Dubrovnik Cathedral

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik cathedral was built on the site of several former cathedrals, including 7th, 10th and 11th century buildings, and their 12th century successor in the Romanesque style. The money to build the basilica was partially contributed by the English king Richard the Lion Heart, as a votive for having survived a shipwreck near the island of Lokrum in 1192 on his return from the Third Crusade.

This building was largely destroyed in the earthquake of 1667. The Senate of Dubrovnik appealed to the Italian architect Andrea Bufalini of Urbino, who sent a model for the new church in Baroque style with a nave, two aisles and a cuppola. Several other Italian architects completed the cathedral over the next three decades. The style of the cathedral is in keeping with the esthetics of Roman Baroque architecture as practiced by Bernini, Carlo Fontana and their 17th century contemporaries. The construction began in 1673. The building was finished in 1713 by the Dubrovnik architect Ilija Katičić.

The portal of the facade is flanked by four Corinthian columns. On top of the central part is a large Baroque window with a triangular gable and a balustrade with statues of saints. The deep niches in the facade contains statues of Saint Blaise (patron saint of Dubrovnik) and Joseph with Child. The lateral sides of the cathedral are rather plain, articulated by pillars and semicircular windows. The side entrances are smaller than the frontal portal.

The building features a high nave, separated by massive columns from the two aisles, three apses and a grand Baroque dome at the intersection of the nave and the transepts. The main altar holds a polyptych by Titian, portraying a version of the Assumption of the Virgin. This painting probably dates from 1552; the side altars hold paintings of Italian and Dalmatian masters of later centuries.

The Cathedral treasury shows clearly the numerous connections Dubrovnik had with the main seaports in the Mediterranean Sea. The treasury holds 182 reliquaries holding relics from the 11th to 18th centuries; from local masters, Byzantium, Venice and the Orient. Its most important object is the gold-plated arm, leg and skull of Saint Blaise (patron saint of Dubrovnik). The head is in the shape of a crown of Byzantine emperors, adorned with precious stones and enameled medals. The treasury holds also a relic of the True Cross. Other outstanding examples in the treasury are a number of church vessels (13th to 18th century), many of them manufactered by local goldsmiths, and a number of valuables, such as the Romanesque-Byzantine icon of Madonna and Child (13th century) and paintings, among others, by Padovanini, Palma il Giovane, Savoldo, Parmigianinoand P. Bordone.

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Founded: 1673-1713
Category: Religious sites in Croatia

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Barefoot Centipede (11 months ago)
One of the beautiful historical jewel around the crown ? of Dubrovnik
J J (11 months ago)
Very beautiful place not only for pray, but as a cultural sight you have to see in Dubrovnik. And its absolutely free of charge, comparing other croatian cathedrals in Split, Trogir, Sibenik where you have to pay for your visit. Sunday mass at 10.00 with organ music and cathedral mix voices choir. Amazing. I liked also modern style Way of the Cross and of course Tizian main altar paintings. Enjoy your visit!
Anna (13 months ago)
Beautiful cathedral in the old town.
D Henrich (14 months ago)
The cathedral of the assumption of the virgin Mary is an impressive monument of the 18th century, replacing its predecessor destroyed in a large earthquake in 1667. The inside space is huge and awe-inspiring. To the right hand side you are granted access to the treasury with its numerous medieval relics of the roman-catholic church.
D Henrick (14 months ago)
The cathedral of the assumption of the virgin Mary is an impressive monument of the 18th century, replacing its predecessor destroyed in a large earthquake in 1667. The inside space is huge and awe-inspiring. To the right hand side you are granted access to the treasury with its numerous medieval relics of the roman-catholic church.
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