Sunday 17th August- pavers from the 4th century in Diocletian’s Palace

Good sleep last night. I thought we might be woken with the normal night time movements you get when a lot of people live in a small place and there were plenty of people out on the street when we returned but I guess it was 2am when we got to bed so it might have been our laughing keeping them awake. Whoops…

Decided we wanted to have a walking tour of Diocletians Palace so we don’t miss a thing and as we head down there a young girl is giving out pamphlets so in no time we have joined a walking tour of about 10 people. Our guide was a young tall Croatian guy who had a good strong voice and a slight American accent. These things are important. We needed to be able to see him easily if we got lost in the crowd, understand him easily, hear him over the crowd noise and him to have good enough English to answer our questions. We’d seen plenty of not so good guides where they were impossible to understand or hear. It cost us less than NZ20 each and it was 2 hours so really good value. The very short version of Diocletian is he was an army guy who worked his way thru the ranks and thru good luck and good management proclaimed himself the Emperor after the old guy was assassinated. He had the support of the army straight off which helped. After around 20 years he retired and this is probably the bit he’s famous for. He was the first to stop being an emperor without dying, without being assassinated, without being usurped. He simply stood down in 310 and tended his garden in peace. He built Diocletians Palace for his retirement giving him spa waters beneath the city and salt air. He had the best of everything right here at his fingertips.

This is a part that was believed to have been designed for the sun. You can see it shines thru different windows putting the sun onto a wall. At about 12 noon each day the sun hits a gap that’s the entry to the main square. It was believed he did this on purpose so that when he came down to greet the people each day the sun streamed in behind him giving himself an ethereal quality. Now that’s clever! We got to see the effect of this as we started our tour at noon and down to the main square as the drums beat and the armoured warriors stood guard as Diocletian himself came down to greet the people. A pretty cool re enactment and a bit of fun as he teased the people.

Holly stands in front of a window that has some of the original behind it and some restoration work. The facade is actually the same rock, just finished in the modern way. Some restoration work was started in the 18th century.

Pavers on the right hand side are the ones remaining from the 4th century. The smaller ones were cut and replaced in the 18th century. Another thing he was known for was his persecution of Christians. Of 50 million people 7 million were Christians and they simply refused to honour anyone else. These he recognised as potential trouble and was relentless in his persecution. This ended in 313 when Constantine made it permissible for Christians to practise their faith.

Had a delicious lunch with the girls in Diocletians Palace. Fresh fish and shared tiramisu and pannacotta with red wine. Girls sunbathed while Gilbert and I napped and then out for pancakes and a wander before a drink and then back for bed! This has been a great spot to stay as being so easy this central. Can’t wait to swim tomorrow. Missed that today but loved the Palace.

Talk soon!

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