| The Cathedral of St. James in Sibenik,
Croatia (Katedrala sv. Jakova) is
unique in Europe, built exclusively from stone using the skeletal
technique which joins large slabs in a mortice and pener manner.
This building, originally
designed by master Juraj Dalmatinac in 1441, was finished in the early
by Nikola Firentinac (Niccolò Fiorentino).
The Sibenik Cathedral is dedicated to Saint James the Greater and has
been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2000.
| DID YOU KNOW?
Sibenik Cathedral is dedicated to Saint James the Greater, but it is
often mistakenly known as "St Jacob's", because Croatian, like many
other languages, uses the same name for both "James" and "Jacob".
The building of the Sibenik Cathedral was initiated in 1402, though
its construction had already begun in 1298, when Sibenik became a
The actual work to transform the older church began in
1431. A multitude of Venetian and local craftsmen worked on it, in
In 1441, the Grand City Council entrusted the work to the master
Giorgio da Sebenico (Giorgio Orsini or Juraj Dalmatinac). 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. Juraj Dalmatinac worked
on the Sibenik Cathedral up to his death in 1475.
Between 1475 and 1505 the work on the Sibenik Cathedral was overseen by
Tuscan master Nikola Firentinac (Niccolò Fiorentino). 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'
The cathedral officially became consecrated
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.
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