Photo du Jour: The Sphinx Under a Moon-Lit Sky – Split, Croatia

Sphinx in Split Peristyle Croatia

About 1,700 years ago, Roman Emperor Diocletian spirited away a set of granite sphinxes from Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. The mythical creatures found a new home in the emperor’s retirement palace in present-day Split, Croatia, where we are lucky to be enjoying the winter months.

A few nights ago while strolling the streets of Split, we found ourselves captivated by the sight of this sphinx illuminated by moonlight. The sculpture, which guards the palace’s Peristyle, is the only intact one that remains in Split. A headless version can be found in front of the Temple of Jupiter (which was later converted into a Baptistery), whereas another is housed in the city’s museum.

We remarked that today the palace is roughly the same age to us as the sphinxes were to the emperor who so coveted them.

Where in the World?

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

Published by Tricia A. Mitchell

Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and photographer. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta; Heidelberg, Germany; and Split, Croatia. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene. A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia. Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.

20 thoughts on “Photo du Jour: The Sphinx Under a Moon-Lit Sky – Split, Croatia

    1. Thank you, Juliann. I loved how mystical the scene looked – a full moon over a 3,500 year-old sphinx. What a neat city this is!

      Hope you’re enjoying the weekend; somehow I suspect you have another trip up your sleeve? :-)

    1. Flattering words, Kat – thank you. :) It was moments like this that I wish we’d had the tripod along. But then, we couldn’t have strolled so freely in this beautiful spot.

      Wishing you a Happy 2014 just around the corner!

      1. Hi Tricia. I’ll be ringing in the new year at home. I went to the city yesterday. Times Square was already getting set up. It was very crowded all around that area.

        Have a happy New Year!

    1. Cornelia, thank you! Evening strolls around here can be magical – especially with a full moon overhead to illuminate this great architecture. :)

      Here’s hoping that our paths will cross in 2014! Ich wünsche Dir einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr!

  1. Well Tricia, you’ve done it again – totally knocked my socks off with this stunning photo. Wow! I have great difficulty capturing a decent photo of the moon, and you did it flawlessly. Just beautiful. Happy New Year to you and Shawn. We have so enjoyed getting to know you this year and look forward to more of your wonderful posts. :) ~ Terri & James

    1. Terri & James, thank you, or as they say in Croatia, hvala! :) This was one of those nights where we wish we’d brought the tripod along, but after almost forgetting it in India and deciding between yoga mats and the tripod for this limited-packing trip, we opted for the former. :)

      Shawn often hears me mention you, so we’ve both enjoyed crossing paths with you this past year as well. It would be fun if they could cross in person this year. Where are you off to next?

      Happy 2014!

      1. Tricia, we’re in the planning process and looking for good deals. Right now we have our eyes on anywhere that doesn’t have Dengue Fever. :) ~Terri

      2. Terri, the planning stage is always a fun one. Do you ever employ the spin the globe and point technique? (On a serious note, our friend once had Dengue Fever and said the pain was excruciating; travel does make one thankful for medical cures, and at the same time makes one so much more aware of the plight so many of the world’s citizens do, but shouldn’t face.)

        I just connected with a fellow traveler named Frank (co-author of blog BBQboy) who was inquiring about apartment hunting in Dubrovnik & Split after reading my mammoth Split walking tour post. :-) I offered him advice for Split & Trogir, but sent him your way for pointers on Dubrovnik. Hope you don’t mind and that you’re having a splendid weekend.

  2. Tricia, absolutely ethereal. What a perfect picture, great composition, perfect lighting and delightfully delicate outcome.

    1. Prem, it’s very nice to hear from you! Your compliment about this image is especially appreciated since I know that you are a gifted and accomplished photographer. Thank you for your kind words.

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