Zadar Churches,
religious spaces but also a true museums

Visit Zadar churches, no meter if you religious or not, because there you will find a really treasure; historical, architectural and artistic.I will present them to you at a glance:

Let's start with the biggest and the main of all Zadar churches:

The Church of St. Anastasia – the Cathedral

The cathedral as it is today was built in the Romanesque style during the 12th and 13th c. It is the biggest cathedral in Dalmatia. A chronicler from 1177 wrote that the delighted inhabitants of Zadar, while accompanying Pope Alexander III on his way to the basilica sang praising songs in their „Slavic language“. 

A bell tower was raised next to the cathedral and the shape it has today dates from the 19th century according to the design of the English architect T. G. Jackson.

And maybe the best known of the Zadar churches in the world, as a symbol of town:

Church of St. Donatus – Patron of the City of Zadar

Initially dedicated to the Holy Trinity, only in the 15th century it started bearing today's name after the Zadar bishop Donatus who started the building of the church.

According to its unusual cylindrical shape and the double inner space, it stands out with its uniqueness of construction technique without direct models.

The church has not been used for sacral function in a long time. It has extraordinary acoustic characteristics and “The Musical Evening of St. Donatus”, concerts of Medieval and Renaissance music, have been taking place here for 50 years

The Church of St. Simon

In the 5th century the church was dedicated to St. Stephen the First Martyr and in 1632 it received in its sanctuary the silver sarcophagus of St. Simon and has been carrying his name since then.

The gold plated sarcophagus of St. Simon is the most valuable object of gold art in Croatia. It was made by the Zadar goldsmith Franjo from Milan

The Church of Saint Mary

It belongs to the convent of the Benedictine nuns that was founded by the noble woman Čika from Zadar in 1066. She came from one of the most respectable noble families - Medijevci, and according to some sources she was the half-sister of King Petar Krešimir IV. 

Frescos with Early Romanesque characteristics can be seen on the walls of the church,and King Colomanus had the monumental bell tower made in 1105. It was completely reconstructed in the 16th century.

The convent was ruined during the war but renewed and the two-wing building hosts the permanent exhibition of church art called “The Gold and Silver of Zadar”.

In front of the convent complex there is a contemporary building, the Archeological Museum, where in three rooms one can see the archeological material of the Zadar region from pre-history, antiquity and Early Middle Ages period.

The Church of St. Chrysogonus – monastery basilica

The monastery church of the male Benedictine monastery with the name of the patron saint.

It is a three-aisled church that ends in three semicircular apses.

The sanctuary hosts the main altar built in 1701 as the fulfillment of a vow against the plague to the citizens of Zadar. Later four statues of white marble were placed on it and they represent the patron saints of Zadar.: Anastasia, Chrysogonus, Simon and Zoilo.

The Church of St. Francis

The Zadar Franciscan church is the oldest Gothic style church in Dalmatia..

The sacristy exhibits a large painting of Our Lady of the Pity from the end of the 15th century, attributed to the Venetian painter Lazzaro Bastiani.

The sacristy is of great importance for Croatian history for in the 18th century the famous „Zadar Peace“ was signed between the Venetian Republic and the Austrian-Hungarian king Loudovic of Anjou. The Venetians agreed to give up Dalmatia.

The Church of St. Elias

An Orthodox church that lies on the Roman Capitolium.

It was built in the late Baroque style of the 18th century on the site of a medieval church bearing the same name and which was then used by the Greeks of Orthodox religion mainly soldiers and seaman.

It preserves the rich collection of icons from the 16th and 17th cent.

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