Colonnades are an important part of some Hellenistic and most later Roman architecture, unrivalled for their combination of shade and swank in the very best urban environments - compare present-day Bologna. At Split, they form the backbone of the internal city plan, and lead the visitor to the area in front of the(ex-)Imperial Apartments:


Above: Two views of the north-flanking colonnade by the palace, filled in with later palaces; in the centre, the open colonnade to the south, separating the central "courtyard" from the mausoleum.

In fact, it was the colonnades which especially impressed early visitors, one of which even suggests that part of the great sea-facing portico was still open in the 17th century:

Above: Spon & Wheler's sketch of what they could see of the inside of Split, from their "Voyage de Grece", 1678; and a reconstruction/plan of the city.

Even today, although much of the interior of the palace is clogged with (splendid) 17th century palaces and other late buildings, it is the colonnades which impress, as the plan itself demonstrates.

Here is what the colonnades would have looked like, according to Georg Niemann's reconstruction of 1910:

Such colonnades were a fixture in many Hellenistic and Roman cities, especially in the East - as here at Palmyra. The south-east face of the monumental arch, with the colonnades beyond, is seen here from Robert Wood's Palmyra of 1758:

Unfortunately, another type of colonnade at Split has vanished, its materials probably being re-used for house-construction, or later fortifications. This is the great aqueduct which ensured a plentiful water-supply, not just for essentials, but for the much more important luxuries, such as fountains and baths:

Above: Fischer von Erlach's view of the aqueduct feeding Split, from his Entwuerff einer historischen Architektur, Vienna 1721, Tafel XI

From here you may go to any of the following screens:

The Introductory Page; Comparisons with Split's Architecture; Diocletian as Builder; The Emperor's Apartments; The Great Hall & Peristyle Complex; The Emperor's Mausoleum; Is Split palace or chateau?; The Temple; The Walls & Gates A short description of the Tetrarchy; The Bibliography; My Biography; The technology I've used; A Short Research Paper.