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10 Most Beautiful Churches in Croatia

St Mark’s Church in Zagreb (photo credit: Ante Odak)

There are many breathtaking architectural sacral monuments around Croatia, such as the Cathedral in the eastern town of Osijek, and many other beautiful churches in Slavonia and Zagorje.

The stunning Church of St. Euphemia in Rovinj and Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč, as well as numerous examples of Medieval, Gothic and Renaissance architecture along the Adriatic coast, makes it difficult to create such a list.

But let’s give it a try with these impressive examples.

St. Lawrence Cathedral – Trogir

Built in the 13th century, this cathedral is one of the most famous monuments of Trogir and UNESCO protected world heritage, built in Romanesque and Baroque style. The main entrance leads through the portal of Radovan, a masterpiece of art built in 1340. The bell tower is 47 m high and is one of the most beautiful on the entire Mediterranean coast.

St. James Cathedral – Šibenik

St. James Cathedral (photo: Rialfver under CC)

As the most significant architectural achievement of the 15th and 16th century in Croatia, the Cathedral was included in the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage. Built through the three different phases for more than 100 years, it is now a beautiful example of three different styles: Gothic, Renaissance and their mixed style.

St. Donat Church – Zadar

St. Donat (photo: Yuya Matsuo)

The church of St. Donat is the most famous edifice in Croatia and one of the most important European pre-Romanesque churches. It was first mentioned in the 10th century in the writings of Byzantine Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus. Its monumentality and cylindric form make it a unique and breathtaking architectural model.

Zagreb Cathedral

Zagreb Cathedral (photo credit/avda-wikimedia)

Zagreb Diocese was founded by King Ladislav in 1094 and had become the largest sacral building in Croatia, 108 meter high, and one of the most valuable monuments of Croatian cultural heritage. This beautiful example of Neo – Gothic style is still in the process of restauration, but its complete structure doesn’t cease to impress.

St. Mark’s Church – Zagreb

St Mark’s Church (photo credit: Ante Odak)

The Church is believed to have been built as early as the 13th century due to Romanesque window found in its south facade. In the second half of the 14th century, the church was radically reconstructed. It was then turned into a late Gothic church of the three-nave type.

On the roof, tiles are laid so that they represent the coat of arms of Zagreb (white castle on red background) and Triune Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia.

Đakovo Cathedral

Called „the most beautiful cathedral from Venice to Istanbul“, this is the architectural work of Djakovo bishop and patron Josip Juraj Strossmayer. It was unusual that he had decided to build a large church, 84 meters high, right here, since Đakovo was a very small town more than 150 years ago. Its monumental structure is now a known symbol of the Eastern part of Croatia.

Cathedral of Saint Domnius – Split

Cathedral of Saint Domnius (photo by Yuya Matsuo)

The Cathedral of Saint Domnius, known locally as Sveti Duje , is a complex of a church, formed from an Imperial Roman mausoleum, with a bell tower; strictly the church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and the bell tower to Saint Domnius. Together they form the Cathedral of St. Domnius.

The Cathedral of Saint Domnius, consecrated at the turn of the 7th century AD, is regarded as the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world that remains in use in its original structure, without near-complete renovation at a later date (though the bell tower dates from the 12th century).

Church of St. Euphemia – Rovinj

(photo: Rovinj Tourist Board)

This church was built in 1736 over the remains of older, early Christian structures. The relics of Saint Euphemia are preserved in a Roman sarcophagus from the sixth century (but adapted in the 15th century). The church contains several treasures and works of art: Gothic statues from the 15th century, paintings from the 16th and the 17th centuries:

The bell tower resembles the tower of St Mark’s Basilica in Venice. It was built during 1654–1680, to the plans by Antonio Manopola. On top of this 60 m-high tower stands the statue of Saint Euphemia, serving as a wind vane.

St. Mark’s Cathedral – Korčula

The Cathedral of St. Mark, also called Korčula Cathedral, was built by local masters from the fifteenth century to the mid-sixteenth century. It is at the forefront of the city, at the top of the peninsula. In 1557, an organ was placed in the cathedral.

Church of Saint Blaise – Dubrovnik

(photo: HAVC)

This church was built in 1715 by the Venetian architect and sculptor Marino Gropelli (1662-1728) on the foundations of the badly damaged Romanesque medieval church. The barrel-vaulted interior is richly decorated in Baroque style.

The main altar shows a Gothic statue of Saint Blaise, crafted in the 15th century by an unknown local master.

Osijek Cathedral

The Church of St Peter and St Paul is a neo-Gothic sacral structure located in Osijek. The multi-tiered 90-metre spire is one of the city’s landmarks. The church was built in 1898 on the initiative of the Bishop of Đakovo Josip Juraj Strossmayer.

This is the tallest building in Croatia outside of Zagreb and it has a capacity during mass of over 3000 people.

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