Church of St. John the Baptist in Kloštar Ivanić is a late Gothic (stone) structure built in 1508 and it belongs to the largest of the Gothic churches in northern Croatia. The single nave church hall, with its extended sanctuary ends in a polygonal apse, with ornaments of fauna. The massive bell tower rises at the southern end of the sanctuary and is the junction between the church and the monastery. The tower is constructed of brick, while all the remaining structures and decorative elements are stone. The entire church had a cross-ribbed vault ending in a star in the apse. The façade is simple, and above the semicircular profiled portal (Renaissance) is the crest of Bishop Luka Barentin, builder of the church. The bell tower dates back to the 16th century, but its characteristics disappeared with the Baroque adaptations in the 17th and 18th centuries. During the period of the Turkish attacks, the church was torched. Restoration on the torched church began in 1677, when the vault was rebuilt, however in the Baroque variation, the vault was barrel shaped with side vaults. The façade is richly ornamented. In 1745, the crypt is built under the sanctuary, and the old altars are replaced, with the exception of the main altar from 1703 and the altar of the Holy Cross under the choir. The new altars are: the Mother of God of the Holy Rosary, 14 Assistants, St. Francis and St. Anthony. In World War II, the church was shelled and for a long period thereafter neglected. In the late 1980s began the restoration and preservation of the church, and it still continues. The inventory is from the 17th and 18th century, among which are the main altar, and the four side-altars from the 18th century, created by the Zagreb sculptor Josip Weinacht. Virtually all the paintings and sculptures were preserved and are stored in the picture gallery, and the vaults of the new Franciscan Monastery and the Parish Church in Kloštar Ivanić, which was opened in 1994. The part of the inventory which yet remains to be restored is kept in the monastery storage.
The construction of the old Franciscan Monastery began in the early 16th century, and was completed in 1748. The construction passed through several phases, all of which left their trace on the monastery. The old Bishop’s Residence, which previously had stood on the location of the monastery was included into the monastery structure.
Fearing the Turks, the Franciscans left the monastery in 1544 and returned again in 1639. Through that time, the monastery served as a base for the Vojna Krajina military district. In 1997, the Franciscans moved to the new monastery built alongside the Parish Church of St. Mary, and handed the old monastery over to the Carmelite Nuns, who there founded the Carmelite Order of Little St. Teresa.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.