Šibenik Saint James Cathedral
Šibenik ‘s Saint James Cathedral is the most important architectural monument of the Renaissance in Croatia. Building work was started on it in 1431 0n the site of a Romanesque cathedral which had been demolished earlier and it was built in three phases: from 1433 to 1441; then up to 1473; and ﬁnally up to 1536. Most of the restoration work was done between 1850 and 1860 and subsequently between 1992 and 1997 (after being shelled by the Serb aggressor on September 18 and 19, 1991). It is built entirely of stone: limestone from a nearby stone quarry and marble from the island of Brac. lt is interesting to note that this cathedral has no bell-tower. A tower on the adjoining city walls served this purpose. The Italian masters and local masons: Francesco di Giaccomo, Lorenzo Puncio, Antonio di Pier Paolo, Bussato, Bonino di Iacopo da Milano and Andrija Budicic with Grubisa Slavicic. At that stage it was conceived as a simple church. The western main portal was built, the northern portal (The Lion Gate) and the ﬁrst chapel. In the period between 1444 and 1477 the building work was directed by Juraj Dalmatinac, who was invited to come from Venice as the investors were not satisﬁed with the beginnings of the work. They considered that too little had been done for the money spent. luraj Dalmatinac altered the original plan: he added the transept and apses so that the ground plan of the cathedral was in the shape of a cross; he built the presbytery, sanctuary and his masterpiece, the baptistery. The apses are decorated on the outside with 74 carved Renaissance portraits immortalising important contemporaries and ﬁgures who had for some reason particularly impressed the architect.