Cultural heritage

Religious monuments

St. James’ Cathedral

Šibenik's St. James’ Cathedral was constructed over a period of a century, and is testimony to the determination, sacrifice and belief of the generations of inhabitants of Šibenik. By many things it is unique not only in Croatian architecture, but in European architecture too: it is entirely built of stone, no other material was used; it is unique in its brave structure of stone slabs and ribs, with no binding material; it is also unique among renaissance churches in its trefoil front facade; finally, it is unique in the harmony of its architecture and the row of 71 realistic sculptural portraits around the apses.
 
Documents preserved from the time of building the cathedral evidence contributions from the entire community to its construction, not only the many individuals but also including a large number of domestic stone-dressers, builders and artisans. The most important among them was Juraj Matejev Dalmatinac, who came from Zadar and who was commissioned by the town of Šibenik in 1441 to take over the job of proto-master of the cathedral of Šibenik. The cathedral and the nearby renaissance town hall, other churches, palaces, and the Prince’s Palace which currently houses the County Museum, make up probably the most beautiful town square of Croatia’s urban heritage.
During the winter periods the Cathedral remains open every day from 8.30 am- 12 pm and from 4.00 pm – 8.00 pm, whilst in the summer it remains open throughout the day from 8.30 am – 8.00 pm. Ticket price: 15.00 kunas
Mass: every day at 9.30 am, 11 am and 6 pm

Churces and monasteries

There are few cities that can boast in the way Šibenik can with its wealth of religious facilities. Šibenik is a town with 24 churches of which 12 are used for the service of God whilst the rest have different purpose; St. Barbara's Church – the Sacral Art Museum, St. Gregory's Church – permanent exhibition of Juraj Dalmatinac's works of art, St. Krševan – gallery, St. Catherine – residential area, All Saints – first museum area in 1925, St. Michael's Church – until 1995 the late woodcutter, Ante Belamarić's atelier. Besides the 24 churches, over ten centuries, Šibenik inhabitants have also built six monasteries (3 male and 3 female).

St. Barbara’s church

St Barbara's church is a Gothic monument. It is a single-naved church whose construction began around 1400. Above the main entrance points is a Gothic niche in which there is a sculpture of St. Nicholas – the work of art of Italian master, Bonino, from Milan. On the northern wall a Gothic window can be seen in which the lower part a sculptor work is situated ordered as an oath in 1419 by the Šibenik doctor Marko. It is a unique example of a Medieaval relief presentation of a doctor on the eastern Adriatic coast.
 
St. Barbara's Church today is a small ecclesiastical museum in which the most valuable works of art from 14th to 17th century are exhibited.

St. John's Church

St. John's Church was built in the 15th century under the name of Holy Trinity Church. The steps along the southern part of the church are the work of art of the famous Šibenik constructor, Ivan Pribislavić and they are decorated with bas-relief. At the bottom of the bell-tower is a renaissance window, the work of Nikola Firentinac and above the window is a relief with a lamb under which there is an angel with open wings. The reliefs represent masterpieces of Dalmatian medieval construction. The bell-tower in which the Turkish clock is built with one hand being brought from Drniš after the Ottomans completely abandoned the city in 18th century is also interesting. The dome of the bell-tower was removed in 1862 after a strong earthquake.

St. Krševan's Church

St. Krševan’s Church is the oldest preserved religious facility, and dates back to the 12th century. It was built in the Romanesque style. Until World War II it served for worship, and was extremely damaged during the war. After its restoration, it became a gallery area for the Šibenik Museum and today is the Gallery of St. Krševan.

Holy Cross Church

Holy Cross Church was built in the beginning of the 17th century out of dressed white stone and dominates in the centre part of Dolac. The church is adorned with a rosette on which the twelve Apostle’s medallions are carved. The building of the church was initiated by the Confraternity of St. Mark, by whose merit an organ was obtained in 1776.

"Gospe vanka grada" Church

“Gospe vanka grada” Church was built in a location where in medieval times there used to be a cemetery and the small church of St. Cosmas and Damian (1452). After the Parish of Varoš was established (1604), the adaptation of the old church began, which was extended, and in 1740 the construction of a new stone church was completed. Some time later, a bell tower was built which was connected to the church by a small bridge. In front of and around the “Gospe Vanka Grada” Church was the public cemetery which was abandoned in 1828.

Church of the Holy Spirit

The Church of the Holy Spirit can be found in the centre of the city on Dinka Zavorovića Square and was built in the 17th century according to a project by Antun Nogulović. The church is adorned with a beautiful stone facade with a stunning Baroque style rosette.

New church

The New church is a Renaissance style shrine from the transitional period between the 15th and 16th century. Nicholas of Florence has been mentioned as one of its builders. His stone sculpture the “Pieta” and relief “Removing Christ from the Cross” are carved in the lower section of the bell tower. The ceiling paintings in the church were made by local artists Mondella, Sisanović and Bojković. The upper wall parts are decorated with frescoes by Šibenik painters who were active in the first half of 17th century.

St. Nicholas' Church

St. Nicholas' Church was built in the 17th century in a Baroque style. Located inside, along with a number of tombs, are sailboat models as votive offerings. Its facade ends with a distaff shaped bell tower, and the bottom parts are divided by windows and a portal of simple frames. Inside, on the cassetted ceiling fields, you can find holy icons and portraits of donors in folk costumes carrying inscriptions with their names.

St. Elizabeth's Church

St. Elizabeth's Church dates back to the 16th century and is located in the city district of Crnica. It is thought that around the church during the last century there were findings of the remains of old buildings where according to tradition King Bela IV found shelter whilst fleeing from the Tatars and Mongols. After World War II the church was completely remodelled and a parish pastoral centre was added. St. Leopold's Church was built next to St. Elizabeth's Church as one of the first post war religious facilities.

Church of "Uspenie Bogomatere"

The Church of “Uspenie Bogomatere” was built on the site where the Templars lived in the 12th century. It is a Baroque building from the 17th – 18th century. Until the beginning of the 19th century it was a Catholic Church of Holy Salvation, and belonged to the women’s Benedictine monastery. In 1810, by Napoleon’s decision, the church was surrendered to the Orthodox episcope Bendedikt Kraljević. The church is accented with a Baroque bell tower from the beginning of the 18th century, which is the work of native craftsman, Ivan Skoko.

St. Gregory's Church

St. Gregory's Church is located in the oldest street in Šibenik, Juraj Dalmatinac Street, where his home can also be found. Featured in this small Gothic style church are constant thematic exhibitions of “Juraj Dalmatinac and his works outside of Šibenik.”

St. Dominic's Church

St. Dominic's Church is located in the western part of the city on the shore. Until 1910 it was a Renaissance building, but it then took on Gothic style characteristics. Located inside the church are two valuable wooden altars, the tomb of the Bishop Arrigonio from Šibenik, and an organ that was built in 1818 by the craftsman Gaetano Macatelli.

St Francis' Church and Monastery

St. Francis’ Church was built in the second half of the 14th century at the furthest south-eastern part of the historic city core. The church represents spacious single vessel, Gothic style architecture without architectural decorative elements. In the 15th century, on the northern side, the Holy Cross Chapel was added and the presbytery with its shrine was rearranged. At the front of the church is the main entrance with a Gothic style stone frame, and visible in the lunette are the remains of frescos from the 14th century. Located in the Holy Cross Chapel is an organ that was built in 1762 by Petar Nakić, a renowned maker of these instruments. Located within the architectural complex of Šibenik’s Conventual-Fransiscans, on the south side of the church, is a monastery which dates back to the 14th century. Since cultural-historic works of art were collected in this monastery for many centuries, today, it represents a place where a great deal of monumental city heritage is kept. The monastery library is accentuated with a collection of 140 incunabula as well as a collection of hand-written codices. Also found here is the “Šibenik Prayer” one of the oldest Croatian language and literary tributes written in Latin script around 1375.

St. Lawrence's Church and Monastery

St. Lawrence's Church was built in the second half of the 18th century for use by the Franciscan Order. On the church facade, which ends with a gable, a profiled portal with a humble Baroque transom can be found. Placed in the tympanum of the lateral entrance, is a small sculpture of St. Lawrence from 1720. In the depth of the northern stone is the Our Lady of Lourdes cave. Across from the church is the Franciscan monastery from 1650. Its main building is Foscolo’s Palace, the most beautiful example of housing architecture representing Šibenik from the 15th century, which is the era of the floral Gothic style and master Juraj Dalmatinac.

Old city core

Other than a number of religious buildings, the cathedral, palaces (Rossini, Divinić, Gothic palaces, Pellegrin and others) portals, vaulted passages and similar, the old Šibenik core is expressed by the beauty of the central city square (Trg Republike Hrvatske) with City Hall and Dukes Palace.

Central city square (“Trg Republike Hrvatske”) was for a long time known as PLATHEI COMMUNIS and later GOSPODSKI TRG (Gentleman’s Square). On that square, in 1750, Šibenik got its first coffee-house. For centuries this square was the centre of public and social medieval life, as well as a battlefield during the Venetian army attacks in 1378. Located around the square are some of the most representative buildings of Šibenik architecture: the cathedral, City Hall, Mala Lođa, Dukes and Bishops Palaces as well as a complex of patrician stone palaces.

Also interesting in the old city core is the Trg četiri bunara (Square of the Four Wells) which was built in 1451. Since the city lacked water during the Venetian rule, that same authority ordered the city’s duke to begin building a reservoir. That is how Šibenik got its “The Four Wells” reservoir which has been supplying citizens with water for four and a half centuries.

City Hall is located in the central city square (Trg Republike Hrvatske), formerly known as Plathei Communis. It is a very harmonious and airy Renaissance style building built from 1533-1536. The ground floor includes a porch with semi-circular arches supported by columns, which was an access to the former public utilities offices. On the first floor is the representative hall in which city councilmen would meet. In December 1943, during allied air strikes, the City Hall building was completely destroyed and was restored after the war, in its original shape and appearance, and the internal area was organized and equipped in accordance to the needs of new functions.

The Dukes Palace is located on the shore in the old city core. Two wings of this once very large structure have remained, in which the highest representative of the Venetian government in the community, the city duke-captain, lived and worked. Along the middle of the southern wing there is a Gothic style passage with a city gate. In the west wing, turned towards the sacristy of the cathedral, there are two doors with simple stone frames. Completed in 1975, it was an adaptation to the Dukes Palace, which was to be used for functions of the Šibenik Museum.

The Bishops Palace (1439-1441) leans up against St. James Cathedral on the sea side. The Bishops Palace is a Gothic-Renaissance structure from the second half of the 15th century. After a number of interventions, the original look which can be seen in elements stored on the facade and in the courtyard (parts of the arcades, portals, triforium with stone sculpture) were lost. Next to the palace is the old preserved Seagate, which is an entrance to the city from the shore.

4 draw-wells

In medieval times, due to the numerous sieges and to drought, the Šibenik citizens constructed a public city reservoir. The agreement on construction of four draw-wells was signed by the Municipality of Šibenik and master Jacopo Coterra on 10th January 1446, Surveillance over the construction was confided to Juraj Dalmatinac, a famous architect, builder and sculptor.
This historical location has been rebuilt and today presents a city stage suitable for the organization of a variety of events. There is a terrace with draw-wells paved with red tiles in the shape of a fish bone as was often done in the past.