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My travel sketchbook: St Domnius detail

Split sketch drawing Croatia

It’s been far too long since I last opened up the pages of my now almost full travel sketchbook. But who could possibly resist the lure of the ancient Roman bricks and the Medieval buildings piggybacking onto the remains of Emperor Diocletian’s palace which form the central foundations of old town Split. And that very same view was one we became well accustomed to, as staying in the incredible Antique Split Hotel, we benefitted from a hotel room which looked directly onto the ruins of Diocletian’s Palace, and more specifically the iconic St Domnius Cathedral which is built on the ruins of Diocletian’s mausoleum.

More than any other building, the bell tower of St Domnius marks out the landscape of Split, distinguishing the city from the other smaller towns along the Croatian coast. From a distance, the bell tower is a delicate, multilayered construct which ascends in a series of cake layers narrowing in size. From up close, it is even more exquisitely detailed, and it is one such layer of details which was the focus of my first sketch, drawn directly from our hotel bedroom.

Split Sketch 1

Detail view of St Domnius Cathedral bellower, Split (pen on paper, 2016 ©Nicholas de Lacy-Brown)

Now back at home, I miss those moments when, with the windows wide open, I was able to stare in amazement at the incredible views before us, while low flying swifts accompanied by gentle sketching with their harmonious call. It is a moment which comes back to me the instant I open my sketchbook. It’s a true treasure-trove of memories to be long cherished.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at

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