From a bird’s eye view, the old town of Split resembles a rectangular box into which someone has placed buildings, streets, and markets. Beginning in the Middle Ages, two of the larger markets in this citadel played a key role in the history of the city, Narodni Trg, or Spalato in Italian. The People’s Square, called simply Pjaca by the locals, was first mentioned in the 13thcentury, and has a number of superb Gothic buildings. A bit further on, at the entrance to the citadel, lies Trg Braće Radić, called Voćni Trg by the locals, meaning “fruit market,” in reference to its earlier, colourful identity. Just outside the medieval walls is a third great square, Republic Square. Its more recent architecture reminds one of Venice’s San Marco. It was built in the mid-19th century, in a historicist style, demonstrating that Split, long under Venetian rule, still carries on this tradition. These are beautiful squares, each with its own marked individuality, but the oldest and most interesting of the Split squares by far is Trg Peristril, which is smaller, yet considered by locals to be the historical heart of this area. Its history is special. Originally, this square served as the interior courtyard of a palace built for the Roman emperor Diocletian in 305, across a huge surface measuring 300 square meters. In fact, half of the old city of Split lies within the palace walls, the most well-preserved Roman palace today. After the Romans abandoned it, it remained uninhabited for centuries, until the people of Salona used it when taking refuge from the Slavs, turning this former palace into their settlement. And a settlement it shall remain. John of Ravenna, the first local archbishop, oversaw the transformation of the Diocletian mausoleum into a church. This was the moment when the palace courtyard officially became the Cathedral square, with all of the functions of a medieval square. Changes were made to it, but some features were kept, including its red porphyry columns.