Days and Nights of Diocletian
Roman legions lining the streets, people milling around in togas, fanfare music sounding from every corner of the palace, drum banging ominously on the streets… It’s a full-on Roman lifestyle during the Days and nights of Diocletian in Split.
This cultural manifestation, which has slowly become a highlight of the summers in Split (alongside Split Summer Festival), lasts the whole summer. Emperor Diocletian and his Empress Priska are at the center of the festivities. Usually played by well known Split figures, these two lead the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as the processions.
In fact, Split is always a flurry of preparations for this manifestation. The town is a real Roman city during the summer, with changing of the guard on Peristil, and Roman soldiers protecting the city walls… Including daily processions of Roman legions that walk the city streets in formation. Often with dignitaries trailing behind in horse led coaches when the occasions asks for it. There are also little Roman workshops springing all around the Old Town during the Nights of Diocletian. Pottery masters are showing off their skills, the blacksmith is making Roman coins, medallions and hooves, the girls are making flower crowns… There’s something for everyone on the Fruit square!
Right now the Nights of Diocletian are being held. Though during the whole summer there are activities showing the roman life in the palace, the Nights last only a few days. This year the programme for the festivities is quite active. They start 30th of August and end on the 1st of September. On the 31st are the official opening celebrations, with the emperor and his wife presiding over them. On the square of Peristil you’ll find fire dancers, gladiator fights, acrobatic shows, and much more! Plus, there will be a showing of ‘What Diocletian ate’ after the opening festivities, in the cellars of Diocletian.
So come on down to Split, and experience the Roman life!
Foto Credit: Archive of Split Tourism Board