Do you know one fact in common for the White House in Washington that was built in 1800, and the Palace of Emperor Diocletian in Croatian Split erected in distant 305?
Probably, the White House for the Americans is an embodiment of power, stability, and prosperity. It is one of the symbols of American statehood, endowed with the same significance as the stars and stripes on the flag. The White House will be 212 years old this year.
However, one has to agree that the White House is not a traditional building for modern America. It is a residence constructed in the style of early Classicism characterized by the adherence to the strict principles of symmetry and classical architecture born in Ancient Greece and Rome. But it is not the only historic parallel associated with this American symbol.
So, what is the common factor for the White House and the Palace of Roman Emperor Diocletian in the city of Split? The antique principles of symmetry? Sure. But there is one more: white color and the origin of the stone used for the building. Seems like the White House has pretty fair chances for a long existence. 🙂
The construction of the White House was completed in 1800, and initially the building was named a “presidential palace.” In 1792, its location was chosen by President George Washington personally. People started to call it “white” from the very beginning–although not officially–because of the light sandstone (a special limestone of snow-white color) that was used for the lining.
The sandstone of this noble tone has been mined for ages at the quarries on Brac Island in Croatia.
Brac is the third largest island in the Adriatic Sea famous all over the world for the white stone produced there. Brac stone was used for the construction of many famous buildings and cities in the world. For example, ancient Tragurion (it is 2000 years old), now known as Trogir in Croatia, was made of this stone (and partially from the Seget stone). That’s why it is also white.
The White House’s relatives by the “white stone” are the Palace of Emperor Diocletian in Split, the historical monument protected by UNESCO; Wiener Hofburg Palace, Austria; the Parliament Buildings in Budapest, Hungary; and the Governor’s Palace in Trieste, Italy. The high quality of Brac stone determined its usage in such spheres as construction, architecture, sculpture, and the reconstruction of historical buildings.
The Palace of Diocletian in Split was the first architectural creation of the masters from Brac. Since then, the masterful workmanship of stonecutters and carvers has passed on from generation to generation.
Nowadays, Brac stone is cut in eleven stone mines, processed at the factory located on the same island, and used for the manufacture of different products, from bricks for expensive Mediterranean villas and hotels in the style of antique architecture to souvenirs. One of them we recently brought from Croatia.