Church of St. Dunat was built at the intersection of roads leading to Punat, Krk, Kornić and Vrbnik where the Bay of Punat is most encased in the land, that is, at the bottom of Bay of Punat, by the sea.
With the churches in Nin and Zadar, this one is the most important monument of early Croatian architecture. It cannot be determined with certainty when was it constructed. According to some, it was built in the 9th century. However, the information board near the church says that it was built in the 12th century.
Church has a four-leafed cruciform layout, square entrance and base with a dome covering it. Present-day appearance is undoubtedly significantly different from the previous, when it was covered with carved stone from the outside, which can still be seen only at the bottom. It was probably decorated with mosaics and frescoes from the inside. It seems as if the unskilled master built it entirely spontaneously with no accurate measures and models.
Church was first mentioned in year 1565 when the Bishop Petar Bembo visited the area, and had examined witnesses which stated that the church was donated by bishop Donat a Turre (1484-1515) to the owners of terrains around Kornić. After his death, they have sold terrains which was followed by the period of edifices deterioration. During the visit of bishop Donat, a poor condition of church was determined. It was mentioned that it didn't have floor nor the door, while only preserved was altar.
Church is dedicated to St. Dunat (not to be mistaken with Donatus of Zadar), an early Christian saint who was martyred during the persecution of emperor Julian the Apostate in the second half of the 4th century. It is not known whom it was originally dedicated to.
In addition to previously mentioned churches poor state, there is no other information about it so it can be assumed that it wasn't used for holding Holy Mass but was in the process of deterioration over the years. Church was restored in 1914 thanks to the Austrian conservator Anton Gnirs from Pula. However, immediately after World War II it was again damaged. Namely, in the immediate vicinity of the church was an inn of Maračić family where Yugoslav Partisans stored their weapons and ammunition during the war. On 3 October 1945 the explosion that badly damaged church, namely its dome, occurred. The explosion was so strong that it was heard all over the island. 15 islanders who have sought refuge in the surrounding fields and along the coast were killed while the area of the inn turned into a crater. Three years later, the church was restored to its present-day appearance. The renovation was led by the architect Aleksandar Freudenreich. At the site of the former inn was built anotherone while a small harbor was built nearby.References:
The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.
The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.
The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.
The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.
Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.
Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.