The Cathedral of St. Duje (Croatian: Katedrala Svetog Duje), the Catholic Cathedral of Split, Croatia is located within the Diocletian’s Palace (Croatian: Dioklecijanova palača).
The Cathedral was named after Saint Duje (Saint Dujam, or Saint Domnius) patron saint of Split, who was a 3rd century Bishop of Salona. Salona was a large Roman city serving as capital of the Province of Dalmatia. Today it is located near the city of Solin in Croatia. Saint Duje was martyred with seven other Christians in the persecutions of the Emperor Diocletian. He was born in Antioch, in modern-day Syria, and beheaded in 304 at Salona.
The Cathedral of St. Duje is a complex of a church, formed from an Imperial Roman Mausoleum, with a Bell Tower; strictly the church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and the Bell Tower to Saint Duje. Together they form the Cathedral of St. Duje.
The main part of the Cathedral is Emperor Diocletian’s Mausoleum, which dates from the end of the 3rd century AD. The mausoleum was built like the rest of the palace with white local limestone and marble of high quality.
Later, in the 17th century, the chorus (choir) was added at the eastern side of the Mausoleum. For that purpose the eastern wall of the Mausoleum was torn down in order to unify the two chambers.
The Bell Tower was constructed in the year 1100 AD. It was one of the most beautiful Romanesque towers. Extensive rebuilding in 1908 radically changed the Bell Tower, and many of the original Romanesque sculptures were removed.
The Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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Featured in : Historic Places : 6 Apr 10