Cathedral of Saint Lawrence (Trogir)

 Cathedral of Saint Lawrence (Trogir)


Trg Ivana Pavla II

Tel. (091) 531 4754

Open: mid May- Oct: 9am- 8pm, Nov- mid May: visit by appointment


Description of Cathedral of Saint Lawrence of Katedrala sveti Lovre


Cathedral of Saint Lawrence of Katedrala sveti Lovre is one of the most beautiful churches in Trogir. Occasionally it is referred as a Cathedral of Saint John after the patron saint of the church. Construction of Cathedral of Saint Lawrence started in 1213 on the ruins of the older basilica that was razed to the ground by the Saracen invasion of 1123. The construction took several centuries to complete with each generation adding something new the overall appearance of the church.


Cathedral of Saint Lawrence was completely completed in 1589 in its presents architectural styles. The jewel of the cathedral, the western portal, was made in 1240 by Radovan with an incredible wealth of details. The interior is surprising due to the lack of light and the dirt of the stone, which does not prevent admiring the octagonal stone pulpit with delicately sculpted capitals (late thirteenth century) or the great painted Crucifixion (1440).

Another remarkable work is the splendid chapel of John of Trogir, restored in 2001. It was added in the fifteenth century and is the work of Nikola Firentinac (Nicolás el Florentino), it is considered the second great work of the cathedral and brings together all the characteristics of art of the Renaissance. The baroque angels guarding the sarcophagus are an addition of the eighteenth century.

The wooden choir stalls (1439), profusely decorated and inspired by Venetian Gothic, are also noteworthy. The treasure of the cathedral, with relics, priestly vestments and other objects preserved in splendid cabinets, and the baptistery of the fifteenth century. The bell tower of 47 meters, the floors of which summarize the different construction periods (Gothic, Venetian Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque). From the top you can enjoy a magnificent view of the city and its surroundings.

The cathedral is part of the historic center of Trogir that was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997.


The construction of the cathedral began in the first half of the XIII century (no later than 1213) on the site of the old one, which suffered at the end of the XII century as a result of the Venetian devastation. The cathedral was dedicated to Saint Lawrence. The site on which the cathedral was erected was probably a cult place for a long time, since the remains of the altar of the goddess Hera were found in the foundation of the bell tower, which testify that an ancient Greek temple was located on this site. In the early Christian period there was a basilica.

Among the people, the cathedral is known as "St. John", in memory of Blessed John, the Trogir bishop, whose relics are kept in the chapel attached to the cathedral.

The Cathedral of St. Lawrence is a Romanesque three-aisled basilica with three semicircular apses. External compactness and significance from the inside are even more pronounced, thanks to strong pylons separating the spacious and high central nave from the side ones. Unlike other Dalmatian churches that were built during the late Romanesque period, the Trogir cathedral has a portico, designed already at the initial stage of construction, and it was planned to erect two bell towers on the sides. However, historical circumstances influenced the appearance of the building. The construction of the cathedral was completed in the middle of the 13th century. A number of outbuildings adjoined the northern side of the temple even before the beginning of the Renaissance.

Especially for a long time, for almost three and a half centuries, the construction of only one bell tower continued, which was completed only in 1603. The bell tower, built in the southwestern part of the cathedral and decorated with stone sculpture, dominates the entire space of the square. The wall of the southern side aisle, as well as the middle one, is raised, and also the portico is decorated with restrained Romanesque decor, simple pilasters, between which are inserted narrow windows with a semicircular arch, and at the very top there is a row of blind arcades. The three semicircular apses are decorated in much the same way, which also end with a string of blind arcades, while the window openings are separated by spiral Romanesque columns. In the center of the southern side facade, a Romanesque portal opens, rising above the level of the square with rows of semicircular staircases. The Latin inscription on the portal indicates that its construction was completed in 1213, during the reign of Bishop Tregun, who was originally from Tuscany. Wall slabs are well carved, all architectonic divisions and decorations are made with a high sense of proportion and skill of masons.

Bell tower
The bell tower of the cathedral is 47 meters high. Its construction began at the end of the XIV century, but in 1420 it was badly damaged as a result of the Venetian siege and the conquest of the city. The construction of the first tier was completed in 1422 during the restoration of the cathedral from the consequences of destruction. The bell tower was erected in discreet Gothic forms using solid wall planes and finely carved capitals on Gothic double-arch windows. On the tier there are inscriptions by the masters Matthew and Stepan. The restoration work was completely completed by master Matej Gojkovich.

The second tier was built already in the 40s of the 15th century already in the Venetian Gothic style, and the authorship of the architectural project is attributed to Lorenzo Pincino, who was previously the leading master in the construction of the Cathedral of St. James in Sibenik. Pincino, who was involved in the construction of Palazzo Ca 'd'Oro in Venice, applied his experience of the subtle use of planes in the wall surface and the creation of exquisite stone mesh and thin tall posts in the construction of the bell tower. By design and sophistication of decoration, the bell tower is considered one of the best examples of Venetian Gothic on the Croatian Adriatic coast.

The third tier of the bell tower and the pyramidal roof, which had been completed earlier, but badly damaged, was also restored in its late Renaissance forms and was completed in 1605 by the master Trifun Bokanich (1575-1609). The last tier, with its rather low height and somewhat heavy elements of architectonic decor, spoiled the Gothic concept of the bell tower. On the four sides of the base of the pyramidal roof, Bokanich installed four sculptures by the Venetian Mannerist sculptor Alessandro Vittoria (1525-1608). Now, on the occasion of the recent reconstruction of the bell tower, the sculptures have been replaced with copies. The originals, along with other works of sacred sculptural art, are exhibited in the nearby church of St. John the Baptist. The relics of the saints were placed in the ball crowning the top of the bell tower in order to protect the cathedral and the city from adversity.