The Nights of Diocletian
30.08 - 02.09.2018
Peristyle Square, Split (Split-Dalmatia county)
the nights of an enchanting Croatian seaside town breath again the atmosphere of the Ancient Roman Empire reliving the times of the famous Croatia-born Emperor Diocletian trough a great festival featuring a rich programme of events and initiatives for all ages...
Geographical, cultural and historical context
Split, situated on a peninsula along the eastern shores of the Adriatic Sea, is the second-largest city in Croatia, as well as an important transport hub and one of Croatia's best tourist destination. Since 1979, the old town, which is centered around the ancient Roman Palace of Emperor Diocletian (Caius Aurelius Valerianus Diocletianus, 244-311 AD) is included into the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Although archaeological researches prove that Split was founded long before as an ancient Greek colony called Aspálathos (Aσπάλαθος) from the name of the spiny broom (calicotome spinosa, a common shrub in the area), the history of the city is traditionally identified with the construction of Diocletian's Palace (295-305 AD), one of the biggest and best preserved late antique palace in the world, named after its creator, who chose that beautiful Adriatic spot as retirement place for himself and his family.
Diocletian was actually born in the antique town of Salona, today named Solin, just 5 km from the heart of Split, and became famous not only for his economical, administrative and military reforms to strengthen the Roman Empire inside and outside, but also because of the greatest and bloodiest persecution of Christianity (303–311 AD) as well as for being the only Roman Emperor to voluntarily abdicate the position. It happened in AD 305, when Diocletian himself decided to leave active politics and retire to his palace in Split, a huge and magnificent imperial villa built as a massive structure and intended both for the emperor's retirement but also as a well-fortified camp.
Event description and programme
Every year, towards the end of Summer Split celebrates Emperor Diocletian through a well-organized and accurate festival with a rich programme including the great historical parade around the city with Diocletian on his chariot accompanied by his wife, the empress Prisca, the family, the court, the pretorian guard and the legionaries. There are also gladiatoral fights, military maneuvers and drills of the legionaries, music and dance performances, street theatre, Ancient Roman fashion shows and cuisine with food and drinks of the period served during a majestic imperial banquet, lectures, guided tours, living history displays, crafts workshops, and a plenty of special initiatives for children with several leisure and educational activities, including Ancient Roman football and games.
Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further the details.
Info & Contact
Split City Council / Grad Split
Address: Obala kneza Branimira 17, 21000 Split, Croatia
Split Tourist Board / Turistička zajednica grada Splita
Address: Obala Hrv. narodnog preporoda 7/9, 21000 Split, Croatia
Tel: +385 (0)21 348 600 | Fax: +385 (0)21 348 604
Croatian National Tourist Board
Address: Trg Drage Iblera 10 / 4, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Tel.: +385 1 4699 333
Image: Vojko Bašić - Days of Diocletian via Split Tourist Board
Text sources: Split Tourist Board, Wikipedia, Croatian National Tourist Board
Split, the Diocletian Palace and the Peristyle Square on Google Maps:
Promos and video reportages of the event:
Visiting Split and Diocletian Palace: