Church of St. Barbara in Šibenik



Church of St. Barbara in Šibenik is located not far from the cathedral, on the east side, at the entrance to the old main town square (today the Square of the Republic of Croatia) in King Zvonimir Street. It was originally dedicated to St. Benedict, and then St. Never because it belonged to the Benedictine abbey of St. Nikola, which was once located in the Šibenik channel Sv. Ante, on the site where the fortress of Sv. Nicholas from the 16th century. Today, it houses the Museum of Church Art, which has been created in Šibenik for centuries or has been delivered from outside.

Church of St. Barbara is a single-nave Gothic building built in the first half of the 15th century. (from 1400 to 1447). It has only two facades, north and west, because other buildings are leaning against it on its south and east sides. The construction was started by a prominent nobleman from Šibenik, Radoslav Mihetić, and after his death was continued and completed by his son Ambroz, a prominent lawyer, as evidenced by the inscription on the west facade of the church on a round relief depicting a griffin. The Italian artist Bonino da Milano (from Milan) also worked on the church, and the side, northern portal of the Šibenik Cathedral is attributed to his work. Bonino da Milano is considered the author of the character of St. Nikola, located in a Gothic niche just above the main door on the west facade of the church of Sv. Barbara. On the same façade is a larger round stone slab of an old clock with a double number mark (twelve in one circle, twenty-four in the other). Along with the main baroque bell tower "na preslica" was added in 1775. even bigger, the work of local master Jeronim Matulović.


On the north side of the church there is a richly decorated Gothic window, the work of Bonin, under which there is a Gothic niche of an unknown master with a relief of the Virgin on the throne with a child in his arms. To the right of the Virgin is a kneeling male figure with a cloak slung over his shoulder, arms folded, and his gaze directed toward Christ. The kneeling figure depicts the Šibenik doctor Marko, who in 1419. had this relief made as a votive gift, as evidenced by the inscription above the depiction of the physician. It is a unique example of a medieval relief depiction of a physician on the eastern Adriatic coast.


The interior of the church
The interior of the church is richly decorated with works of art built mostly in wood. Right next to the main door are two chapels, one of which was designed by the famous Šibenik master Ivan Pribislavić. In the left chapel, on two pillars, there are capitals with narrow leaves, the relief of St. Nikola who holds an apple and the coat of arms of the Mihetić family, the donor of the construction of this church. In the right chapel, where in the 15th century. Šibenik goldsmith Stjepan Milogostić was buried, the altar of St. Stephen. Ceiling cassettes (taken down several years ago) are painted with angels, and a beautiful balustrade separates the nave of the church from the sanctuary where the gilded wooden altar is located.

Museum of Church Art
Today in the church of St. Barbara housed the Museum of Church Art which preserves valuable works of art and sculpture, wood carvings and objects of applied art, made in the period from the 14th to the 18th century. in various styles, from Romanesque to Baroque. Here, among other things, is the triptych of St. Barbara in Sv. Nicholas and St. Gregory from the 16th century, a polyptych by Blaž Jurjev Trogir from the 15th century. which depicts the Virgin Mary on the throne with a child in her arms, and the polyptych of the Virgin Mary with saints from the 15th century, the work of the Šibenik master Nikola Vladanov, which was once located on the main altar of the church of Sv. Gregory. In a special display case is kept the oldest exhibit - the Evangelist from the 11th century. There are also exhibited Renaissance sculptures of St. Peter and St. Jakov from the side, northern portal of the Šibenik Cathedral, the work of Juraj Dalmatinac, which are considered his best and most powerful sculptural achievements. The showcases also display the works of the great goldsmith Horace Fortezza, who worked in Šibenik in the 16th century. His works represent the meticulousness of workmanship, richness and variety of motifs and characters. In the church there is also a beautiful fence of the presbytery, and the medallion of St. Barbara at the side door of the church.