Located inside the gates of Diocletian’s Palace, the Cathedral of St. Domnius ((Katedrala Svetog Duje) is a massive octagonal cathedral built in Roman times as the Mausoleum of Diocletian. The structure was converted to a church in the 7th century and mass is still held here today, making it one of the oldest Catholic cathedrals in the world still in use in its original structure.
The Cathedral of St. Domnius is most often visited on a tour of Diocletian’s Palace. Admire the cathedral’s massive wooden doors, which are carved with scenes depicting the life of Christ, view the 15th-century altar of St. Anastasius, and browse the cathedral treasury’s wide array of gold and silver artifacts, including shrines containing the remains of various saints.
Things to Know Before You Go
- A must-see for Roman history buffs, the Cathedral of St. Domnius is one of the best-preserved ancient Roman sites in the world.
- The Cathedral of St. Domnius has an entrance fee.
- For an extra fee, you can climb to the top of the Bell Tower, where you’ll enjoy some of the best views in Split.
How to Get There
The Cathedral of St. Domnius is located in the heart of Diocletian’s Palace at the intersection of the two main streets, Cardo, which runs north to south, and Decumanus, which runs east to west. You can only visit the Cathedral of St. Domnius on foot, as the cobblestone streets of Diocletian's Palace is a pedestrian-only zone.
When to Get There
The Cathedral of St. Domnius can be visited year-round, although the cathedral does have limited visiting hours in winter. Diocletian’s Palace can get very busy during the summer months, so visit first thing in the morning if you wish to avoid the crowds.
The Story Behind Diocletian's Remains
Diocletian was known for his brutal treatment of Christians and, rather ironically, a section of the mausoleum he built to glorify his life and legacy now serves as a mausoleum for Christians massacred during his ruling. Diocletian’s remains were removed from the mausoleum when it was being converted to a cathedral in the 7th century, and no one knows what happened to them.