The Krk Cathedral was built originally in the 5th or 6th century but archeological evidence suggests that the site was used by Christians as early as 4th century.
The cathedral is located beneath the Krk town hill. The first documented mention of the church dates from 1186. It is a three-nave early Christian basilica which is part of a larger complex, along with the Romanesque Church of Saint Quirinus (12th century), a bell tower (16th century), the Chapel of Saint Barbara, an early Christian baptistry and an apse. As common with other churches from the same period, it is oriented east/west, with its façade facing a street which goes through the town of Krk in the north/south direction.
During several archeological excavations between 1956 and 1963 the ruins of an ancient Roman thermae dating from 1st century were discovered. Remains of a hypocaust and a tepidarium with a preserved mosaic floor tiling were uncovered. Large mosaic pieces worn out of people walking over them were found, which suggest that the site may have been used for Christian masses as early as the 4th century, before the cathedral was built.
According to historical records right next to the former tepidarium a Chapel of Saint John the Baptist with a baptismal font was later built, which stood there until 1565. This implies that one of the pools of the thermae has been converted into a baptistry. Beneath the floor of the present-day Chapel of the Holy Heart of Jesus a barrel-like piscina for baptismal water was also found.
The cathedral's present-day Romanesque design was created in the 11th and 12th century, around at the same time when its existence was first documented in 1186. Above the fourth interior capital (when counting from the south side entrance) there is an inscription dedicating the church to Virgin Mary, as it marks the place where the early Christian basilica used to end.
This was confirmed by excavations in which foundations of the wall which closed the original basilica were found. Out of the two present-day rows of columns, the seven columns closer to the altar were originally within the old basilica. These columns were built out of stone and are not connected to capitels. Out of the total 14 columns, 12 of them feature Corinthian capitels, one is Classical and the one in the northern row closest to the altar features relief depictions of early Christian eucharist symbols, showing a fish being eaten by two birds (the fish is an early Christian symbol for Christ while the birds represent Christians; therefore the image represent eucharist in which believers 'feed' on Christ). Based on this and the ground plan of the basilica, Mohorović dated the time its construction to the latter half of the 5th century or some time in the early 6th century.
Over the course of centuries several chapels with altars were added next to the side walls of the church. Around 1450 John VII Frankopan had ordered construction of the Chapel of Saint Barbara, which has House of Frankopan coats of arms on its ceiling. In 1500 two Renaissance-style ambons were built, in 1538 the apse was extended, and then again in 1700 when the space for an organ and a choir was added. The sacristy is equipped with walnut wood furniture; a cupboard which covers the sacristy wall was made between 1697 and 1698, the 13 benches for canon were made in 1699 and a bishop's throne was added in 1717.
In addition to the cathedral the complex contains the Church of Saint Quirinus, the only early Christian two-story church in Croatia. The Romanesque-style church was built in front of the cathedral, out of locally mined white stone. Because of lack of space its apses face southwards and it features three semicircular apses with romanesque arcades on top. There is also the Church of Saint Margaret, dedicated to Margaret of Antioch, and a bell tower. As early Christian churches did not have bell towers, a wooden tower was added behind the sacristy at a later date. Since there was very little building space left by then, it was constructed right in front of the Church of Saint Quirinus in 1515. In 1765 it underwent a thorough restoration, and the upper part was redesigned. As part of the restoration a sculpture of an angel made in Venice was installed on top. Since then the bell tower was renovated several times, last time in 1973 when the present-day plastic angel replaced the original copper-coated wooden sculpture.References:
Pembroke Castle is a Norman castle, founded in 1093. It survived many changes of ownership and is now the largest privately owned castle in Wales. It was the birthplace of Henry Tudor (later Henry VII of England) in 1457.
Pembroke Castle stands on a site that has been occupied at least since the Roman period. Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury founded the first castle here in the 11th century. Although only made from earth and wood, Pembroke Castle resisted several Welsh attacks and sieges over the next 30 years. The castle was established at the heart of the Norman-controlled lands of southwest Wales.
When William Rufus died, Arnulf de Montgomery joined his elder brother, Robert of Bellême, in rebellion against Henry I, William's brother and successor as king; when the rebellion failed, he was forced to forfeit all his British lands and titles. Henry appointed his castellan, but when the chosen ally turned out to be incompetent, the King reappointed Gerald in 1102. By 1138 King Stephen had given Pembroke Castle to Gilbert de Clare who used it as an important base in the Norman invasion of Ireland.
In August 1189 Richard I arranged the marriage of Isabel, de Clare's granddaughter, to William Marshal who received both the castle and the title, Earl of Pembroke. He had the castle rebuilt in stone and established the great keep at the same time. Marshal was succeeded in turn by each of his five sons. His third son, Gilbert Marshal, was responsible for enlarging and further strengthening the castle between 1234 and 1241.
Later de Valence family held Pembroke for 70 years. During this time, the town was fortified with defensive walls, three main gates and a postern. Pembroke Castle became de Valence's military base for fighting the Welsh princes during the conquest of North Wales by Edward I between 1277 and 1295.
Pembroke Castle then reverted to the crown. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the castle was a place of peace until the outbreak of the English Civil War. Although most of South Wales sided with the King, Pembroke declared for Parliament. It was besieged by Royalist troops but was saved after Parliamentary reinforcements arrived by sea from nearby Milford Haven. Parliamentary forces then went on to capture the Royalist castles of Tenby, Haverfordwest and Carew.
In 1648, at the beginning of the Second Civil War, Pembroke's commander Colonel John Poyer led a Royalist uprising. Oliver Cromwell came to Pembroke on 24 May 1648 and took the castle after a seven-week siege. Its three leaders were found guilty of treason and Cromwell ordered the castle to be destroyed. Townspeople were even encouraged to disassemble the fortress and re-use its stone for their purposes.
The castle was then abandoned and allowed to decay. It remained in ruins until 1880, when a three-year restoration project was undertaken. Nothing further was done until 1928, when Major-General Sir Ivor Philipps acquired the castle and began an extensive restoration of the castle's walls, gatehouses, and towers. After his death, a trust was set up for the castle, jointly managed by the Philipps family and Pembroke town council.
The castle is sited on a strategic rocky promontory by the Milford Haven Waterway. The first fortification on the site was a Norman motte-and-bailey. It had earthen ramparts and a timber palisade.
In 1189, Pembroke Castle was acquired by William Marshal. He soon became Lord Marshal of England, and set about turning the earth and wood fort into an impressive Norman stone castle. The inner ward, which was constructed first, contains the huge round keep with its domed roof. Its original first-floor entrance was through an external stairwell. Inside, a spiral staircase connected its four stories. The keep's domed roof also has several putlog holes that supported a wooden fighting-platform. If the castle was attacked, the hoarding allowed defenders to go out beyond the keep's massive walls above the heads of the attackers.
The inner ward's curtain wall had a large horseshoe-shaped gateway. But only a thin wall was required along the promontory. This section of the wall has a small observation turret and a square stone platform. Domestic buildings including William Marshal's Great Hall and private apartments were within the inner ward. The 13th century keep is 23 metres tall with walls up to 6 metres thick at its base.
In the late 13th century, additional buildings were added to the inner ward, including a new Great Hall. A 55-step spiral staircase was also created that led down to a large limestone cave, known as Wogan Cavern, beneath the castle. The cave, which was created by natural water erosion, was fortified with a wall, a barred gateway and arrowslits. It may have served as a boathouse or a sallyport to the river where cargo or people could have been transferred.
The outer ward was defended by a large twin-towered gatehouse, a barbican and several round towers. The outer wall is 5 metres thick in places and constructed from Siltstone ashlar.
Although Pembroke Castle is a Norman-style enclosure castle with great keep, it can be more accurately described as a linear fortification because, like the later 13th-century castles at Caernarfon and Conwy, it was built on a rocky promontory surrounded by water. This meant that attacking forces could only assault on a narrow front. Architecturally, Pembroke's thickest walls and towers are all concentrated on its landward side facing the town, with Pembroke River providing a natural defense around the rest of its perimeter.