Split, the 2nd biggest city in the country, firstly started as the Greek colony of Aspálathos in the 4th century BC. Its significance started growing rapidly at the end of the third century AD, when the Roman Emperor Diocletian built his palace in the bay of Aspalathos, four miles from Salona, the capital of ancient Roman province of Dalmatia.
Today, his palace is the heart of the old city core, where all the most important historical buildings are situated. Diocletian's palace is the very essence of city of Split, but its importance exceeds local significance due to the level of preservation it has received and the buildings of succeeding historical periods, from the Roman times onwards. The Palace is one of the most famous and symbolic architectural and cultural monuments in the Croatian Adriatic and is protected as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is made out of white limestone that had been transported to the coast from the rich quarries of island of Brac. Known for the finest quality in the world, it had been used in building many fascinating structures located in the Palace. One of those structures is the monumental Peristyle, which is among the most magnificent and unique historical courtyards in the world.
Split is famous nationally and wider for its cultural contribution to the Croatian nation, not only for history written in buildings, many of Croatia's biggest names in culuture and arts were born in Split. To glorify the extremely rich tradition, there are large events taking place over summer in the city, with the prestigious Split Music Festival, followed by the Split Summer theater festival being most notable and attractive.