CITY OF SPLIT HISTORIC CORE - LEARN ABOUT WORLD'S CULTURAL HERITAGE

The Golden Gate

Reconstruction of the Golden gate with an octogonal tower, northern facade of the Palace (G.Niemann,1910).

The Golden Gate

Cross-section of the outer wall at the Golden gate, showing the space in which St.Martin's church was built

The Golden Gate

The interior of St.Martin's church (dated early Middle Ages)

The Golden Gate

4th century

The Golden Gate

15th century

The Golden Gate

17th century

The Golden Gate

19th century

The stages showing how the area along the northern façade of the Palace was being developed from 4th to 19th century (made by J.Marasović)

The northern gate of the Palace (called the Golden Gate) had been conceived as the main entrance to the Palace and so it had been elaborately decorated with statues of the Emperor Diocletian and his co-regent Maximilian, in the upper row of the niches, and with sculpture of an eagle a symbol of Jupiter, between the two.There were the statues of their two successors to the throne - caesars Galerius and Constantine - in the lower row of the niches. This conclusion can be made on account of the imperial iconography pattern, effective at the time of tetrarchy (rule by four persons). On the top of the wall, there have been four pedestals preserved until the present day (while there were five of them on the drawings from the 18th century), that could have been used as a supporting base for statues, but it is unlikely to believe that the imperial figures would have been repeated twice on the same façade. So far there has not been a veritable explanation given for this double usage.

Above the Golden Gate, there was an Early - Croatian Church of St. Martin built in the outer walls used by the sentry, probably in 6th century. This can be concluded by the patron saints, to whom the other gates of the imperial Palace had been dedicated : St. Theodore (The Western Gate), St. Apollinaire (The Eastern Gate) and St. Julian (The Southern Gate). St. Martin was a patron saint of soldiers, like St. Theodore, and was worshipped in the Roman times, particularly in the West, during the rule of the Emperor Justinian (527-565). The small church in the corridor has been altered several times. The present appearance is a replica of the early Croatian church from 6th century, with an altar partition in pre-Romanesque style added in 11th century, which has been preserved at its original site until the present day. This peculiarity ranks the small church of St. Martin among the best preserved sacral monuments of the ancient world. Today, this small church is an integral part of the Benedictine nunnery.