Dubrovnik Cathedral, Croatia

Amidst the masses of dramatic buildings of Dubrovnik the Cathedral, known as the Church of the Assumption, tends to get lost in the shuffle. The original church is said to have been set up with money paid by Richard I ("The Lionheart") of England who was shipwrecked on Lokrum (off the Dubrovnik coast) on his way back from the Third Crusade. More recent investigation sets the building of that church to at least two decades before that, around 1093.

Dubrovnik was hit by a massive earthquake in 1667 and that all but destroyed the original church. The architect Andrea Buffalini was brought in to rebuild the church as a Cathedral. Work was commenced in 1673 and completed by 1713, resulting in a quite simple baroque piece of work that is nowhere near as showy as St. Blaise's Church which stands at the opposite end of the main square.

Another earthquake, in 1979, badly damaged the Cathedral, particularly the foundations. Great drains were built underneath to help shore up the building and at that time the foundations of the 11th Century church were dated and preserved. An incredible discovery was then made. Underneath those foundations were walls of an even older church, dating to around the 6th-8th Centuries.

The most interesting feature of the interior is the altar paint of The Assumption by Titian.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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