Lesina Cathedral (Cattedrale della Santissima Annunziata) is a Roman Catholic church and former cathedral dedicated to the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary.
There was a church on this site from c. 600 which served as the cathedral of the former Diocese of Lesina until it was suppressed in favour of the Diocese of Larino in 1567. Rebuilt over the centuries, the building was destroyed by an earthquake in 1630. By the 1650s, another church had been built, dedicated to the Annunciation and consecrated in 1691, which was replaced in its turn in 1828-1837. In 1922 the roof fell in, and was not rebuilt until the 1950s.
The church has a single nave with two side chapels. The interior has frescoes depicting the Life of Christ by Bocchetti Gaetano.
The Church of St Donatus name refers to Donatus of Zadar, who began construction on this church in the 9th century and ended it on the northeastern part of the Roman forum. It is the largest Pre-Romanesque building in Croatia.
The beginning of the building of the church was placed to the second half of the 8th century, and it is supposed to have been completed in the 9th century. The Zadar bishop and diplomat Donat (8th and 9th centuries) is credited with the building of the church. He led the representations of the Dalmatian cities to Constantinople and Charles the Great, which is why this church bears slight resemblance to Charlemagne"s court chapels, especially the one in Aachen, and also to the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. It belongs to the Pre-Romanesque architectural period.
The circular church, formerly domed, is 27 m high and is characterised by simplicity and technical primitivism.