Zadar Cathedral, Croatia | CruiseBe
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Zadar Cathedral

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The Cathedral of St. Anastasia (Croatian: Katedrala sv. Stošije) is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Zadar, Croatia. It is the seat of the Archdiocese of Zadar, and the largest church in all of Dalmatia (the coastal region of Croatia).

The church's origins date back to a Christian basilica built in the 4th and 5th centuries, while much of the currently standing three-nave building was constructed in the Romanesque style during the 12th and 13th centuries. The site has been submitted to UNESCO's Tentative List of World Heritage Sites.


The first known bishop in Zadar was Felix - he attended two church councils, the first in Aquileia in 381 and the second in Milan in 390. The basilica's original patron was St. Peter. During the time of bishop Donatus, the diocese received the ashes of Saint Anastasia of Sirmium from Emperor Nikephoros I, whom the cathedral took as patron. Donatus commissioned a sarcophagus for the remains, which are still held in the cathedral.

During the siege of Zadar by the Venetians and Crusaders in 1202, the cathedral was heavily damaged. For the entire 13th century the building was under repair. It was reconsecrated on 27 May 1285.

Over the cathedral's history, two popes have made personal visits. Pope Alexander III arrived in 1177 and visited the cathedral as well as St. Anastasia's sarcophagus. Pope John Paul II came to the cathedral on June 9, 2003 on one of his last international visits.

Ground floor and first floor of the bell tower were built in 1452. To complete the construction, Sir Thomas Graham Jackson was hired and the tower was finished in 1893.


Interior of the Cathedral is monumental. The central nave is three times wider than two side-ones and is separated by stone pillars and pylons, which are alternately arranged. The presbytery is elevated, and below it is the crypt from the 12th century. In the presbytery there are choir stalls made in Gothic style by master Matej Morozan (1418-1450), above the main altar is the early Gothic ciborium from 1322 and beyond it is stone seat made for the Archbishop. On the northern wall of the marble altar are pictures of St. Dominic and Sacred Heart. The altar was transferred from the eponymous church. The second altar is dedicated to the souls of Purgatory and was built by the Venetian stonemason Peter Onega in 1805. Altarpiece is made by Josip Palma Younger. At the end of the nave is an marble altar with marble paneling character of the Sacred Heart. A marble sarcophagus with the relics of St. Anastasia with the inscription by Bishop Donat from the 9th century is in the apses. There are also fragments of Medieval frescoes in the Cathedral.

In the southern nave of the Cathedral there is a marble altar used for storing some relics. Next to it is the altar of St. Sacrament, work by sculptor A. Viviani from the year 1718. Alter is very richly decorated with columns and statues. Above the tabernacle is the statue of Madonna with the dead Christ lying in her lap, while the statutes of Moses and Elijah are on the sides. On the alter wings there are larger statues of the four evangelists, lower from them figures of virtue and on antependium statute of Lamb of God. Southern aisle ends with an apse which has remains of old frescoes on it. Above the aisles is matroneum.

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