If you follow me on social media, you probably already know I have a thing for Croatia. I’ve been there several times and even lived there twice for short periods. I’ve spent the bulk of my time there in Zagreb, but I’ve been lucky enough to see a good bit of the rest of the country. And one of my favorite cities lies on the Dalmatian coast, about 6 hours from Zagreb by train: Split. (In Croatian, it’s pronounced Spleet.)
About 1700 years ago, the Roman Emperor Diocletian retired and moved back to his native land. He had a huge palace built. He lived there for 8 years before dying. The palace was mostly abandoned for a time, but a few hundred years later, people moved back in. The palace has been occupied ever since.
See those walls? Seventeen hundred years old. And although it’s a great place to be a tourist (and one of the filming sites for Game of Thrones), the palace remains a place where people live.
Here’s my brother helping my daughter hunt for lizards. I couldn’t help but wonder about the men who cut, shaped, and set those stones so long ago.
The emperor–who opposed Christianity–was buried in the palace. But a few hundred years later, they built a cathedral right over his burial spot. Services are still held in the cathedral. In the peristyle outside, clapa groups sing a capella.
And just outside the palace walls, you can sit on the Riva at a café, watching the people and the boats.
Or maybe, if you’re a character in my novella Dei Ex Machina, meeting up with a very old ghost.
You can find the novella in Spirit, the fourth book in the Gothika series. And there are 3 other novellas as well!
Dreamspinner (On sale for only $3 this weekend!!)