The Iron Gate
Their original, Roman name was PORTA OCCIDENTALIS, and they are one of the four through which life flowed during all 17 centuries of the history of Split. From the very first day that they were opened, they continued to witness all the changes the city went through from the Roman times, through the middle ages till today, all the power and influences, only to welcome, even to this day, with the bells of the Renaissance clock, the city of Split with its citizens. A relief of Nika, the Roman Goddess of Victory stood on the lintel, but already in the fifth century the Christians carved a cross in its place as their symbol.
In the eleventh century, a small church of our Lady of the Belfry, was built above the door, originally dedicated to St Theodor, with beautiful early Romanesque bell tower. In the Middle Ages the area inside the gate was used as a courthouse, and until about fifty years ago an empire of small shops found its place there.
This entire history dynamics is present to this day, with housing construction in the very walls of the gate, bell tower, part of the Roman guards pathway with a wonderful view of the decumanus and the People’s Square (Narodni trg), and also city clock which is of a special interest as it has 24 digits instead of the usual 12. By the very door one of the most beautiful Palaces of the late Split noblemen found its place, belonging to the family Cypriani Benedetti, decorated by two unique six-arch windows.