Posted by: viewfromtheriva | December 9, 2012

Inside the Golden Gate, the 5thC St. Martin’s Church!

The tiny chapel inside the Golden Gate

Ever since moving here several years ago, the tiny chapel inside the Golden Gate of Diocletian’s Palace has been one of the places I’ve never been able to see. The Chuch of St. Martin, as it is called, is one of the earliest true Christian churches in the world because unlike the secretive rooms and hidden chambers used by early Christians tio practice their faith, this is a real chapel. It’s a soldiers church (St. Martin is the patron saint of soldiers) used by the men who stood watch inside the walls of the most important gate of the Palace.

The Benedictine Monastery next to the gate has been the custodian of the church for 700 years. Although I’ve heard the nuns will unlock the chapel from time to time, I’ve never seen it open.

The narrow steps leading up the chapel
Only 6′ wide, the chapel has windows that allowed the soldiers to see into the defensive yard as well as outside the gate. The steps leading up to the chapel are wonderfully narrow, dark and just spooky enough to make the whole experience electric.

I was so thrilled being there I could barely hold the camera, hence the less than marvelous photo. But it was a real thrill I will long remember!




  1. never been myself, will check it out next time we are in Split! thanks!

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