Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

Heritage by Type / Christian religious centre

St. Mary Church and St. Donatus Church

Info Sections
St. Mary Church and St. Donatus Church

About the site

Corridor: Via Adriatica
Country: Croatia, Zadar
Type: Christian religious centre
Epoch: Middle Ages
World Heritage:
Middle AgesChristian religious centre

The church of St. Mary belongs to a Benedictine Convent founded in 1066 by a noblewoman of Zadar by the name of Cika - descending from the most prominent of the Zadar noble families, the Medicis, and she was, according to some sources, half sister of the Croatian King Petar Kresimir IV. On the walls of the early Christian era church are visible frescos. However, Kong Coleman had the monumental bell tower built in 1105. The church was solidly reconstructed in the middle of the sixteenth century. The Permanent Ecclesiastical Art Exhibition called "The Gold and Silver of Zadar" is on display in a double winged building.

The church of St. Donatus is a monumental building in pre-Romanesque style that Bishop Donatus built in the 9th century and which has borne his name since the 15th century on. For its construction many roman buildings pieces were used, and this is why there are roman temple pillars, architraves and capitols in the foundations. The church is mentioned and described by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine IX Monomachus in the 10th century. The church has long since not been used for religious purposes. It has excellent acoustic characteristics and has therefore been used for musical performances of the famous International Festival of Medieval Renaissance Music, "The Musical Evenings in St. Donatus" for more than thirty years.

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