Split (Croatian pronunciation: [splît]; Italian: Spalato, see Name section) is the second-largest city of Croatia and the largest city of the region of Dalmatia.
It lies on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, centred on the Roman Palace of the Emperor Diocletian.
Spread over a central peninsula and its surroundings, Split's greater area includes the neighboring seaside towns as well. An intraregional transport hub and popular tourist destination, the city is a link to numerous Adriatic islands and the Apennine peninsula.
The Roman Emperor Diocletian (ruled 284 to 305 CE) reformed the government in the late Roman Empire and established the Tetrarchy. This new system presupposed that Diocletian himself would retire at some point in favor of Galerius. Thus, in 293 CE, he began the construction of an opulent and heavily fortified palace near his home town of Salona, selecting the site of Spálathos (or Spalatum in Latin). The palace was built directly fronting the sea, so as to allow its occupant to escape by that means if necessary (in an era plagued by civil wars).
The site was most likely chosen due to being near to Salona, but also with a secure port and a more immediate access to the open sea in the case of an attack. Following a bout of illness in 303 CE, Diocletian announced he would retire as soon as his Palace, scheduled for completion in 305 CE, was ready.