Monday, September 1, 2014

An ironic placement at a Roman palace in Split

The bell tower of St. Domnius at Diocletian’s Palace
Watercolour sketch
Charlene Brown

Diocletian had a palace built in Split, Croatia, in preparation for his retirement in 305 CE. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 and has the distinction of being the world’s most complete Roman Palace.
 Considering that Diocletian probably put more effort into obliterating Christianity than any other Roman Ruler, it is ironic that his adjacent mausoleum was eventually enlarged to become the Cathedral of St Domnius. It was consecrated at the turn of the 7th century CE, and the Temple of Jupiter he had built became the Baptistery. The cathedral bell tower shown in this sketch, considered the main symbol of the city of Split, was added in 1100 CE.