The Diocletian's Aqueduct in Split

The Diocletian's Aqueduct in Split

During our visit to Diocletian's Palace in Split, Robert had already told us about the water supply shortages in the ancient city of Solin.

When Diocletian began planning his palace, which would also be his retirement home, this problem was to be avoided from the outset. It is known that the water consumption of the ancient Romans was about three times higher than today. Immense amounts of water were necessary to operate the palace and the thermal baths.

Viaduct to bridge a valley

diokletian aquadukt split 01The source of the Jadro River was about 9 kilometres northwest of Diocletian's Palace, a distance that did not pose a particularly complex problem for Roman builders. At the transition from the 3rd to the 4th century, an aqueduct was built to bring fresh water from the source of the Jadro to the palace. This complex water pipeline had to take into account a gradient of 33 meters over a 9 kilometre route and was one of the first of its kind in Croatia.

To this day, parts of the aqueduct and the associated tunnels of this Roman water pipeline are still used to supply agricultural supplies to the modern city of Split. We took a closer look at the best-preserved section of this aqueduct during another short trip. Here in the town of Dujmovača there is a section of the water pipe as a viaduct bridging a valley in very good condition. At a height of 16.5 meters and a length of around 180 meters, the valley is overcome in the typical arch bridge construction.

Underground exhibition space in the hotel atrium

diokletian aquadukt split 03With the invasion of the Goths in the middle of the 6th century, Diocletian's Aqueduct was almost completely destroyed. Barbarians, at least when it came to infrastructure. The aqueduct remained unused until the rule of the Austro-Hungarian Empire between 1877 and 1880; only now did the reconstruction of the water pipe begin.

With the completion of the modern water station in Kopilica, the aqueduct for the public city supply of Split was abandoned.

Another section of Diocletian's Aqueduct can be seen as an underground exhibition space in the Hotel Atrium. Long stretches of the aqueduct's canals and bridges can still be explored today.

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Diocletian's Palace in Asphalatos, then Spalato and today Split

Salona - capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia


Life | Outdoors