Our last day in the stunning German alps was spent at Königssee Lake, what a beautiful place the water is crystal clear, we were lucky that a traditional Bavarian festival was taking place.
Situated within the Berchtesgaden Alps in the municipality of Schönau am Königsee, just south of Berchtesgaden and the Austrian city of Salzburg, the Königssee is Germany’s third deepest lake. Located at a Jurassic rift, it was formed by glaciers during the last ice age. It stretches about 7.7 km (4.8 mi) in a north-south direction, and is about 1.7 km (1 mi) across at its widest point. Except at its outlet, the Königsseer Ache at the village of Königssee, the lake is similar to a fjord, being surrounded by the steeply-rising flanks of mountains up to 2,700 m (8,900 ft), including the Watzmann massif in the west.
The literal translation of the name, Königssee, appears to be “king’s lake”; however while German: König does indeed mean “king”, there had been no Bavarian kings since the days of Louis the German until Elector Maximilian I Joseph assumed the royal title in 1806. Therefore, the name more probably stems from the first name Kuno of local nobles, who appear in several historical sources referring to the donation of the Berchtesgaden Provostry in the twelfth century; the lake was formerly called Kunigsee.
The Königssee Railway (Königsseebahn) served the lake from 1909 until 1965. Its last tracks were dismantled during 1971, and the former station of the Königssee Railway in Berchtesgaden (Königsseer Bahnhof) was demolished in 2012. The only remaining element of the railway is the Königsee station, which is now a restaurant. The track route is mostly used as a walking path.
In 1944 a sub-camp of the Dachau concentration camp was located near where Heinrich Himmler had a residence built at Schönau for his mistress Hedwig Potthast.
With Kitty all packed again we left Hotel Zum Turken for a mad dash across Austria and Solvenia our destination was Novi Grad in Croatia for a one night stop to rest before the final push to Split.
The closer we got to Croatia the weather became warmer and warmer, all the windows and front flaps open made no difference but we would soon find out that Split would be an oven.
We arrived in Split after a gruelling drive with a small issue that had developed with Kitty, the immobiliser relay on the fuel pump had worked lose thus cutting the engine out momentarily this problem was solved with a hair band to get us on our way.
We would be staying at a guesthouse about a two miles from the centre of Split ,it was early evening so we decided to have a meal and explore Split in the morning, after asking the guesthouse owner the best places to eat, we walked and found a gem of a place that would become our regular restaurant for our stay, Konoba Pizzeria Dalmatino .
The sun rose it had been another hot night 30 degrees thank god we had air-con in the rooms, luckly the bus stop was close by and we travelled to the centre of Split getting off at the vast bazaar, the sun was relentless and the temperature was already 40 degrees.
Diocletian’s Palace is an ancient palace built for the Roman Emperor Diocletian at the turn of the fourth century AD, that today forms about half the old town of Split, Croatia. While it is referred to as a “palace” because of its intended use as the retirement residence of Diocletian, the term can be misleading as the structure is massive and more resembles a large fortress: about half of it was for Diocletian’s personal use, and the rest housed the military garrison.
Diocletian built the massive palace in preparation for his retirement on 1 May 305 AD. It lies in a bay on the south side of a short peninsula running out from the Dalmatian coast, four miles from Salona, the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. The terrain slopes gently seaward and is typical karst, consisting of low limestone ridges running east to west with marl in the clefts between them.
After the Romans abandoned the site, the Palace remained empty for several centuries. In the 7th century, nearby residents fled to the walled palace in an effort to escape invading Croats. Since then the palace has been occupied, with residents making their homes and businesses within the palace basement and directly in its walls. Today many restaurants and shops, and some homes, can still be found within the walls.
After the Middle Ages the palace was virtually unknown in the rest of Europe until the Scottish neo-classical architect Robert Adam had the ruins surveyed and, with the aid of French artist and antiquary Charles-Louis Clérisseau and several draughtsmen, published Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia (London, 1764).
Diocletian’s palace was an inspiration for Adam’s new style of Neoclassical architecture and the publication of measured drawings brought it into the design vocabulary of European architecture for the first time. A few decades later, in 1782, the French painter Louis-François Cassas created drawings of the palace, published by Joseph Lavallée in 1802 in the chronicles of his voyages.
This palace is today, with all the most important historical buildings, in the centre of the city of Split. Diocletian’s Palace far transcends local importance because of its degree of preservation. The Palace is one of the most famous and complete architectural and cultural features on the Croatian Adriatic coast. As the world’s most complete remains of a Roman palace, it holds an outstanding place in Mediterranean, European and world heritage.
Diocletian’s Palace is such a beautiful place, the beauty is immense and you cannot help but fall in love with Split.
Split has everything a traveller could want, many restaurants and cafes and those all important gift shops and not forgetting the bazaar.
part 6 to follow more Croatia adventures