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

Temples

Reconstruction of Jupiter's temple (E. Hebrard,1912)

Temples

Vaulted stone ceiling of Jupiter's temple

Temples

Pluteus with the figure of Croatian king, used as a wall of baptismal font (11th century)

Temples

The façade of Jupiter's temple with the bell-tower built in early Middle Ages, a drawing made in 1782 (l.F.Cassas)

There were three temples in Diocletian's Palace, located in its western section, opposite of the Emperor's Mausoleum. The main temple is characterized by the original pantheistic Roman religious conception illustrated by the figures of the following gods and goddesses Jupiter (the chief Roman deity), Hercules (the son of Jupiter), Sol (the god of Sun), Nike ( the winged goddess of victory), as well as the figures of masquerons, giants and fantastic animals carved on the lintels and on the door - posts of the main entrance. This temple is among the best preserved Roman temples in the world, and it is particularly valuable because of the well-preserved vaulted ceiling.

In the Middle Ages, this temple was transformed into the baptistery of St. John, while the crypt under it was converted into the church of St. Thomas. In 11th and early 12th century, a bell-tower was erected above the temple, similar to the one that can be found on the Church of Our Lady of Bell-tower above the western gate of the Palace (Iron Gate) even today.

There were two other temples opposite this one, both having a circular ground-plan. The former one dedicated to the goddess Cybele, and the latter one to the goddess Venus. This can be concluded from the report written by the chancellor Antonius Proculianus in 1567, in which he described what he had found or seen and heard from the local inhabitants of that period. The foundations of these temples were unearthed during the sixties while the excavations were being carried out in order to rehabilitate the buildings constructed above them in the later periods.