Vagabonding Day 17: Exploring Diocletian’s Palace and Marjan Forest Park

Thursday, October 17
Split, Croatia

Split truly is a magical city. I was enchanted the moment we arrived and continued to be delighted as we wandered around Old Town and Diocletian’s Palace.

Daniel enjoys lunch in Split’s Old Town.

Located just steps away from our apartment, the Saint Domnius Cathedral was originally built as a mausoleum for Roman Emperor Diocletian in AD 311. It was later converted to a church and we spent some time exploring the cathedral, crypt and treasury.

Saint Domnius Cathedral bell tower.

Inside Saint Domnius Cathedral.

The crypt. It’s hard to see from this photo but the statue is holding a plate of eyeballs.

We then walked across the palace’s main court (peristyle) to The Temple of Jupiter. Originally dedicated by Diocletian to the ancient Roman god Jupiter, Christian’s later turned the building into a baptistry for St. John the Baptist.

Temple of Jupiter.

Inside the Temple of Jupiter.

And underneath it all are the Diocletian Palace cellars. Daniel and I actually wandered around Split for a while before we eventually found our way to the basement. We were particularly interested in the cellars as some scenes from Game of Thrones were shot down there – it doubled as the location for Daenerys’ Throne Room and also where her dragons were chained.

Diocletian’s Palace cellars.

Diocletian’s Palace cellars.

A statue of the man himself, Diocletian.

This cat likes to hang out in Diocletian’s Palace cellar. Wait, what’s that in the background… ?

But we soon grew tired of the cruise ship crowds mobbing Old Town. Cruise ships pull into dock daily and the town receives an influx of visitors as a result. Considering that we were well into October, I can’t even imagine what the crowds were like during the summer months.

Hiking the trails in Marjan Forest Park.

Many of the trails at Marjan Park are actually stairs.

An old chapel inside Marjan Forest Park.

Daniel and I headed west to escape the crowds and soon found ourselves climbing a hill towards Marjan Forest Park. After climbing numerous steps, we eventually made it to the top of the hill which, at 123 meters (403 feet), had fabulous views of Split and the surrounding area.

The view from Marjan Forest Park.

At the top of Marjan Forest Park.

More views from Marjan.

More views from Marjan.

Hello from the top of Marjan Forest Park!

As we headed back to town, the setting sun cast the city of Split in a golden glow.

Split truly is a magical city.

Hiking back down Marjan towards the city.

Split’s Old Town at sunset.

This way to Marjan Forest Park.

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