() is a building in Split
, that was built by the Roman emperor Diocletian
at the turn of the fourth century AD.
Diocletian built the massive palace in preparation for his retirement on 1 May 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 Romans abandoned the site, the Palace remained empty for several centuries. In the 7th century nearby residents fled to the walled palace to escape invading barbarians. Since then the palace has been occupied, with residents making their homes and businesses within the palace basement and directly in its walls. Today many restaurants and shops, and some homes, can still be found within the walls.
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
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