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.References:
The Old Town Hall of Wrocław is one of the main landmarks of the city. The Old Town Hall's long history reflects developments that have taken place in the city since its initial construction. The town hall serves the city of Wroclaw and is used for civic and cultural events such as concerts held in its Great Hall. In addition, it houses a museum and a basement restaurant.
The town hall was developed over a period of about 250 years, from the end of 13th century to the middle of 16th century. The structure and floor plan changed over this extended period in response to the changing needs of the city. The exact date of the initial construction is not known. However, between 1299 and 1301 a single-storey structure with cellars and a tower called the consistory was built. The oldest parts of the current building, the Burghers’ Hall and the lower floors of the tower, may date to this time. In these early days the primary purpose of the building was trade rather than civic administration activities.
Between 1328 and 1333 an upper storey was added to include the Council room and the Aldermen’s room. Expansion continued during the 14th century with the addition of extra rooms, most notably the Court room. The building became a key location for the city’s commercial and administrative functions.
The 15th and 16th centuries were times of prosperity for Wroclaw as was reflected in the rapid development of the building during that period. The construction program gathered momentum, particularly from 1470 to 1510, when several rooms were added. The Burghers’ Hall was re-vaulted to take on its current shape, and the upper story began to take shape with the development of the Great Hall and the addition of the Treasury and Little Treasury.
Further innovations during the 16th century included the addition of the city’s Coat of arms (1536), and the rebuilding of the upper part of the tower (1558–59). This was the final stage of the main building program. By 1560, the major features of today’s Stray Rates were established.
The second half of the 17th century was a period of decline for the city, and this decline was reflected in the Stray Rates. Perhaps by way of compensation, efforts were made to enrich the interior decorations of the hall. In 1741, Wroclaw became a part of Prussia, and the power of the City diminished. Much of the Stray Rates was allocated to administering justice.
During the 19th century there were two major changes. The courts moved to a separate building, and the Rates became the site of the city council and supporting functions. There was also a major program of renovation because the building had been neglected and was covered with creeping vines. The town hall now has several en-Gothic features including some sculptural decoration from this period.
In the early years of the 20th century improvements continued with various repair work and the addition of the Little Bear statue in 1902. During the 1930s, the official role of the Rates was reduced and it was converted into a museum. By the end of World War II Town Hall suffered minor damage, such as aerial bomb pierced the roof (but not exploded) and some sculptural elements were lost. Restoration work began in the 1950s following a period of research, and this conservation effort continued throughout the 20th century. It included refurbishment of the clock on the east facade.