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Diocletian's Palace

This palace right in the heart of Split, was used by Roman Emperor Diocletian and is one of the best preserved monuments of Roman architecture in the world. In 1979, it was declared -- with the historic city of Split -- a UNESCO World Heritage site. The ruins of the Palace can also be found throughout the city. 

A military fortress, imperial residence and fortified town, the palace covers over 31,000 square meters (334 square feet). Diocletian spared no expense in the building of the palace, importing marble from Italy and Greece, and columns and sphinxes from Egypt. Many of the buildings are made from local white limestone quarried on the nearby island of Brac.

Each wall has a gate named after metals: the northern gate is the Golden Gate; the southern gate is the Bronze Gate; the eastern gate is the Silver Gate; and the western gate is the Iron Gate. From the eastern to the western gate there's a straight road (Krešimirova, also known as Decumanus), which separates the imperial residence on the southern side, with its state rooms and temples; from the northern side, which was intended for soldiers and servants.

Today, the 220 buildings within the palace boundaries are home to around 3,000 people and its cellars are a marketplace for tourists and locals alike. 

If you are looking to dine here, make sure you book a restaurant well in advance, as this is one of the most well-known tourist sites in Split. If you want a great view of the city that's a lot less crowded than climbing up to the top of the campanile, go to the Ethnographic Museum, which contains a collection of traditional Dalmatian costumes, where there is roof access.

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