The 'Diocletian Curtains' provide an opportunity to feel the spirit of the Roman era in an authentic way

From August 31st to September 2nd, the event 'The History of Diocletian' is held in Split.

Author  Blanka Kufner

24. August 2023.

From August 31 to September 2, 2023, the event 'The History of Diocletian' will be held in Split. Within those few days, an extremely rich program of events based on the history, culture and heritage of Emperor Diocletian and his palace will be presented. Through a series of interactive and educational programs, visitors will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of ancient Rome and experience it in an authentic way.

The story of Split has been going on for 17 centuries, since the Roman Emperor Diocletian decided to build a palace - near the then great Roman city of Salona - where he spent the last years of his life in peace. Ever since it was built, the Palace slowly grew and became a city that today beckons with its rich tradition, magnificent history, and the beauty of its cultural and natural heritage.

The 'Diocletian Blinds' are an excellent way for local residents and visitors to Split to explore ancient history, experience the spirit of the Roman era and better understand the legacy left by Diocletian, thus contributing to the enrichment of the cultural experience of those present. Educating citizens and tourists - about the history and culture of the city and the importance of protecting its cultural heritage - is the primary purpose of this manifestation.

Interactive programs

The concept of the manifestation is based on connecting the past and the present by presenting important moments from the life and reign of the emperor. The grand opening in the reconstructed Peristyle will give visitors an insight into the culture of that era, and some ladies may wish to become Diocletian's wife for a day - and that will be possible! Interactive tours with the emperor or the possibility of choosing a new ruler are some of the interesting things that will be offered.

The event program includes various aspects of Diocletian's reign, such as military life, the historical division of power and the importance of preserving cultural heritage. Connecting with visitors through interactive educational programs such as 'Sapere aude', enables a deeper understanding of the role of Diocletian's Palace in the development of Split.

The event will begin at 20:30 p.m. on August 31 under the open sky, when Emperor Diocletian's speech will echo through the Peristyle. Roman legionnaires will bring history to life, and visitors' experience of staying in Split will be enriched by an intriguing show about which we do not want to reveal all the details for now.

Photo: TZ Split


Photo: TZ Split


Program of events

At exactly 12 o'clock on September 1, the emperor will leave the Palace with his wife Priska, who, as a surprise guest, will address the audience in her native language. This is followed by a journey through imperial glory with the opportunity to photograph visitors all day on the magnificent throne placed in the middle of the Peristyle.

The next day at noon, the city will elect a new emperor, and perhaps the role of Diocletian will be taken over by one of the passers-by or visitors to this historic city. This is followed by an exclusive tour with the emperor who, along with unforgettable stories from his reign, will personally guide the present visitors through the past. 

On the same day, from 17:19 to XNUMX:XNUMX, in the narrowest alley of the city called 'Pusti me passi', an interesting educational and interactive program will take place to familiarize visitors with the history and importance of preserving the cultural heritage of the city of Split. 

At 20 p.m. - in a procession made up of Diocletian, Maximilian, Galerius and Constantius Chlorus, which will start from the Peristyle - the mysterious worlds of the tetrarchy, the historical division of power, will be revealed to the citizens. The program ends by exposing the life of Roman soldiers with the aim of gaining a deeper understanding of their everyday life during the time of the Roman rulers. 

Photo: TZ Split


Diocletian's Palace is one of the best preserved monuments of Roman architecture in the world. The emperor's palace was built as a combination of a luxurious villa (summer house) and a Roman military camp divided into four parts by two main streets. The southern part of the Palace was intended for the emperor, his apartment and the corresponding state and religious ceremonies, while the northern part was for the imperial guard - the army, servants, for storerooms and the rest. 

The palace is a rectangular building with four large towers, doors on each side and four smaller towers on the walls. The lower part of the walls is without any openings, while the upper floor is open with a monumental portico to the south and corridors with large arched windows on the other three sides. 

Over the centuries, its inhabitants, and then the citizens of Split, adapted this space to the needs of the given time. Therefore, the buildings in the interior and the outer walls with towers have been greatly changed from their original appearance, but the outlines of the imperial palace are still evident.

Photo: TZ Split

Time travel

Diocletian's Palace and the entire historic core of Split have been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1979. The building is very well preserved, although the city around it continues to live 'full steam'. All historical layers are still visible in the structure - from ancient Rome, through the Middle Ages to today. 

A walk through the ancient city is a journey through time that allows you to enjoy the view of the rich ancient architecture, such as the Peristyle, the medieval Romanesque church and the Gothic palace, the Renaissance portals of noble houses and baroque facades, all the way to modern architecture wonderfully integrated into the rich heritage.

Such stratification is also reflected in the everyday life of Split - residents and visitors sit in the same cafes and restaurants as former locals. In this way, the guests have the impression that by coming to the city they have become an integral part of Split and its rhythm.

Photo: Split Tourist Board

Author  Blanka Kufner

24. August 2023.