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Cathedral of St. James - World Heritage Sites of Croatia


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Croatia World Heritage Site - Cathedral of St. James

Cathedral of St. James (2000)
A cathedral church of the Catholic Church in Croatia, the see of Šibenik bishopric. The Cathedral has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2000.

The Cathedral of St. James is dedicated to Saint James the Greater. It is often mistakenly known as "St Jacob's". The confusion arises because Croatian, like many other languages, uses the same name for both "James" and "Jacob".

The building of the church was initiated in 1402, though plans on its construction had already begun in 1298, when Šibenik became a municipality. The actual work to transform the older church began in 1431. A multitude of Venetian and local craftsmen worked on it, in Gothic style.

In 1441, the Grand City Council entrusted the work to the master Giorgio Orsini. He enlarged the cathedral with a side nave and apses, prepared it for the dome and added various sculptural decorations, including 71 small human heads on the outer sides and a baptistery, all in stone. Giorgio Orsini worked on the cathedral up to his death in 1475.

Between 1475 and 1505 the work was overseen by Tuscan master Niccolò di Giovanni Fiorentino ("Nicholas the Florentine"). He continued the building in the Renaissance style, completing the dome, the outer sculptures of St. Michael, St. James and St. Mark, the roof and the upper façade. He also built the triforias (parallel galleries) and worked on the presbytery and sanctuary. After Fiorentino died in 1505, the construction was finally completed in 1536 by two other craftsmen, Bartolmeo of Mestra and his son Jacob, completely following Nicholas' instructions.

The cathedral officially became consecrated in 1555. The dome of the church was heavily damaged by the JNA-supported Serb forces during the shelling of Sibenik in September 1991. Within years it was quickly repaired with no damage visible.


Source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia

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