on the first floor, it was a model for all Split palaces in the second half of the 15th century. Since its renovation in 1950, it has housed the Split City Museum.

    AUGUBIO PALACE in Split Croatia

    Augubio Palace

    Architect: George of Dalmatia

    Style: Romanesque and Baroque (remodel)

    Built: 15th century

    Address: Dioklecijanova 1, 21000, Split, Croatia

    Palace Augubio is in the heart of Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built in the Late Gothic style during the second half of the 15th century by a wealthy merchant named Giovanni Battista De Gubbio. The palace is attributed to the circle around George of Dalmatia and was later remodeled in the Baroque style. Interestingly, the oldest parts of the palace are Romanesque, as confirmed by a fresco depicting a peacock discovered on the second floor.

    The palace’s opulent portal was designed based on the portal of the Large Papalić Palace, and the original owner’s name is carved on the lunette. The expressive stone sculpting is believed to be the work of Andrija Aleši, the most prominent master of the workshop of George of Dalmatia.

      Andric House Vidovic Gallery in Split Croatia

      Andric House

      Architect: Vicko Andric

      Style: Classicist

      Built:

      Address: Poljana Kraliice Jelene 1, 21000, Split, Croatia

      The Classicist style building, which spans three stories, was originally designed by architect Vicko Andric for the Classics High School. It was constructed by rebuilding several medieval houses along the eastern wall of Diocletian’s Palace.

      Today, the building is home to the Emanuel Vidović Gallery, dedicated to showcasing the life and work of the renowned Split and Croatian painter Emanuel Vidović (1870-1953).

        GRISOGONO PALACE in Split Croatia

        Grisogono Palace

        Architect:

        Style:

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        Address: Ul. Kralja Petra Krešimira IV 8, 21000, Split, Croatia

        The Grisogono Palace is a medieval house belonging to the Grisogono family, a prominent patrician family of the old Split. It was built on the corner of the Decmanus – the main street in Diocletian’s Palace – and the Peristyle.

        This house is part of a larger Romanesque family palace dating back to the 13th century. The house was remodeled in the Gothic style in the latter half of the 15th century. At the beginning of the 21st century, the house was restored, and the painted Gothic ceilings on the first and second floors of the palace were also restored.

          CINDRO PALACE in Split Croatia

          Cindro Palace

          Architect:

          Style:

          Built: 17th century

          Address: Ul. kralja Petra Krešimira lV 5A, 21000, Split, Croatia

          The Cindro Palace (Palača Cindro) was built by the Croatian noble Cindro family in the 17th century. It is on the street that leads from Peristil to Pjaca.

            Marulic Palace in Split Croatia

            Marulic Palace

            Architect: George of Dalmatia

            Style: Gothic

            Built: second half of the 15th century

            Address: Papalićeva ul. 4, 21000, Split, Croatia

            Marulic Palace (Palača Marulić) is a late Gothic palace that dates back to the second half of the 15th century. According to tradition, it’s believed that the great poet Marko Marulić, known as “the father of Croatian literature,” was born there. The palace is attributed to the workshop of George of Dalmatia. In the 19th century, the palace underwent significant modifications and extensions in the courtyard. The courtyard portal, which features the coat of arms of the Marulić family in the lunette, is still preserved.

              Skocibucic Palace

              Architect:

              Style: Romanesque

              Built: 15th century (rebuilt)

              Address: Peristil ul. 5, 21000, Split, Croatia

              Palača Skočibušić Lukarić

              The Skočibučić-Lukaris Palace is situated in the southwest corner of the Peristyle. Its main facade is located inside the western colonnade. The palace is a spacious complex with several Romanesque houses near the baptistery and Vestibule. On the northern facade, you can see traces of the Romanesque phase, including the remains of the monophore and the Romanesque cornice that divides the floors. The palace also features a monumental Gothic portal with a lunette, which includes a coat of arms with the image of an ox.

              The Skočibučić family rebuilt the palace in the 15th century around an inner courtyard with a Gothic loggia. On the northern wall, you can see fragments of frescoes with geometric decoration and medallions. The Skočibučić-Lukaris Palace is an example of the layered construction that characterizes the former imperial square and Diocletian’s Palace. It played a vital role in the development of the medieval city when the seat of church and secular power was on the Peristyle.

                CIPCI PALACE in Split Croatia

                Cipci Palace

                Architect:

                Style:

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                Address:

                Golden Gate Palace

                Architect: George of Dalmatia

                Style: Late Gothic

                Built: second half of the 15th century

                Address: Ulica Majstora Jurja 15, Split, 21000, Croatia

                The Golden Gate Palace is a Late Gothic palace that was built in the second half of the 15th century. The design and execution of the palace are attributed to George of Dalmatia. The identity of the patrician family for whom it was built is unknown, but their coat of arms can be found in the lunette of the courtyard portal. Later on, it belonged to the old Split patrician family of Cindo, whose coat of arms is visible on a capital of the courtyard loggia. In 1960, the courtyard with loggia and staircase, the first-floor loggia, and the elevation of the Romanesque palace facing Dioklecijanova Street underwent renovation.

                  Cambi Palace in Split Croatia

                  Cambi Palace

                  Architect:

                  Style: Gothic

                  Built: first half of the 15th century

                  Address: Bosanska ul. 3-1, 21000, Split, Croatia

                  The Cambi Palace is a Gothic palace that belonged to the Cambi family, a patrician family of Split. It was constructed in the first half of the 15th century and underwent some modifications in the 19th century. The principal façade of the palace is the most stylistically coherent among all the Split Gothic palaces built before the arrival of George of Dalmatia.

                    Alberti Palace

                    Architect:

                    Style: Gothic

                    Built: 18th century (remodeled)

                    Address: Ul. Petra Kružića 4, 21000, Split

                    The Alberti Palace (Palača Alberti) was originally owned by the Alberti family from Split and is predominantly built in the Gothic architectural style. The coat of arms of the Alberti family can be found on the lunette of the portal in Kružićeva Street.

                    In the latter half of the 18th century, the palace underwent significant renovations, where a new three-story volume and the main Baroque-style façade were added in the place of the demolished part of the rampart. The palace is a rare example of Split architecture, featuring a Venetian palace concept with a central hall divided into three parts, with balconies on both sides.

                      Dragisic (de Caris) – Geremia Palace in Split Croatia

                      Dragisic (de Caris) – Geremia Palace

                      Architect:

                      Style: Romanesque; Gothic and Renaissance (15th century rebuild); Baroque (17th century rebuild)

                      Built: 13th century; 15th century (rebuilt); 17th century (rebuilt); 19th century (rebuilt)

                      Address:

                      Dragisic (de Caris) – Geremia Palace dates back to the 13th century, originally built in the Romanesque style. In the 15th century, it was renovated in Gothic and Renaissance styles while preserving its historical layers. Later, in the 17th century, the Baroque style was added by Juraj Dragišić, a canon and writer from a patrician family from Poljica. The family coat of arms can be seen above the former courtyard portal in the Baroque style. The palace underwent significant remodeling in the 19th century.

                        Karepic Palace in Split Croatia

                        Karepic Palace

                        Architect:

                        Style: Romanesque and Gothic (remodel)

                        Built: 1564 (remodel)

                        Address: Bosanska ul. 1, 21000, Split, Croatia

                        The Renaissance palace belonged to the Karepić family, who moved from Trogir to Split around 1300. The oldest parts of the palace suggest it was a Gothic reconstruction of a Romanesque house. The current appearance of the palace was acquired in 1564, during the time of Canon and Vicar Ivan Karepić, who was the last member of the Karepić family to own the house. The family coat of arms on the main façade has an inscription below that tells of the Renaissance renovations.

                          MILESI PALACE in Split Croatia

                          Milesi Palace

                          Architect:

                          Style: Baroque and Renaissance (portal)

                          Built:

                          Address: Trg Braće Radić 7, 21000, Split, Croatia

                          The Milesi Palace (Palača Milesi) is an 18th-century palace built in the Baroque style by the wealthy Milesi family once they had acquired the status of urban patricians. The palace features round openings for shops on the principal elevation and a re-utilized Renaissance portal on the western elevation. The grandeur of the elevation’s modeling and its dramatic position on the square set it apart from other Baroque palaces in Split and Dalmatia. Today, the palace is home to the Split section of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

                            Tartaglia Palace in Split Croatia

                            Tartaglia Palace

                            Architect:

                            Style: Baroque

                            Built: 18th century

                            Address: Ul. Pavla Šubića 2, 21000, Split, Croatia

                            The Tartaglia Palace is an 18th-century baroque palace that once belonged to the Tartaglia family, one of Split’s oldest noble families. This magnificent three-story building has a main facade with seven longitudinal axes, with the central one highlighted by balconies. It was built by combining several older houses in the medieval part of the city north of the Milesi Palace. The palace was designed in Venetian Baroque palaces, featuring a central organization of space, as interpreted by local builders. The palace’s rooms are arranged around an inner courtyard, accessed through an atrium with the height of the ground floor and a mezzanine from the main portal.

                              Small Papalic Palace in Split Croatia

                              Small Papalic Palace

                              Architect:

                              Style: Medieval

                              Built: 13th century (ground floor); 15th century (upper floors)

                              Address: Ul. Pavla Šubića 3-5, 21000, Split, Croatia

                              The Small or Little Papalić Palace (Mala Papalićeva Palača) has a ground floor that dates back to the 13th century, while the upper floors were built in the 15th century. On the lunette of the portal, you can see a relief featuring two angels and the family coat of arms.

                              Pavlovic Palace in Split Croati

                              Pavlovic Palace

                              Architect:

                              Style: Renaissance and Baroque

                              Built:

                              Address: Palača Pavlović, Narodni trg, 21000, Split, Croatia

                              The Pavlovic Palace (Palača Pavlović) is a Renaissance palace that belonged to an old Split patrician family from the 16th century. During the Baroque period, the palace was extended, and a closed courtyard and portal in the western part was acquired. At that time, the main façade was also remodeled. The palace has an exceptional town planning value as it forms the southern façade of the main city square, Pjaca. It stands opposite the Rector’s Palace, which was subsequently demolished.

                                NAKIC PALACE in Split Croatia

                                Nakic Palace

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                                Built:

                                Address: Narodni trg 3, 21000, Split, Croatia

                                  Ciprianis-Benedetti Palace in Split Croatia

                                  Ciprianis-Benedetti Palace

                                  Architect:

                                  Style: Romanesque

                                  Built: 1394

                                  Address:

                                  The Ciprianis-Benedetti Palace was constructed in 1394 for Cipriano de Ciprianis, a nobleman from Split who governed Korčula on behalf of King Tvrtko of Bosnia. The Benedetti family acquired the palace in 1860.

                                  The palace is notable for its sculptures and windows. The loggia-like upper level with double rows of six mullioned windows featuring Late Romanesque columns is particularly impressive. The mid-relief sculpture of St. Anthony the Hermit, standing under a narrow canopy, is also noteworthy.

                                    Bajamonti-Deskovic Palace

                                    Architect: Giovanni Battista Meduna

                                    Style: neo-Renaissance

                                    Built: 1858

                                    Address: Trg Franje Tuđmana 3, 21000, Split, Croatia

                                    The Bajamonti-Dešković Palace was constructed in 1858 and is a neo-Renaissance building that follows the classicist style. It was the official residence of Dr. Antoni Bajamonti, the mayor of Split. The Dešković family has owned it since 1900.

                                    On the first floor, the salons have ceilings painted with allegorical images by Antonio Zuccaro in 1858. The main facade has four monumental stone statues of allegories of the Virtues that originally came from Venice in the 18th century. The attic of the palace was home to the studios of well-known photographers and painters from Split during the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century.

                                    The palace is an outstanding example of 19th-century residential architecture in Split and has a distinct stylistic and urban value.

                                      Iron Gate Palace in Split Croatia

                                      Iron Gate Palace

                                      Architect: George of Dalmatia

                                      Style: Gothic

                                      Built: mid-15th century

                                      Address: Bajamontijeva ul. 2, 21000, Split, Croatia

                                      The Iron Gate Palace, built in the mid-15th century, is a late Gothic palace that underwent several renovations. The workshop of George of Dalmatia is linked to these remodelings. A grand palace it once was, but only the portal on the first floor and the half-column with capital of the courtyard loggia remain today. Two antique heads from the period of the Tetrarchs have been built into the courtyard’s northern wall. They probably belonged to the statues that once adorned the Iron Gate of Diocletian’s Palace. The elevation looking onto Pjaca Square is in the Renaissance style and was rebuilt in the 19th century. Since 1999, the Split Literary Circle has occupied the palace.

                                        Gates in Split

                                        These magnificent gates to Diocletian’s Palace stand as a testament to the city’s rich history and are a gateway into the past.

                                        GOLDEN GATE in Split, Croatia

                                        Golden Gate

                                        Architect:

                                        Style:

                                        Built: 4th century AD

                                        Address: Dioklecijanova 7, 21000, Split, Croatia

                                        The Golden Gate (Zlatna Vrata) is the name for the north entrance to the Palace.

                                        It was the main entrance to the Palace. So it had been elaborately decorated with statutes of the Emperor Diocletian and his co-regent Maximilian in the upper row of the niches and with a sculpture of an eagle as a symbol of Jupiter between the two. There were the statues of their two successors to the thorne – caesars Galerius and Constantine – in the lower row of the niches.

                                        It is well preserved, although niches in the wall miss statues.

                                        SILVER GATE AND VENETIAN GATE in Split Croatia

                                        Silver Gate

                                        Architect:

                                        Style: Roman

                                        Built: 4th century AD

                                        Address: Hrvojeva, 21000, Split, Croatia

                                        The Eastern Gate of Diocletian’s Palace, also known as the Silver Gate, was named after St. Apollinaire, a highly venerated saint of the Early Christian period. Similar to the northern and western gates of the Palace, the sentry corridor above the Silver Gate was transformed into a church, possibly in the 6th century.

                                        The wall structure and the gate were incorporated into other buildings in the following years. For instance, the Church of Saints-Innocents (“Dušice”) was built using these structures, but unfortunately, it was demolished during World War II.

                                        The Silver Gate was rediscovered in the early 1950s, and efforts were made to restore it to its original appearance by excavating it to the original level. During this restoration, many additional structures that had been added to the eastern wall of the Palace in previous centuries were removed.

                                        DIOCLETIAN'S CELLARS in Split Croatia

                                        Bronze Gate

                                        Architect:

                                        Style:

                                        Built: 4th century AD

                                        Address: Obala Hrvatskog narodnog preporoda 22, 21000, Split, Croatia

                                        The Bronze Gate, also known as “the Southern Gate,” is one of the four main Roman gates that lead into the stari grad of Split. It was constructed as a part of Diocletian’s Palace and originally served as a sea gate for the Emperor’s boat to enter the complex. Today, it is the primary entry point from the promenade to the cathedral.

                                        Iron Gate in Split Croatia

                                        Iron Gate

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                                        Address: Ul. Ispod ure, 21000, Split, Croatia

                                        The Iron Gate, also known as “the Western Gate,” is one of the four main Roman gates that lead to the stari grad of Split, which was once Diocletian’s Palace. Originally used as a military entrance to the complex, this gate is the only one that has been in continuous use up to the present day.

                                        Within the Iron Gate, you can find the beautiful 10th-century Church of Our Lady of Belfry.

                                        SILVER GATE AND VENETIAN GATE in Split Croatia

                                        Venetian Gate

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                                        Address: Poljana kraljice Jelene bb, 21000, Split, Croatia

                                        Near the Silver Gate was a smaller gate known as the Venetian Gate, which was opened during the late Middle Ages. This gate was used as the entrance to the city when additional structures obstructed the Silver Gate.

                                        Pistura Gate

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                                        In the 10th and 11th centuries, the city of Split began building an extension along the western walls of the Palace. The West Gate, also known as the Iron Gate, connected the two parts of the city. However, the North Gate is no longer in use and has been blocked off by a wall.

                                        In the 14th century, new defensive walls were built around the extended zone, and two new gates were added – The Butchers’ Gate to the west and the Sea Gate to the south. A small gate was also opened in the city wall on the north side of the street, which was used as the main communication passage to the north, leading towards Solin and Klis after the town had been extended towards the west.

                                        In the Middle Ages, the city streets were formed in this extended zone, and the 13th and 14th centuries, a few mansion houses of wealthy citizens were built, some of which have been preserved until the present day.

                                        Statues in Split

                                        Throughout the city of Split, statues stand as silent witnesses to its rich history and cultural heritage. These sculptural masterpieces dot the streets, squares, and parks, capturing the essence of different periods and characters that have shaped the city.

                                        STATUE OF GREGORY OF NIN in Split Croatia

                                        Statue of Gregory of Nin

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                                        Address: Ul. kralja Tomislava 12, 21000, Splitska, Croatia

                                        Gregory of Nin (Grgur Ninski) was a medieval bishop who advocated for Slavic worship and is considered a national hero in Croatia. The statue of Gregory of Nin is located near the Golden Gate entrance and is a masterpiece of Ivan Mestrovic, the most renowned Croatian sculptor.

                                        Marko Marulic Statue in Split Croatia

                                        Marko Marulic Statue

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                                        Address: Trg Braće Radić 5, 21000, Split, Croatia

                                        Marko Marulic, a poet from the 15th century, is known as the “Father of Croatian Literature.” A statue of Marulić, created by Ivan Mestrovic, can be found in the Fruit Square. This remarkable piece of art represents the cultural and literary presence felt throughout Split. Marulić was also involved in the Humanist circle during his time and is credited with being the first to use the Croatian language. As a result, many believe that he played a significant role in the Croatian Renaissance.

                                        The Engish translation of the inscription on the statue is:

                                        In this house (according to tradition) 18. VII. 1450. born

                                        Marko Marulić

                                        prosa and in the verses of sparsely agreeing

                                        according to our seasoning

                                        the screams hit the Croatian art book.

                                        mankind comes to the works of the mind

                                        they have a classic Christian ruin in them.

                                        about the four hundred year anniversary of the death of the year 1925.

                                        this panel places the hometown.

                                        and in 1999 renewed the literary circle of Split-Marulianum.

                                        Other Attractions in Split

                                        Besides the rich cultural and literary heritage, Split has many other attractions worth exploring.

                                        SPLIT RIVA in Split Croatia

                                        Split Riva

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                                        Address: 21.000, Split, Croatia

                                        Riva is a promenade near the Diocletian’s palace in Split, Croatia. It hosts important political, social, and entertainment events and is a special place for locals.

                                        One of the first medieval structures built at the waterfront, near the Palace, was a wall that ran from the southeastern tower of the Palace (also known as the Archbishop’s Tower) towards the seafront. This wall was mentioned in the municipal Statute from 1312. A similar wall was erected to the west, protecting the entire space in front of the Palace and the city with walls.

                                        Riva got its present appearance in the early 19th century, during the period of French rule. It was extended and graveled, and a series of houses bearing some characteristic architectural features of that period were erected. Some of these houses have been well-preserved up to the present time.

                                        MILESI PALACE in Split Croatia

                                        Radić Brothers Square

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                                        Address: Trg Braće Radić 5, 21000, Split, Croatia

                                        Radić Brothers Square (Trg braće Radić), aka the Fruit Square, is in the southern part of the palace, just near Split Riva. On the west side of the Square is the octagonal Venetian Tower (15th century), built when the Venetians ruled the city and defended it from occasional attacks by the Turks but also from rebellions against their authority in the city itself. On the Square’s north side is the baroque palace Milesi (17th century), in front of which is a bronze monument to Marko Marulić. The monument was made by Ivan Meštrović, and the sculpture was unveiled on July 26, 1925.

                                        Marmont's Street in Split Croatia

                                        Marmont's Street

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                                        Address: Marmontova ul. 5, 21000, Split, Croatia

                                        Marmont’s Street is a beautiful street between the Croatian National Theater and Riva. It was named after Napoleon’s General Marmont, who, interestingly, was one of the occupiers of Split. Despite this fact, people still highly regard Marmont due to his huge contribution to the city’s architecture.

                                        Prokurative in Split Croatia

                                        Prokurative

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                                        Address: Prokurative, Trg Republike, Croatia

                                        Prokurative, also known as Republic Square, is a famous square in Split, Croatia. It was designed by the Marmont and is located near the end of Marmont’s Street and the monastery of St. Francis on Riva. The square is reminiscent of St. Mark’s Square in Venice and is located west of Riva. It was named after the arches on the neo-Renaissance buildings surrounding the square on three sides.

                                        The square is only open on the south side, offering a beautiful view of the harbor and the waterfront. Antonio Bajamonti, one of the most renowned mayors in the city’s history, initiated the building of Prokurativa in the mid-19th century. The colonnade is inspired by Venetian architecture, and the reliefs above the windows evoke ancient and Renaissance influences.

                                        The square is a popular venue for cultural events, especially the pop music festival. The local bars and restaurants also make it a popular hangout spot for the citizens of Split. The plateau on the south side is an integral part of Prokurative. It features a neo-classical fountain since 1947, destroyed by the communist authorities due to its alleged connection to the Italian rule over Split and Dalmatia.

                                        People's Square in Split Croatia

                                        People’s Square

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                                        Address: 21000, Grad, Split, Croatia

                                        People’s Square aka Pjaca (The Square)

                                        People’s Square (Narodni Trg) is the heart of the Old Town. Cafes and restaurants spill out into the square, and one of the highlights of a visit here is gazing up at the old town clock.

                                        Venetian Tower in Split Croatia

                                        Venetian Tower

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                                        Address: Trg Braće Radić 6, 21000, Split, Croatia

                                        In 1420, the Republic of Venice conquered Split and ruled the city for nearly four centuries until 1797. During that time, they constructed a castle in the western part of the harbor. The castle’s Great Tower, the only remaining part of the structure, still dominates the urban landscape of Split today. It is located on Voćni trg in the center of the old town near the Riva.

                                        The Venetian Tower (Mletački kaštel) has a regular octagonal floor plan with dimensions of 10.5 x 10.5 m and a total height of 24 m. Four floors have been preserved because the ground floor is considered the first due to its elevated position. The floors are connected by a staircase located within the thickness of the Tower’s walls, which are vaulted with stone blocks. The room on the first floor has a tufa barrel vault, and the other floors have similar vaults except for the third floor, which has a wooden structure.

                                        At the top was another cantilevered floor (mashikul), but only the triple consoles were preserved. The tented roof was removed between 1549 and 1570 to install artillery on the terrace, which dominated the town.

                                        OLD TOWN HALL in Split Croatia

                                        Old Town Hall

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                                        Built: 1443 to 1445

                                        Address: Narodni trg, 21000, Split, Croatia

                                        The Old Town Hall is the only building of the original complex that remains after being demolished in 1825. The complex included the Rector’s Palace, the theatre, and the jail. The town hall was reconstructed in neo-Gothic style in 1890. Although most of the original architecture is lost, the portico on the main façade, the north wall, and the Chapel of St Lawrence (Lovro) remain today. The Chapel was built in 1455 as a bridge between the Town Hall and the Karepić Palace. From 1910 to 2005, the Ethnographic Museum was located in the Town Hall. Today, it serves as an exhibition venue.

                                        Sulphur Spa in Split Croatia

                                        Sulphur Spa

                                        Architect: Kamilo Tončić

                                        Style: Croatian Art Nouveau

                                        Built: 1903

                                        Address: Neretvanska ul., 21000, Split, Croatia

                                        The Toplice KBC Split (Sumporne Toplice) was constructed in 1903 by Kamilo Tončić. It’s a significant example of Croatian Art Nouveau architecture, with its beautifully decorated exteriors and interiors. The building is built on top of natural sulfur springs used for healing since the 18th century.

                                        Sustipan

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                                        Address: Sustipanski put, 21000, Split, Croatia

                                        Sustipan is a small peninsula located in the southwestern part of Split. During the Middle Ages, a Benedictine monastery and a church were in the area. In the 19th century, one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Croatia was built in Sustipan. However, the cemetery was removed by the Communist authorities in the 20th century. Today, Sustipan is a beautiful small forest park, perfect for socializing and romantic walks.

                                        MARJAN FOREST PARK in Split Croatia

                                        Marjan Forest Park

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                                        Address: Obala Hrvatskog narodnog preporoda 25, 21000, Split, Croatia

                                        Marjan Forest Park is a beautiful recreational spot in Split, featuring activities such as jogging, cycling, and taking romantic or family walks. The park also offers lookout points and a botanical garden for visitors to enjoy. Additionally, three beaches are at the foot of Marjan Hill: Kasjuni, Bene, and Kastelet.

                                        The Croatian House

                                        Architect: Kamilo Tončić

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                                        Built: 1908

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                                        The Croatian House was opened in 1908. It played a significant role in the music scene of Split, serving as a venue for concerts and a gathering place for musicians until World War I. However, due to the altered political climate after the war, the House lost its importance in shaping the artistic and musical life of the city. In 1930 and 1939, the house received extensions and remodeling. Still, in 1942, it underwent a thorough refurbishment that destroyed all decorations on the facade and grand hall’s interior. This reconstruction aimed to highlight the House’s monumental aspects, following the spirit of fascist architecture.

                                        Hotel Slavija in Split Croatia

                                        Hotel Slavija

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                                        Address: Andrije Buvine 2, 21000, Split, Croatia

                                        Hotel Slavija is the oldest continuously operating hotel within the walls of Diocletian’s Palace. It is located in the private southern part of Diocletian’s Palace, above the western thermal baths. Even today, parts of the ancient walls can be seen in several places in the hotel building.

                                        The history of the building dates back to the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century. During this period, the Renaissance-Baroque Brešan Palace complex was built above the mentioned Western Baths of Diocletian, originally built in the 4th century. The building was later adapted into Hotel Slavija at the beginning of the 20th century.

                                        Venetian Bulwarks in Split Croatia

                                        Venetian Bulwarks

                                        Architect: A. Maglia

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                                        Built: 16th century

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                                        In the 16th and 17th centuries, Split was involved in the Venetian-Turkish wars, and as a defensive measure, modern star-shaped bastions were built around the city. However, during the French administration in Dalmatia in the early 19th century, some parts of the bastions were demolished to allow the city to expand beyond its boundaries into the free territory surrounding it.

                                        Lazareti

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                                        Built: 16th century

                                        Address: Obala Lazareta 3, Split, 21000, Croatia

                                        The Split Lazareti was a group of buildings constructed to temporarily store commercial goods that arrived in Split from Bosnia and by sea. The purpose of this was to facilitate commercial transshipment and quarantine. These Lazareti buildings were built in the late 16th century and were located southeast of Diocletian’s Palace on the east coast. Unfortunately, they were demolished after World War II.

                                        The lazarets in Split were the second oldest on the eastern coast of the Adriatic, after those in Dubrovnik. They were the largest and most organized complex of economic and fortification architecture in Dalmatia. They were named after St. Lazarus, the patron saint of the sick.

                                        Things to Know About Split Architecture

                                        Historical Evolution of Split Architecture

                                        Throughout its rich history, Split’s architecture has undergone a fascinating evolution. From the Roman structures dating back to the 4th-century Diocletian’s Palace to the Venetian and medieval buildings, the city’s landscape tells stories of various eras.

                                        Influences from Roman, Gothic, Renaissance, and modernism characterize the diverse architectural styles found in Split. This blending of influences reflects the city’s dynamic past and the convergence of different cultures throughout the centuries.

                                        UNESCO Sites and Their Significance

                                        Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, showcases remarkable Roman architecture infused with medieval and modern elements. Its historical importance stems from being one of the most well-preserved Roman emperors’ residences, highlighting Roman urban planning. The palace’s blend of Roman buildings, including courtyards and arcades, reflects the city’s rich history, making it a significant cultural site in Split, Croatia. The UNESCO recognition acknowledges its exceptional value in representing Roman architecture and its influence on subsequent European architectural styles.

                                        Where Is the Best Place To Stay In Split?

                                        Hotels in Split

                                        If you are planning a trip to Split, there are plenty of excellent places to stay. However, for the best experience, we strongly recommend staying in the Old Town. The castle marker on the map below is the heart of the Old Town. We suggest staying as close to it as possible, depending on your budget and preferences.

                                        The below interactive map provides hotel and apartment options that can be filtered to meet your needs. Select your travel dates to get specific availability and prices.

                                        Book your stay now!

                                        City Tours in Split

                                        Want to learn about the history of Split with a guide? Book a highly-rated city tour while visiting Split!

                                        FAQs About Split Architecture

                                        What is the architecture of Split, Croatia?

                                        Split, Croatia is known for its rich architectural history and diverse styles that reflect its long and varied past. The most prominent architectural feature of Split is the Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built by the Roman emperor Diocletian in the 4th century AD. The palace complex combines elements of Roman, Byzantine, and medieval architecture and serves as the historic center of the city.

                                        Within the palace walls, you can find a mix of ancient Roman structures, such as the Peristyle and Vestibule, alongside medieval buildings like the Cathedral of Saint Domnius. The cathedral was originally built as a mausoleum for Diocletian but was later converted into a Christian church. Its striking bell tower offers panoramic views of the city.

                                        Other notable architectural features in Split include Renaissance-style palaces along the Riva promenade, Gothic churches like St. Francis Monastery, and numerous Baroque buildings throughout the old town.

                                        Overall, Split’s architecture is a testament to its rich history and cultural heritage, with influences from various periods and civilizations blending to create a unique and captivating cityscape.

                                        Who built Split Croatia?

                                        Split, Croatia was built by the Roman emperor Diocletian in the 4th century AD. Diocletian chose this location on the Adriatic coast as the site for his retirement palace. The construction of what would become known as Diocletian’s Palace began around 295 AD and took approximately ten years to complete. The palace complex covers an area of around 30,000 square meters and was designed as a self-contained city with residential, religious, and administrative buildings.

                                        Who built the palace in Split?

                                        The palace in Split was built by the Roman Emperor Diocletian in the 4th century AD. It was intended to be his retirement residence and a symbol of his power and wealth. The palace is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the best-preserved examples of Roman architecture in the world.

                                        What is Split, Croatia known for?

                                        Split, Croatia is famous for its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture. One of its most popular attractions is Diocletian’s Palace, a magnificent Roman palace in the city center. This impressive structure showcases the grandeur and luxury of the Roman Empire, with its intricate columns, arches, and courtyards.

                                        Along with Diocletian’s Palace, Split is a gateway to the stunning Dalmatian Islands, including Hvar, Brac, and Vis. These islands are known for their breathtaking landscapes, pristine beaches, and charming towns—many visitors to Split take advantage of the numerous ferry connections to explore these idyllic island destinations.