Sibenik Cathedral

Šibenik, Croatia

The Cathedral of St. James in Šibenik is a triple-nave basilica with three apses and a dome. It is the most important architectural monument of the Renaissance in the entire country. Since 2000, the cathedral has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The building of the church was initiated in 1402, though plans on its construction had already begun in 1298, when Šibenik became a municipality. The actual work to transform the older Romanesque cathedral began in 1431. Built entirely of stone (limestone from a nearby stone quarry and marble from the island of Brač), it was completed in three phases, from 1433 to 1441, when the Grand City Council entrusted the work to local and Italian masters Francesco di Giacomo, Lorenzo Pincino, Pier Paolo Bussato, Bonino da Milano, and Giorgio da Sebenico (Juraj Dalmatinac) and to Croatian ones Andrija Budčić and Grubiš Šlafčić.

Its beauty is especially emphasized by the imposing Renaissance dome, the work of Niccolò di Giovanni Fiorentino, which was damaged in the Croatian War of Independence, and nowadays is a special symbol of Šibenik.

The Cathedral is also known for its iconographic innovations, among which a special place is occupied by sculptures of 71 heads on the outside part of the shrine, the work of Georgius Mathei Dalmaticus, for which scientists are still not quite sure who they represent.


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Founded: 1402
Category: Religious sites in Croatia


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Rusótzky Zoltán (5 months ago)
Beautifully renovated church. Go around and check the details up close. If you like gothic architecture, you won’t be disappointed with this beautiful building.
Peter Lin (5 months ago)
The city of Šibenik or as pop culture calls it Braavos. Šibenik, a neighbour city right beside Split, is also a city of music and is well known for its long tradition of Klapa (like acapella) choir which UNESCO has placed on the list of cultural heritage. The city houses 3 fortress and is where the town of Šibenik came into existence. The city was also used by the TV series, Game of Thrones, to depict the city Braavos. To recap, Braavos is the wealthiest and most powerful of the Free Cities in GoT, and is located on the northwestern end of Essos where the Faceless Men (whom Arya Stark understudied), Iron Bank (yes if you need money to build an army you come here, although Iron Bank depicted in the show is really just St. James Cathedral) and Moonsingers (priestess) are found. The wealthy city streets are also depicted in the TV series so its quite a fan moment for me to walk in GoT.
Aljosa Todorovic (6 months ago)
Beautiful cathedral with wonderful stonework, details and presence. Šibenik is a beautiful city and it’s old town is full of historic sites. You can get lost in the old streets and find historic sites on each corner. Best time to visit is spring or early hours during the weekdays when it’s not so hot and crowded with tourists.
Katona Balint (6 months ago)
From the outside the cathedral is a beautiful and iconic sight of Sibenik. At the time of this review the top of the chatedral is being renovated so the inside is a bit of a let down. Other wise it's a beautiful piece of architecture. Great to photograph as well :D
Philippe Meyer (6 months ago)
Sibenik is such a lovely city! The cathedral is no exception to all the surronding magnificient buildings
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