LEGO Palace & Living History

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With your help the Diocletian Palace can be an official LEGO© set

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About 2 years ago, Ilija Šundov came across a creative challenge on the LEGO’s Ideas website, which allows its users to submit their ideas, models that could potentially be turned into commercially available LEGO sets. Excited to learn about the challenge, Šundov immediately thought to share a piece of UNESCO protected World Heritage. He chose the Diocletian Palace, home to the 51st Roman Emperor.

“I think I have something interesting to share”, were the first words Ilija Šundov, the creator of the LEGO Diocletian Palace model, shared about his personal challenge. This Split-based civil servant, working in waste management, says his love for LEGO bricks and his hometown were a match made in heaven when it came to deciding what to build.

Diocletian Palace LEGO model at whole, photo personal archive.

A remarkable historical landmark

The Diocletian Palace is most definitely a well-known historical landmark of Split and Croatia. Since 1979, the palace has been listed and protected under UNESCO’S World Heritage list. The Palace had over the years undergone major architectural changes and therefore had lost its original shape. Šundov says his aim was to show the historical monument as it once was when Diocletian roamed its streets.

“Today, nobody actually knows what the Diocletian Palace looked like when it was built in the 4th century. There aren’t any photos lying around, all that we have are some illustrations from those times. So, I had to download what I could from the internet and I try to identify as many details as possible. Then I tried to transform all of these findings into a LEGO World”,  said the avid collector.

Diocletian Palace LEGO model with the two main streets, Cardo and Decumanus, in focus.

Applicable creativity

In addition to being an outstanding creative idea, Šundov’s model is an innovative way of promoting Split and Croatia as a fantastic destination that is characteristic for its numerous preserved historical and cultural sites. Guided by his childhood passion for stacking LEGO’s, this enthusiast used 5468 bricks to build his model in a total of 20 hours. The model’s dimensions stand at 52,7 x 76,7 x 13cm and weights a total of 10 kg. It took 6 months to design a 3D model and then an additional 6 months to purchase all of the specific and rare bricks need to complete the challenge he had set before himself.

Whether or not Šundov’s model of the Diocletian Palace will actually become an official set is up to the public. To date, his model has achieved over 57,000 views and 2500 votes on the LEGO Ideas website, but a total of 10,000 votes by registered users need to be generated for this beautiful Croatian landmark to become an official LEGO set, which will be sold around the globe.

The living history weekend at the Zagreb City Museum

It’s been 18 years since the first living history weekend was held at the Zagreb City Museum and from then on, the event has been growing and gaining fans. The living history event is organised each year on the weekend before Lent with many children attending or taking part. A tour of the museum on that particular weekend gives the visitors an opportunity to meet historical figures, as well as everyday people who used to live in Zagreb in the past, be it a tavern owner or a bishop or even a dancer. All roles are played by the Museum staff, which is unusual as normally actors are engaged for the task.

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