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Palace of Diocletian - World Heritage Sites of Croatia


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Croatia World Heritage Site - Palace of Diocletian

Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian (1979)
Diocletian's Palace is a building in Split, Croatia that was built by the emperor Diocletian at the turn of the fourth century AD. Diocletian built the massive palace in preparation for his retirement on May 1, 305 AD. It lies in a bay on the south side of a short peninsula running out from the Dalmatian coast, four miles from Salona, the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. The terrain slopes gently seaward and is typical karst, consisting of low limestone ridges running east to west with marl in the clefts between them.

After the Middle Ages the palace was virtually unknown in the West until the Scottish neo-classical architect Robert Adam had the ruins surveyed and, with the aid of French artist and antiquary Charles-Louis Clérisseau and several draughtsmen, published Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia (London, 1764). Diocletian's palace was an inspiration for Adam's new style of Neoclassical architecture and the publication of measured drawings brought it into the design vocabulary of European architecture for the first time.

This palace is today, with all the most important historical buildings, in the centre of the city of Split. Diocletian's Palace far transcends local importance because of its degree of preservation. The Palace is one of the most famous and complete architectural and cultural features on the Croatian Adriatic coast. As the world's most complete remains of a Roman Palace, it holds an outstanding place in Mediterranean, European and world heritage.

In November 1979 UNESCO, in line with the international convention on cultural and natural heritage, adopted a proposal that the historic city of Split built around the Palace should be included in the register of World Cultural Heritage.

In November 2006 the City Council decided to permit over twenty new buildings within the palace, despite the fact that the palace had been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Monument. It is said that this decision was politically motivated and largely due to lobbying by local property developers.

The World Monuments Fund has been working on a conservation project at the palace, including surveying structural integrity and cleaning and restoring the stone and plasterwork, expected to be completed in 2009.


Source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia

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