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Church of Saint Donatus (Zadar)

Church of Saint Donatus (Zadar)






Description of Church of Saint Donatus

The church of Church of Saint Donatus of Zadar, Croatia, is a Roman Catholic temple and monument of pre-Romanesque style from the early ninth century, considered the most important of its period that is preserved in Dalmatia. Church of Saint Donatus was constructed in the 9th century upon orders of bishop Donatus of Zadar. The site was not chosen randomly. It was a site of a former palace of Roman emperors. There is certain degree of irony that house of worship was constructed on a site of former home of those who persecuted Christians. Remains of Roman forum is still visible around church of Saint Donatus. Original the church was dedicated to the Holy Trinity and only in the 15th century it was renamed after bishop Donatus of Zadar, the architect of the church and venerated Saint. Acoustics of interior makes it a favorite location for concerts of Medieval music. Various artists play in the church between March and October.




Church of Saint Donatus is crowned by a cupola of 27 ms of height, it is surrounded by a gallery that extends around three apses to the east. Both its style and its circular plan are a mixture of the first manifestations of Carolingian art and Byzantine temples. Both inside and outside, the use of ancient materials from the Roman forum for the foundation of the walls is appreciated. The treasure of the Church of Saint Donatus contains some of the best Dalmatian works in metal, highlighting the silver ark or reliquary of San Simeon (1380), and the personal pastoral of Bishop Valaresso (1460). At once imposing and austere, harmonious and original, it is not surprising that it is considered the symbol of Zadar. Its rigid interior has excellent acoustics and is used as the setting for the concert of the annual International Music Festival of the Medieval Renaissance, also known as "The Musical Evenings of San Donato".




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