These two little boys and one girl were so deeply involved in the happiness of tasting an ice cream in the entrance of the shop where they had bought it (they could not wait !) that several passer bys took their photo ! Aren't they the figure of pure joy ?
The Šibenik Cathedral is, by its beauty, specificities of construction and stylistic characteristics a unique monument of sacral building in Europe. The cathedral was erected on the south side of the old town square, at the place where the Romanesque church of St. Jakov stood.
The idea about the building a big cathedral temple goes back to the moment when Šibenik got its own diocese and the title of the town in 1298. The building itself began in 1431 and lasted, with delays and interruptions, until 1536.
Venetian Gothic builders of average capabilities, FrancescoGiacomo, Antonio Busato and Lorenzo Pincino, were angagged in building the cathedral in the first decades. The south and north walls, the down Gothic part of the facade and both church portals were built during that time.
In 1441, the Greater Sibenik Council invited and appointed Juraj Matejev Dalmatinac as the main builder of the cathedral, who was in Venice studying the art of painting.
Juraj Dalmatinac was a great master of the late, so-called flowery, Gothic architrcture and the creator of the transitory Gothic-Renaissance style in Dalmatia, changed by his ideas and interventions, the original conception of the church. He increased it by the transversal nave, by apsidal parts, erected basic constructive elements for the building of the dome, introduced new construction solutions and enriched the temple by sculptural ornaments. Thus, he gave it a monumental meaning.
After Juraj's death, the main builder of the Sibenik cathedral was Nikola Firentinac. Following the construction procedure of his predecessor Juraj, he continued the building in the style of pure Renaissance and built the upper parts of the temple: the dome with sculptures of St. Mihovil, Jakov and Martin around it, the roof complex and the upper part of the facade. N. Firentinac erected longitudinal galleries on the lateral naves and completed the presbytery and sanctuary.
After Nikola Firentinac, the works lasted for another 30 years under the leadership of Venetian builders Bartol and Jakov from Mestre and the Zadar master Masticevic. Smaller works in the interior of the cathedral were done temporarily as far as 1555, when it was increased.
Here on the picture you can see the north portal (towards Trg Republike Hrvatske) of the cathedral.
The Sibenik cathedral is a three-aisled basilica with the dimensions 38x14 metres and with the highest elevation of 38 meters at the top of the dome. The back part of the church ends with three apses and a square sacristy which is put on the half a barrel like cassette ceiling leaning to the wall of the bishop's palace and on three columns, so that a passage space was created under it leading to the street as the communications between the square and the wharf.
Here on the picture you can see the main portal of the cathedral.
Interior of the cathedral is divided laterally into the front part for the believers and the rear part where the presbytery, two open small galleries and sanctuaries are placed. The area for the believers is divided by Gothic arcades in three aisles.
The baptistry of the temple deserves a special attention. Juraj Dalmatinac placed it on the ground-floor of the south apse. This is a small roundroom with recesses which touch each other in the columns. The baptistry is full of sculptural ornaments among which the most representative is human figure.
There are several crypts of Sibenik bishops in the cathedral. Juraj Sizgoric, the bishop of Sibenik who strongly encouraged the building of the cathedral, was buried in the stone sarcophagus situated right from the main entrance. Bishop's figure on the cover of the sarcophagus is the work of Juraj Dalmatinac who managed to express the individual characteristics on the physiognomy of the figure.
The statue of Juraj Matejev Dalmatinac, stand on the Trg Republike Hrvatske, right opposite of the cathedral. He was the great master of the late, so-called flowery, Gothic architecture and the creator of the transitory Gothic-Renaissance style in Dalmatia.
The cathedral of Sibenik is, undoubtelly, his masterpiece admired by many visitors.
Sibenik's World Children's Festival is a unique festival - cultural and multimediatic - and completely dedicated to children and their entertainment/education. It's held in summer - in various locations throughout the city, and over a few days period. There's an interesting website about it, but it's in Croatian only, so I could not really find out a lot more about it.
There is a legend about those frieze sequence of 74 human heads on the Cathedral in Sibenik which i heard from my grandfather:When you have a headache, just come there and replace your head with one of those....
There are plenty of fine details on the buildings in the old core of the town. You can missed most of them if just strolling and not observing the buildings on your way. Take your time while exploring the city and many almost hidden spots might attract your attention.
This beautifuly designed window stands on the side facade of the church of St. Barbara.
Inside the park there are remains of several old Croatian fortresses: Bogoèin, Tromilja, etc, from 14th century. At Roski slap and Skradinski buk there are numerous little water-mills that have very great historical value as items of rural architecture and indicators of the past, and they are considered ethnological monuments.
One more cultural tip - when visiting National Park, you will also have a chance to see the facilities of the mills with appropriate contents: ethno-collection, stamping, mill, rolling devices, mills and the weaving mill with professional presentation and demonstration.