The City of Split marks 1700 years since the beginning of the construction of Diocletian's Palace. Split, a city where every epoche since antiquity has left its traces, was conceived within the walls of the palace which was built by the Roman Emperor Diocletian as his private residence. The well-preserved palace has been listed as UNESCO's register of the worlds cultural heritage. During these 1700 years plus, Split has played an important role in Croatian history. Today, Split is the center of cultural and scientific life, with many institutions, museums, gallerys and theatres. Split is the second biggest city of Croatia. Due to its central position on the Adriatic coast and its exceptional environment, Split soon developed into the leading and biggest city of South Croatia, its large port, commercial and industrial center and an important European touristic resort. The present city of Split is an organic fusion of its antique heritage and of modern architecture, set up in the beautiful Mediterranean environment and full of a sober and thoughtful atmosphere of a big city.As the scientific centre of the region, Split's scientific institutions have had remarkable results in many fields including the protection and study of cultural and natural heritage, oceanography, fishery, Adriatic agricultural cultures, etc. Split is also known for great accomplishments in sports, notably basketball, soccer, tennis, handball, rowing, sailing, and waterpolo. Split hosted the Mediterranean Sport Games and the European Athletic Championships. Split is connected by rail to the hinterland, by ferry boats to the Adriatic islands, Italy and Croatia, and to the rest of the world by its international airport.