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Old January 17th, 2005, 03:54 AM   #1
Walter Wolf
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Split, Croatia

Interesting article on THE "PALACE" OF DIOCLETIAN AT SPLIT: A UNIQUE STRUCTURE from the LATER ROMAN EMPIRE.

http://archive.ncsa.uiuc.edu/SDG/Exp...it/split1.html
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Old January 17th, 2005, 10:30 PM   #2
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Where are the pictures?
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Old January 17th, 2005, 11:44 PM   #3
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Fischer von Erlach's reconstruction of Split, from his Entwuerff einer historischen Architektur, Vienna 1721, Tafel X .....



Ernest Hebrard's reconstruction of Split, Paris 1911 .....



Split - or Spalato - is one of the most extraordinary places of the later Roman world, being no less than the palace which the Emperor Diocletian began building in 293 AD in readiness for his retirement from politics in 305. On the Dalmatian coast, adjacent to the Roman city of Salonae, it takes the dual form of a legionary camp similar to those still to be seen on the frontiers of Syria (appropriately so, for Diocletian was of necessity a military emperor) but also, with its splendid loggias, of an Italian house.


The name "Split" is, for the fanciful down the ages, a contraction of "Spalatum" - that is "palatium" or "palace". A similar example of folk etymology is to be found in Sicily, where the late Roman villa with prestigious mosaics, at Casale, is near a town called Piazza Armerina - "Piazza" here likely being derived from "palatium". Constantine Porphyrogenitus certainly thought so - but contemporary opinion holds that the name more likely derives from the Greek name for the area - Aspalathos, which is a shrub.


The importance of Split resides both in its state of preservation, and in the dearth of comparable examples from the Roman world. There are no coherent palace structures left in Italy, for example: fragments exist at Ravenna, althpough they are difficult to identify; the the Palatine Hill in Rome (the origin of the word "palace", because that is where the Imperial palaces were) presents several overlapping structures - but nothing in so coherent a form as Split, where the structure of the palace/camp tells us much about imperial ceremonial and god-like pretensions.


Edward Gibbon gives a good description of how Diocletian, retiring (without being pushed) from the Imperial Purple, came here to grow cabbages:


A miserable village still preserves the name of Salona; but so late as the sixteenth century the remains of a theatre, and a confused prospect of broken arches and marble columns, continued to attest to its ancient splendour. About six or seven miles from the city Diocletian constructed a magnificent palace, and we may infer, from the greatness of the work, how long he had meditated his design of abdicating the empire ...


Though Constantine, from a very obvious prejudice, affects to mention the palace of Diocletian with contempt, yet one of their successors, who could only see it in a neglected and mutilated state, celebrates its magnificence in terms of the highest admiration ... The form was quadrangular, flanked by sixteen towers ... The whole was constructed of a beautiful free-stone, extracted from the neighbouring quarries of Trau, or Tragutium, and very little inferior to marble itself. Four streets, intersecting each other at right angles, divided the several parts of this great edifice, and the approach to the principal apartment was from a very stately entrance, which is still called the Golden Gate. The approach was terminated by a peristylium of granite columns, on the one side of which we discover the square temple of Aesculapius, on the other the octagon temple of Jupiter...


The range of principal apartments was protected towards the south-west by a portico five hundred and seventeen feet long, which must have formed a very noble and delightful walk, when the beauties of painting and sculpture were added to those of the prospect (Gibbon 1960, 135-6).


The ground-plan is a trapezoid, with the south (sea) side (157.5 metres) endowed with a splendid balcony but only a small gate. The longer walls are on the east (191.25m) and west (192.10m) sides and these, together with the closing wall to the north (150.9m) have impressive gates. The walls are some 17m in height, and 2m thick, and are largely intact, with square towers at the corners and on the long sides, and fancier octagonal ones flanking all the landward gates.


What makes Split so impressive is that the post-antique housing does not totally hide the Roman arrangement - that is: the colonnaded streets, the Emperor's apartments, the Great Hall & Peristyle Complex, the Temple; the Emperor's Mausoleum, and its the walls & gates.
















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Old January 18th, 2005, 08:48 AM   #4
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Few more pics:





I especialy like Grgur Ninski monument, by sculptor Ivan Meštrović
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Old January 18th, 2005, 08:58 AM   #5
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And one more:
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Old January 18th, 2005, 10:19 AM   #6
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Great, long foot, this is how the Split supposed to be.
@Sin City: anyway, welcome back. Where have you been for the months?
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Old January 18th, 2005, 10:44 AM   #7
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Thanks, Wicky.

More pics od famous Diocletianus palace:















and also this
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Old January 18th, 2005, 02:37 PM   #8
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Very detailed shots, thanks. Long foot - as Croatia is dedicated to shipping quite a lot, is there a competition between Split and Rijeka? Which city owns larger, or better harbour, also in respect to cargo and passenger traffic?
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Old January 18th, 2005, 02:58 PM   #9
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There isn't much competition between Split and Rijeka, because they are not rivals to each other, but actualy cooperate in shipping business. Both cities have large ports, but port of Rijeka is more important in cargo transportation, because it has good conection (new motorway and railway) with Zagreb and Central Europe, while Split is more touristic/passanger port.

Croatia has 6 large shipyards and many shipping companies, but many of them failed in last 15 years.

BTW, very soon should start reconstruction and upgrading of Rijeka port.
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Old January 18th, 2005, 03:08 PM   #10
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Long Foot, this is not about architecture but when I lived in the States I had a friend of Croatian origin whose father made this very strong cherry liquor. It was so strong it burnt your throat as you were drinking it.
Is this a widely available thing in Croatia and what is it called?
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Old January 18th, 2005, 03:18 PM   #11
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"Cherry liquor" is not an ordnary alchohol in Croatia, we mostly drink "plum liquor". I guess your friends father made this. It is called "rakija", it is very strong and you can buy it in any store in Croatia
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Old January 18th, 2005, 03:39 PM   #12
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OK, I guess it must have been plum liquor... I was too drunk to remember what it was Thanks!
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Old January 18th, 2005, 03:51 PM   #13
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You are welcome Just don't drink to much
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Old January 19th, 2005, 10:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wicky
Very detailed shots, thanks. Long foot - as Croatia is dedicated to shipping quite a lot, is there a competition between Split and Rijeka? Which city owns larger, or better harbour, also in respect to cargo and passenger traffic?
Split is the bigger city.

Wicky did you know that the Croatian port of Rijeka is now the official designated port for Slovakia. Ship bound goods from Slovakia use Rijeka as the primary port. I think its the same for Hungry and Czech republic.

BTW - Old Split is an outstanding place, especially the old Roman palace. The pictures dont do this relic much justice, nor the whole city for that matter.
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Old January 19th, 2005, 05:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AstroBoy
Split is the bigger city.

Wicky did you know that the Croatian port of Rijeka is now the official designated port for Slovakia. Ship bound goods from Slovakia use Rijeka as the primary port. I think its the same for Hungry and Czech republic.

BTW - Old Split is an outstanding place, especially the old Roman palace. The pictures dont do this relic much justice, nor the whole city for that matter.
Well, as far, as I know, Koper is a port, which is used on the basis of bilateral agreements as official cargo port of Slovakia - lower storage and transport fees, etc... And for the Czech republic it should be Polish Szczecin. But a good share of cargo might be going through Rijeka as well
and the city is also beautiful.
However, totally agree, that Split is an outstanding place, also maybe the Croatian, or Adriatic harbours should have a special thread?
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Old January 19th, 2005, 08:44 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wicky
Well, as far, as I know, Koper is a port, which is used on the basis of bilateral agreements as official cargo port of Slovakia - lower storage and transport fees, etc... And for the Czech republic it should be Polish Szczecin. But a good share of cargo might be going through Rijeka as well
and the city is also beautiful.
However, totally agree, that Split is an outstanding place, also maybe the Croatian, or Adriatic harbours should have a special thread?
Koper isnt as big, Rijeka is actually the deepest of the Adriatic harbours and can accommodate the biggest of cargo ships. I think this agreement was recent from a few months ago as I read it in the Croatian newspapers. Still, its probably worthwhile a thread on the ports of Croatia.
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Old January 19th, 2005, 09:18 PM   #17
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Rijeka port was completely waste in war time, but we are catching up again very fast. I think we overtook Koper last year in cargo transportation.

We also have large cargo port in Ploče for Bosnian market.
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Old January 19th, 2005, 11:16 PM   #18
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Sorry, I didn´t know this, long foot. Anyhow, good luck also to Rijeka!
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Old January 20th, 2005, 01:12 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wicky
Well, as far, as I know, Koper is a port, which is used on the basis of bilateral agreements as official cargo port of Slovakia - lower storage and transport fees, etc... And for the Czech republic it should be Polish Szczecin. But a good share of cargo might be going through Rijeka as well
and the city is also beautiful.
However, totally agree, that Split is an outstanding place, also maybe the Croatian, or Adriatic harbours should have a special thread?
I agree, there should be a special thread for adriatic based cities, there is plenty happening in Istria and Dalmacija.
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Old January 20th, 2005, 05:46 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by long foot
Rijeka port was completely waste in war time, but we are catching up again very fast. I think we overtook Koper last year in cargo transportation.

We also have large cargo port in Ploče for Bosnian market.
Yup, long foot, you are absolutely right about this achievment of the port of Rijeka. I just found an online article about it. It says it took it 15 years to achieve trends from early 90's. Here's the link if anybody is interested.

http://www.dnevnik.com.hr/index.php?article=5985
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