Dedicated to the Ancient Roman king of gods, the Temple of Jupiter was constructed in the 3rd century as part of Diocletian's Palace and is considered to be one of the most well-preserved Roman temples in the world. Diocletian believed he was the reincarnation of Jupiter, who was highly worshipped until the Roman Empire was taken over by Christian rule.
The Temple of Jupiter may be small, but it offers a lot to see, including the headless sphinx that guards the entrance, the huge baptismal font, the many sculptures depicting Roman Gods, and sarcophagi of archbishops buried within. The temple is most often visited on a walking tour of other Diocletian’s Palace sites such as the underground cellars, the Cathedral of St. Domnius, and Peristyle Square.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Roman history buffs won’t want to miss one of the best-preserved Ancient Roman temples in the world.
- For the best deal, purchase a combination ticket for the Temple of Jupiter and other Diocletian’s Palace sites.
- Visit the Temple of Jupiter on a walking tour of Diocletian’s Palace to learn more about the temple’s unique history and architecture.
How to Get There
The Temple of Jupiter is located within the walls of Diocletian’s Palace near Peristyle Square, the palace’s central courtyard, and opposite Diocletian’s mausoleum. Diocletian’s Palace is a pedestrian-only zone, so the only way of getting to the temple is by walking.
When to Get There
Diocletian’s Palace can be quite busy during the high summer season (July and August), so visit early in the morning to escape both the crowds and the midday heat. Although the Temple of Jupiter is open year-round, it may have reduced hours in winter—be sure to check in advance.
The Story Behind Jupiter’s Headless Sphinx
The headless black granite sphinx that looks as though it’s guarding the entryway to the temple was one of 12 sphinxes brought from Egypt, as ordered by the Romans. During the fall of the Roman Empire, Christians were thought to have destroyed the head because they thought it represented a pagan symbol.