Above is a pictorial representation of the massive palace that
Roman Emperor Diocletian built for himself during the period
of 295-305 AD. This fortress was Diocletian's retirement home
and tomb. Much has changed in the following 1700 years.
While Roman Emperor's palaces were typically abandoned,
destroyed, and/or fell into ruin elsewhere, Diocletian's Palace
is unique for having been converted into housing and shops.
Thousands of people live within these Roman walls, parts of
which survive. Notice the TV aerial above the far left palm
tree. This is no ordinary World Heritage Site.
Best preserved are the basement halls, used for centuries
to store refuse of all kinds. Once excavated, original
Roman construction was revealed. Tourists are taken to
the numerous basement chambers, which have no equal.
In the palace's central square, you can see apartment
buildings beyond the Roman arches. Little of Diocletian and
Rome survived, in large part because Diocletian was the last
Roman Emperor who persecuted Christians. The Emperor's
tomb was replaced by a Catholic Cathedral, and all images of
Diocletian were destroyed. In our era a Diocletian statue
plus other relics of the Emperor have returned.
Diocletian's bust now resides in one of the basement chambers,
and he would not be pleased with such a lowly status.