Saint Jacobs Cathedral Šibenik, Saint Jacobs Cathedral Šibenik, Saint Jacobs Cathedral Šibenik, Saint Jacobs Cathedral Šibenik
Saint Jacob’s Cathedral in Šibenik is often considered the most impressive piece of 15th-century architecture located in Croatia. The construction of the cathedral represents the final act of the hundreds of years of efforts on Šibenik‘s behalf towards separating itself from the Trogir diocese so it could become a separate diocese that governs itself. The cathedral was built on the southern side of the city’s main square, replacing the old romanic church of Saint Jacob.
The very idea of Saint Jacob’s Cathedral dates all the way back to 1298 when Šibenik was given the status of a free city. The final decision to build, however, wasn’t reached until 1402, and the building construction didn’t start until 1431, and it lasted all the way until 1536 because of various delays.
The construction of the building encompasses three different stylistic phases that were named by three people that were in charge of those three construction processes – Bishop Bogdan Pulišić, and architects Juraj Dalmatinac and Nikola Firentinac. The first phase was gothic, the second one gothic-renaissance and the third one renaissance.
During the first decade of the construction, the construction was supervised by Venetian Gothic architects and notable sculptors from Šibenik. During that time, the southern and northern walls were built, along with the gothic forefront and both portals of the building.
The second phase of the construction lasted from 1441 until 1473, and is dubbed the ”Juraj’s cathedral”. During this phase, the new baptistery was built along with a new sanctuary, and a sacristy. Along with that, work on longitudinal walls was being finalized.
Nikola Firentinac was in charge during the third phase, which started in 1475. Before the third phase started the cathedral was finished to the level of circumferential walls that weren’t connected with one another. He created a project that outlines the finishing works on the building, that will serve as a guideline to finish the construction on the cathedral. He used a rim to separate the old lower part of the cathedral that was already constructed with the new part of the construction that was designed by him.
There are two interesting things related to Saint Jacob’s Cathedral. The first is that the whole cathedral and even doom was built from stone without any binding material. The second is 74 heads placed on the outside walls, representing, as it is considered, locals of that time.
The finished project was a breathtaking triple-nave construction that features three apes and a doom that rises up to 32 meters. The beauty of the cathedral is evidence by the fact that it was put on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 2000. Saint Jacob’s Cathedral alone is a valid reason to visit Šibenik, so be sure to visit it and witness its magnificence from first hand.
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