Some of Europe's best preserved Roman remains are to be found in Croatia. Under the Romans, Salona was the political centre of the Dalmatia region of Croatia. It reached its peak under Emperor Diocletian who built his palace in Split. Roman rule was swept away by marauding Huns and Goths who invaded in the middle of the 5th century and Salona wound up in the Eastern Roman Empire until Slavs and Avars moved in and levelled the town to the ground.
Salona's ruins are relatively quiet and the most impressive is the 2nd-century amphitheatre which was destroyed by the Venetians in the 17th century. At one time it could accommodate 18,000 spectators and almost certainly staged games with gladiators fighting bears. Also interesting is the Manastirine, a burial place for early Christian martyrs (victims of the lions perhaps) which is part of an archaeological reserve which includes the Tusculum Museum. There are also the remains of a cemetery baslica that dates from the 4th century and the ruins of a three-nave cathedral with an octagonal baptistry.