Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

Heritage by Type / Christian religious centre

The Cathedral, the Franciscan monastery and the church of St. Blaise

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The Cathedral, the Franciscan monastery and the church of St. Blaise

About the site


Corridor: Via Adriatica
Country: Croatia, Dubrovnik
Type: Christian religious centre
Epoch: Modern Times, Middle Ages
Theme: Christian Monasteries
World Heritage:
Modern TimesMiddle AgesChristian MonasteriesChristian religious centre

The present Baroque Cathedral, the third to be erected on this spot, was built between 1672 and 1713 to the design of Andrea Buffalini d'Urbino, the architect. Even though it was modified in the course of the work, the building still has some of the essential features of the Roman Baroque, e.g. the rhythm of the pilasters and niches on the front (showing the influence of Southern Italy), and especially the terraces above the side naves. There is just a hint of the former Romanesque cathedral in the new Baroque dome. In 1979, archaeological excavations carried out in conjunction with the work of strengthening the Cathedral showed the remains of a Byzantine building of the 7th or 8th century upon which a Romanesque cathedral has been built. The remains of the earliest phases, apparent in the underground, are planned to be presented to the public.

The building of the Franciscan Monastery and Church commenced in 1317. A few years later, the Monastery had its own pharmacy, today one of the oldest in Europe. The large Church with its single nave and discreet apse owes its Baroque character to the rebuilding work carried out following the earthquake of 1667. On the north side of the Church stands the Romanesque-Gothic cloister, one of the most beautiful in all Croatia. Completed in 1348, it was built by Master Mihoje Brajkov. The sacristy and chapter house were erected towards the end of the 15th century, while the start of the 17th century saw the addition to the west wing of a second floor, which houses one of the most highly reputed libreries on the Dalmatian coast. Construction of the bell-tower commenced in the first half of the 14th century and was completed towards the middle of the following century; it was rebuilt at the close of the 17th century and strengthened following the earthquake in 1979.

The Baroque Church of St. Blaise, patron saint of the city of Dubrovnik is work of Marino Gropelli, who lived in Dubrovnik from 1706 to 1715. It was built on the site of the ancient Gothic church. Its plan in the form of an inscribed Greek cross is mounted by a dome.
The gifts of the architect and sculptor are nowhere more in evidence than on the main front with its four Corinthian columns, sculpture and lavish decoration. With its tiered base and balustraded steps, the Church of St. Blaise dominates the surrounding area.

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