Dominican Monastery

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dominican monastery is located at the eastern part of The City, close to the inner Ploce gate where it merges with the City walls. Dominican monastery is one of the most important architectural parts of Dubrovnik and major treasury of cultural and art heritage in Dubrovnik as the museum of the monastery exhibits many paintings, artifacts, jewellery and other items from the rich history of Dubrovnik.

The Dominicans established their monastery in Dubrovnik as early as 1225, however the building of the current church and the monastery were completed in the 14th century. The sight chosen for the monastery was strategically one of the most sensitive points in the defence of Dubrovnik, hence as early as the 14th century the whole complex was encompassed by the City walls thus becoming an integral part of Dubrovnik.

The St. Dominic church is is of simple Gothic architectural design: hall-like with a pentagonal Gothic apse which is separated from the central area by three high, Gothic arched, openings. The high rising outer walls of the church are bare, without any ornaments. The portal on the southern side contains certain Romanesque characteristics as the case is that only in 1419 Bonino of Milan added to the existing Romanesque frame a pointed Gothic arched ending.

The interior of the church is richly decorated. However the most notable piece is the large golden Crucifix in the central arch above the main altar, a work of Paolo Veneziano, from the 14th century. Besides Christ the crucifix symbolically depicts the four Evangelists in the corners of the crucifix. Below the crucifix are mourning characters of Mary and St Joseph depicted in the recognizable Byzantine-gothic style.

The monastery complex acquired its final shape in the 15th century, when the vestry, the capital hall and the cloister were added.

The beautiful porches of the cloister were built between 1456 and 1483. The porches were built by local builders: Utišenović, Grubačević, Radmanović, and others from the designs of the Florentine architect Massa di Bartolomeo. The arches of the cloister are closed with beautiful, Gothic and Renaissance styled, triforiums. In the middle of the courtyard is a richly decorated stone well crown. The courtyard of the monastery is a like a green oasis under the summer sun as the green vegetation is breathing freshness hence giving out a soothing and refreshing feel almost like the mid-summer breeze.

In the east part of monastery complex the Capital hall is located. Monastery community used to hold their meetings in this hall. The hall was built by reputed Dubrovnik architect Božitko Bogdanović.To enter the hall from the cloister one has to pass through the Gothic stylised doors. On the sides are two bifurcated arches with removed pointy ends while the pavement contains around 30 gravestones from the 15th and 16th century. The back room contains the Renaissance sarcophagus of the bishop of Ston while in the front are the graves of noble Dubrovnik families, the most notable being the grave of poets Dinko Ranjina, and Junije Palmotić.

Moving from the Capital hall to the south one reaches a spacious gothic-roofed chapel and the vestry. The inscription on the wall tells the story that the vestry was built in 1485 by the famous Dubrovnik architect Paskoje Miličević who also arranged the port in the same year. The final resting place of this great Dubrovnik architect is located in this vestry he had built. The vestry with founding columns which hold up the belfry were built by order of the Gundulić family. Beside the vestry by the order of Syracuse merchant Giovanni Sparterius, builder Bartul Garcianus made a chapel with circular window, decorated with gothic-renaissance elements. The chapel, vestry, and the Capital Hall are all covered under a flat roof which gave the south-eastern part of the monastery a spacious terrace.

Although the complex of the Dominican Monastery has in some of its elements different style characteristics, from the Romanesque to the Baroque, it is a harmonious and logical architectural unit, but nevertheless predominantly Gothic and somewhat early Renaissance. A special treasure of this monastery is its library with over 220 incunabulas, numerous illuminated manuscripts, and rich archive with precious manuscripts and documents. The art and artifacts collection in the museum is very rich, and the best paintings of Dubrovnik art school of the 15th-16th centuries have found their proper place here.

A large collection of ex voto jewellery is something that will tingle the imagination and interest of any woman whether they like gold, silver, or coral jewellery as the museum collection is quite impressive.

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Dubrovnik, Croatia
See all sites in Dubrovnik

Details

Founded: 14th century
Category: Religious sites in Croatia

More Information

www.dubrovnikcity.com

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

sattwapatti (18 months ago)
The monastery is very well kept still and being in here brings you into the periods of its flourishing history. It was rich as you can see with the little is left after French Italian and other invaders robbed most of its priceless art and objects. Very little is left inside but you can see how rich it was.
Brady Santoro (2 years ago)
Beautiful monastery, with a Titian painting in its collection, as well as several reliquaries. The Church is worth checking out, as it is very beautiful, and the Gothic architecture is worth noting as well, as the building is a good example of Gothic architecture in the city.
Sarah Robertson (2 years ago)
One of the most beautiful places I've ever been. The museum has a large amount of artifacts and interesting pieces of religion. In the center is a beautifully peaceful garden. It's worth the time to sit down and take it all in.
Belfast Desk (2 years ago)
Charged full price despite it being renovated - couldn’t get into church part. Very little to see and took about 5 mins. Wouldn’t waste my time again.
caitlin little (2 years ago)
Small museum but very beautiful. The place was being renovated when we went, but it was definitely worth checking out.
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