Sunday 23 Jul 2017

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ZADAR.

Zadar is the main city in Northern Dalmatia with over 76,000 inhabitants. Another city to have grown from a Roman settlement, it was also under Venetian and Austrian rule as well as being assigned to Italy in 1920 Zadar Old Town is located on the tip of a narrow peninsula. Most of the town is surrounded by city walls, with towers and two city gates of interest. The Mainland Gate (Kopnena vrata), to the east of the Old Town, was built in 1543 and has the city coat of arms engraved on it. Close to this is the Five-Sided Tower, dating from the 13th century and the five wells which used to be the water supply for the city. The other gate is the Port Gate (Lucka vrata) to the north, built in 1573. In the centre of the Old Town is the Sveti Donat Church which was built at the beginning of the 9th century and stands at 27m high. It is the most important church in a city which has 30 altogether. Nearby is the Church of St. Mary as well as the Cathedral of St. Anastasia.

THE CHURCH OF ST. DONAT.

The church St. Krševan of ZadarThe most outstanding monument of Zadar is, unquestionably, the former church of St. Donat dedicated to the Trinity. The church named after the bishop Donat from the beginning of the 9th century, who is believed to have had erected it, was first recorded in the celebrated work by Byzantine emperor Constantine Porfirogrenetus on the management of a state.
Drawing upon the early Byzantine tradition, the edifice was built in the early Middle-Ages, most probably at the beginning of the 9th century, as legend has it. It has a circular ground-plan and, like several other buildings of its kind built around Europe at the same period, a double space. Yet, it is a wholly original project for which there exists no prototype. Unfortunately, its original appearance has not been preserved and it now appears devoin of its former south annex. As a consequence, on this side its central volume results visible from outside. The church, leaning on the early Christian Cathedral now makes part of the Episcopal complex.

THE CATHEDRAL OF ST. STOSIJA.

The church St. Krševan of ZadarThe Cathedral of Zadar was dedicated to sv. Stošija or St. Anastasia. This triple-nave edifice was built in two massive campaigns in the 12th and 13th centuries, on the site of an Early-Christian basilica.
Standing forth from its 13th century frontspiece is the rich ornamentation of its blind arches aligned into horizontal tiers and characteristic of the Tuscan variant of the Romanesque style.
The decoration underlines the triple-nave division of the edifice. On the facade, we may also observe a circular aperture or "rose" executed in the same manner and another Gothic rose window of somewhat smaller proportions, inserted into the pediment of the central nave at later period.

THE CHURCH OF ST. KRSEVAN.

The church St. KrševanThe church of St. Krševan (Grisogonus) belonged to Benedictine monastery. It is a characteristic example of a monumental Romanesque church of very fine proportions and decent and refined Romanesque ornaments. The church was built in the place of a former 10th century church and consecrated in 1175. The front is very simple, and the only detail of interest in the lower part is the portal with a gable which was formerly supported by two columns. The gable of the nave is decorated by blind arches. The upper part of the nave front is decorated by a row of blind arches and slim small columns.
Twisted small columns and blind arches decorate the southern lateral facade. The surface of the central apse is articulated in the lower part by twisted columns and blind arches, while the upper part is decorated with a gallery of slim columns ending in cubiform capitals. The inside of the church is simple. It has a nave and two aisles ending in three semicircular apses. The nave is divided from the aisles by columns and pillars with Cornithian capitals. Remains of two layers of frescoes, both Romanesque, are still found in many places in the church. The main apse was decorated by a mosaic, commissioned in early 13th century by Stana, daughter to the prior Petrane. The mosaic was destroyed in 1751. The monumental high altar in the sanctuary was built in 1701 to honour the vow of the citizens made much earlier, in the plague year of 1632. Four beautifull statues in white marble were placed on the altar in 1717 - the patron saints of Zadar: Anastasia, Zoilus, Grisogonus and Simeon. They were carved by the Venetian sculptor Alvise Tagliapietra. The belfry of St. Grisogonus was started in 1485. The work progressed very slowly. It reached the present height in 1546, but it was never completed.

THE CHURCH OF ST. MARY.

The church of St. MaryThe church is part of the Benedictine nunnery founded in 1066 by a widowed noblewoman from Zadar, Cika. The church was dedicated in 1091. Along with the nunnery, it represents one of Zadar's key monuments. The nunnery archive contains a precious collection of charters related to 9th century Croatian rulers. The first Hungaro-Croatian king Koloman, who also ruled the Dalmatian towns, raised founds for the construction of the bell tower and ecclesiastical chapter.
At this period the daughter of Cika, Vekenega, was a nun of this monestary. The monestary and the church were seriously damaged in World War II and their reconstruction was completed in 1972. Today a wing of the nunnery houses the Permanent Exhibition of Sacral Art.
land gate Zadar

Franjo iz Milana, St. Simon's reliquary in Zadar

The church St. Krševan of Zadar

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