Rockin’ the Baroque in Dubrovnik Cathedral

The Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary, Katedrala Marijina Uznesenja, Dubrovnik, Croatia

It’s amazing just how often I find it impossible to get into churches: they’re either closed or they’ve got services going on.  We tried a couple of times to force our way into Dubrovnik Cathedral, but didn’t have any luck until we were walking past randomly and finally grabbed our chance to get in there.

The facade of Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The facade of Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Looking towards the dome of Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Looking towards the dome of Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The first cathedral built on this site was from the 7th century, and a series of rebuilds have taken place, including the 12th century Romanesque version which was partially funded by King Richard I – as in Robin Hood’s buddy (you can read why in my post about Lokrum).

The earthquake of 1667 destroyed the cathedral, and the Italian architect Andrea Buffalini sent in plans for a new Baroque style church, very much in fashion at the time.  Building work started in 1673 and several Italian master-builders worked on the project until it was completed in 1713.  Rather like the St Ignatius Church up the road, the design was influenced by the Jesuit Il Gesù in Rome, but its current appearance owes much to Tommaso Napoli, who spent the longest time working on the project and made major changes to the design, including making it more open.

The 1979 earthquake and damage caused during the Siege of Dubrovnik in 1991 required repairs, but now the biggest problem the cathedral faces is with damp – a problem in most of the churches we visited in the city.

The altarpiece is said to be by Titian and his workshop – but Sister-Chickpea and I think it was definitely more workshop than Titian.

The nave of Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The nave of Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View of the dome, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View of the dome, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Last Supper, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia.  Very theatrical with Judas slinking away in a hoodie.  I've tried to find out who painted this, but I've had no luck.  94

Last Supper, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia.  Very theatrical with Judas slinking away in a hoodie.  I’ve tried to find out who painted this, but I’ve had no luck.

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

St Anthony of Padua, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

St Anthony of Padua, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Our Lady of the Harbour, framed by a silver revetment, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Our Lady of the Harbour, framed by a silver revetment, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

I was a big fan of the modern, expressive Stations of the Cross – I do like it when churches bring in new art.

Stations of the Cross, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Stations of the Cross, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Stations of the Cross, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Stations of the Cross, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

St John of Nepomuk, 18th century, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia. He is flanked by statues of Hope and Faith.

St John of Nepomuk, 18th century, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia. He is flanked by statues of Hope and Faith.

St John of Nepomuk, 18th century, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

St John of Nepomuk, 18th century, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Cherub above St John of Nepomuk, 18th century, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Cherub above St John of Nepomuk, 18th century, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

St John of Nepomuk, 18th century, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

St John of Nepomuk, 18th century, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

A bundle of olive branches in front of a side-altar - getting ready for Easter - Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

A bundle of olive branches in front of a side-altar – getting ready for Easter – Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Throughtful chap on the side of a confessional, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Throughtful chap on the side of a confessional, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Crown of Thorns in Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Crown of Thorns in Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Silver censer, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Silver censer, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dubrovnik, Croatia

So In Summary

The Cathedral is quite a modest, plain sort of building, but like many of the churches of Dubrovnik, there are beautiful details and unexpectedly striking works of religious art.  It is not the grandest cathedral around, and it’s not the most beautiful, but it suits the city and feels like it is representative of the understated grandeur that you see just walking through town.

Further Information

There is also a Treasury which has a selection of reliquaries etc – but we couldn’t get to see it.

The cathedral doesn’t have its own website, so general information about it can be found on Dubrovnik’s Tourist website: www.tzdubrovnik.hr

How to Get There

Like everywhere in Dubrovnik Old Town, it’s an easy walk to the Cathedral.  Here’s a link to a handy map to get you on your way; the church is no.18: www.godubrovnik.com

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