Photo by Marco Verch  –  Link

St Lawrence Cathedral

Croatia > Trogir

Every trip to laid-back Trogir should include a leisurely stroll around the St Lawrence Cathedral. This three-naved Venetian cathedral is dubbed one of the finest architectural works in the whole of Croatia, and it certainly has the wow-factor. Built on the site of an even older cathedral destroyed in the 12th century, St Lawrence has some of the oldest interior design in Dalmatia (one of the four historic regions of Croatia), allowing you a glimpse into times gone by.

The ornate sculptures adorning many parts of the Cathedral are particularly eye-catching, especially in the main portal which is awash with detailed figures. The sculpting in this Romanesque entryway is mainly the work of Master Radovan, the most important sculptor of Croatian Medieval art. Pretty impressive, right? You can also find later additions to the portal; look out for Adam and Eve standing on the backs of lions.

Climbing to the top of the 47-metre-high cathedral tower will give you views over the old town, casting a different perspective on the winding streets below from the highest point in Trogir.

The St Lawrence Cathedral construction

Perhaps the most interesting fact about the Cathedral (and definitely its unique selling point) is the history of its construction. It was built gradually between the 13th and 17th centuries, making the building a historical timeline of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architectural styles.

The bulk of the Cathedral was built in the 13th century, so the style is mainly Romanesque, however bits and pieces continued to be added for four centuries thereafter. Work on the bell tower, for example, began in the 14th century and lasted until the 16th, giving it a range of influences. Furthermore, the first and second floors were designed at different points in the Gothic period, and the Baptistry is somewhere in between late-Gothic and early-Renaissance design.

What not to miss

Aside from a long pause at Radovan's Portal and a trip to the top of the tower, there are a couple of other things not to miss on your wander around the Cathedral.

One must-see feature is the Chapel of Blessed Ivan Orsini, a stunning chapel dedicated to the first bishop of Trogir. Built in the 15th century, the chapel is highly decorated from floor to ceiling with statues and stained glass windows surrounding the bishop's elaborate shrine.

The treasury is also worth seeing for its impressive ivory triptych (a three-section piece of art presented on connected panels), and various reliquaries (shrines typically made to hold the remains of saints).

Other things to look out for are the nave, the 13th-century octagonal pulpit, the impressive painted crucifix, and the baptistery.

Hints and tips

  • Be warned - the steps up to the top of the tower are super narrow, so probably best for the claustrophobic among you to stay downstairs and admire the Cathedral from the ground floor. Also, the final leg of the climb is up an open metal staircase, so a trip up the tower certainly isn't suited to everyone!
  • Early morning or late afternoon are the best times to go to avoid the tour groups who typically visit in the middle of the day.
  • If after your visit you're hungry for more history, the Kamerlengo Fortress is a short stroll away.
Opening Times

Throughout the Year

  • Open Daily: 09:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • Open Daily: 04:00 PM to 07:00 PM
Price Information

Admission to St Lawrence Cathedral

  • General : 25.00 HRK
Address

Radovanov trg

Trogir

Split-Dalmatia County

Croatia 21200

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