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Cathedrals of Croatia

Some of the most important Cathedrals of Croatia:


Cathedral - Ðakovo

The floor plan of the Cathedral is in the shape of a cross. Together with the Byzantine and Gothic, the Cathedral is dominated by the neo-Romanesque style. 43 painted frescos, with biblical motifs were created by Germans Alexander Maximillian and Ljudevit Seitz. Only two paintings (Sacrifice of Abraham and Sacrifice of Noah) were created by the Italian painter Ljudevit Ansiglioni. The sculptures were created by: Vatroslav Donegani, Tomo Vodički and George Feuerstein, who made three statues.

The organ was created by Franc Jenko, from Šentvid near Ljubljana, in 1936, as the original organ burnt in the 1933 fire. On the walls of the side naves are the reliefs of the 14 Stations of the Cross, carved into Brač marble by Lujo Lozica. Beneath the sanctuary is the crypt in which the bishops of the Daruvar and Srijem Dioceses are buried. Among them, the burial place of J.J. Strossmayer is impressive. His gravesite is covered by the altar with marble relief, created by Rudolf Valdec.


Cathedral - Rab

At the end of Gornja ulica (Upper street), alongside the convent built on a cliff which steeply s into the sea, is the Church of the Assumption of Mary, the Cathedral. Its construction began in 1118. It was dedicated in 1177 by Pope Alexander III. This is a luxurious Romanesque basilica, and attention is drawn to the altar with ciborium from the 8th century, the late Gothic choir seat and the statue of St. Christopher from the 12th century.

The bell tower of the basilica is separate from the Cathedral and dominates the town, and is considered to be among the most lovely examples of the late Romanesque in Croatia.


Cathedral - Split

The Cathedral of St. Doimus (Sveti Duje) possesses magnificent wooden gates carved by Andrija Buvina from 1214. In the interior of the Cathedral are the Romanesque pulpit, late Gothic and Renaissance sculptures (Bonino Da Milano and Juraj Dalmatinac), valuable Baroque paintings and a vast Cathedral vault nearby, containing numerous relics, Church books, liturgical attire, etc.


Cathedral - Šibenik

The cathedral located in Šibenik, the Cathedral of Saint Jakov, is a three-aisled basilica with three apses and a cupola (interior height 32 m). Construction of the cathedral was begun in the Venetian Gothic style, but was completed in the Toscan Renaissance style. More than 15 decades ensued from the time the decision was made to commence construction, from 1402 up to its final consecration in 1555. Construction began in 1431 on the site of an earlier, smaller cathedral that had been destroyed, and material from that smaller edifice was used in the construction of the cathedral. Stone for its building was brought from the islands of Korčula, Susak, Brač, Rab and Krk.

This unique sacral monument is an extremely interesting example, in that it is the only building in Europe constructed before the 19th century which contains no masonry elements, with its walls, vaults and cupolas having been constructed through the unique method of assembling previously precisely chiselled stone sections (a method introduced by Juraj Dalmatinac), and usually used in carpentry.

Because of the unity of building in stone and the method of assembly, the magnificent and unique nature of the interior and exterior resulted in a building whose exterior volume corresponds exactly to the form of the interior. A direct consequence of that is the fact that the gable of the main facade (triple leaf-shaped) is the oldest in Europe and the only one that appears as a projection of a three-aisled church area, in congruence with the shape and size of the vaults.


Cathedral - Zadar

Near to the crossing of the decumanus and carda (now Široka Street) is the Cathedral of St. Stošija (Anastasia), a three-nave Romanesque basilica from the 12-13th century, and which is in fact an adapted early Christian basilica. The façade boasts a series of blind vaults, with a rosette, restored in the 20th century, in the center. Beneath the presbytery is the triple-nave Church of St. Barbara.

In the side apses are the preserved remains of wall paintings from the 13th century. Preserved Romanesque choir seats from the 12-13th century and the Gothic choir seats from (1418-50) are located in the presbytery. The main altar is ornamented with altar sections from the 9th century; above the altar is the Gothic ciborium-baldachin from 1332. The first and second floor of the bell tower were built in the 15th century, while the upper stories were built until 1892, according to the bell tower of the Rab Cathedral, T.G. Jackson.


Cathedral - Zagreb

Today, the Zagreb Cathedral is dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is 77 meters long and 46.20 meters wide. The north tower is 105 meters in height, while the south tower is 104 meters. The internal area is 1617 m2 and up to 5000 people can attend mass in the Cathedral.

The Zagreb Diocese was founded by the Hungarian King Ladislaus in about 1093/4, when he ordered that a cathedral be built. The construction likely began after 1102 and was dedicated in 1217. It was built in the Romanesque transitional style. The new cathedral was heavily damaged in the 1242 attack by the Tartars, and was renovated in 1264 and 1284 by Bishop Timothy in the Gothic style. At that time, the eastern, basilica section of the cathedral was built. The western, manor section, with equally high vaults in all three naves was built throughout the 14 and 15th centuries and into the 16th century. From the second half of the 15th century to the first half of the 16th century, the fortress walls and towers were built around the Cathedral to defend against the Turks. In the 17th century, the Cathedral was damaged in two large fires.

The restoration lasted until the second half of the 17th century. As part of the final works, the massive bell tower was built on the south side, and also served as a watchtower. At the end of the 17th and 18th centuries, the Cathedral received marble elements: the pulpit in 1698 and the remaining 32 altars – very valuable examples of the Baroque style. In the 19th century, during the period of Bishop Juraj Haulika, the sanctuary (presbytery) was renovated: a new neo-Gothic wooden altar was added from the sculptor Sickinger from Munich. The organ builder Walcker from Ludwigsburg created the new organ, which today is still found in the Cathedral. It is considered to be among the ten most significant in the world.

In 1880, Zagreb was heavily hit by a serious earthquake and the Cathedral was also damaged. The restoration plans were drafted by Vienna architect Fridrich Schmidt, and the restoration was conducted by the architect Hermann Bolle.

The remains of the Croatian noblemen Petar Zrinski and Fran Krsto Frankopan, killed at Wiener Neustadt on 30 April, 1671, are buried in the Cathedral.


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