Unesco and Croatia

Unique monumental and natural sites of each state are invaluable for the entire mankind. People do their best to protect them, preserve for the next generations, present and promote their value. Unfortunately, such places have always been exposed to human and natural catastrophes which have swallowed some for good. In order to stop their destruction and damaging, to protect and promote them, in 19'/2 UNESCO adopted Convention concerning the protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, which has resulted with the World Cultural and Natural Heritage List.


The historic heart of Dubrovnik as it is today came into existence in the 7th ct. Through merging of the settlement on the rock Laus, especially developed after providing shelter to the refugees from the devastated Epidaur (today known as Cavtat), and colony on the coast. The old town still preserves the features of the urban core established in 1272 through the Statute, which defines the layout of the streets and squares, their width and location. The town walls finished in the 15th and 16th ct., are 1940 m long and are adorned with the towers Minceta, Revelin, Bokar, St.Luka, St.lvan and the oldest one Lovrijenac. The construction of Lovrijenac started in the 12th ct. The central street of Dubrovnik, well known as Stradun, stretches in the southeast-northwest direction and rests on the bank which used to connect the two parts of the town. One can enter the historic core through the Pile Gate on the west and Ploce Gate on the south side. When entering Stradun from the Pile Gate and stepping on Poljana Paska Milicevica, one of the first spectacular sites that greet you is the Great Onofrio Della Cave Fountain. The most prominent Dubrovnik attraction, the Franciscan Monastery, is located on the north side of Placa. It was built in the 14th and 15th ct. and holds the tomb of the Croatian writer Ivan Gundulic. Luia Square, formed in T441, is situated on the east side of Stradun and hosts Orlando Column, work of Bonina da Milano and Antun Dubrovcanin. St.Vlaho church was originally built in Romanesque style, after being damaged in a fire, it was renovated in baroque style in the period from 1705 through 1715 by Marino Gropelli. The statue on the main altar originates from the 15th ct., and was made in the town goldsmiths shops: on the main altar there is a statue of the patron of the city, St.Vlaho, holding a model of Dubrovnik. This represents a unique proof of what Dubrovnik looked like before the fatal earthquake in 1667. The festivity honouring the town patron, with majestic procession is celebrated on 3 February.


In T979 UNESCO included the historical complex of Split and the Diocletian's Palace, as one of the first urban sites, on UNESCO World Heritage List. It is considered as one of the most momentous Late Antiquity architectural monuments, not only due to preserved original parts but its original architectural solutions announcing early Christian, Byzantine and early medieval art. The Palace is shaped as a rectangle, with two wide, perpendicularly crossed streets (Cardo and Decumanus), leading from the middle towards four gates situated on each side of the rectangle. The south part served as residential area (emperor's chambers and ceremonial atriums) and north part contained gynaeceum Iovensis, workshops where military clothes and equipment were made. The main streets meet in the centre of the Palace. Peristil is situated on the south side and faces Protiron, Vestibul of the Emperor's quarters. The Diocletian's Mausoleum has preserved its original octagonal form, while the domed interior is round with two rows of red granite Corinthian columns. The wreath with embossed decoration encircling the first and second row of columns holds two particularly interesting medallions, archaeologists recognise as portraits of Diocletian and his wife, Priska. At the beginning of the 5th ct. The Diocletian's Mausoleum was turned into the Christian church and as of the beginning of the 7th ct. it was transformed into the cathedral. The Golden Gate is the most preserved sample of its kind from the Antique period, the only thing missing is the columns framing the niches hosting the statues (of Diocletian, Maximillian, Galerie and Konstantin Klor). The Temple of Jupiter belongs to one of the best-preserved monuments of the European heritage. It lies on elevated platform hiding underneath a buried crypt. The Church of St.Theodor is fascinating (gable of altar barrier was discovered inside, and on it a copy of the most beautiful Dalmatian icon, a miraculous Lady of the Bell Tower, made by the master of the St.Clare's crucifix dated from the 13th ct.). The late Gothic style Papalic Palace represents project and work of the master Juraj Dalmatinac (around the year 1450) exhibiting a fragment of the town’s history, town Statute, crests, money and Romanesque sculpture from the cathedrals tower bell.


Sibenik belongs to the only town of historic importance on our coast originally established by Croatians, symbolising with its cathedral of St. James the most significant architectural accomplishment of the 15th and 16th ct. in Croatia. The construction started in 1431 by transforming the older Romanesque church of St. James and with on and offs lasted till 1536. During the first decade of construction, Venetian Gothic constructors and masters from Sibenik Andrija Budcic and Budisa Statcic worked on it. This period of construction resulted with south and north wall, Gothic-style facade and both portals. Two eminent architects, Juraj Dalmatinac and Niccolo Giovanni di Fiorentino, gave later the final touch to its form. One hundred years period of construction brought alterations of three different architectural concepts with three styles interchanging: Gothic, Gothic-Renaissance and Renaissance. The Cathedral of Sibenik is a triple-nave basilica with three apses surrounded by a wreath of 72 human heads, sculptures of the donators and tour-sided sacristy. The most impressive parts of this temple are the roof, and the dome made purely out of stone, without using any binder. Juraj Dalmatinac placed baptistery, worth of every attention, inside the temple on the ground floor of the south apses. Since the Cathedral is positioned right next to the city walls it does not have a bell tower, so such task was appointed to one of the town's towers.


Trogir (Tragurion) was founded by Greek colonists from the island of Vis in the 3rd century BC; hence, it can be referred to as one of the oldest continuously inhabited towns of the Mediterranean region. The historic centre on a small half-island formed in the Hellenistic Age, embraces the main street facing north and south, dividing the city into two parts. The 13th and 14th ct. Brought along town walls to the city, two of which are preserved today, Kamerlengo and the tower of St. Marco dating from the 15th ct. The Sea Gate from 1593, work of art by master Trifun Bokanic, greet one on the south city entrance. The north city entrance is passed through the Land Gate from the 17th ct. Adorned with the statute of St. John, patron of Trogir, work of art of Bonina di Milano. The city square is encircled by valuable structures with a dominating cathedral of St. Lawrence. The Cathedral's portal, work of master Radovan, belongs to the most significant medieval monuments of that type in the eastern Adriatic region. Portal sculptures are typical for the period of Gothic realism inspired by the ideas of Humanism, with features of the older Romanesque style. Lunette shows a scene of Christ's birth, columns by the door exhibit hunt scenes entangled by the plant tendrils with Adam and Eve statues on lions, standing on the side. The construction of the Cathedral started in 1213 and ended in 1589 when the last floor of the tower bell was ended. The first floor of the tower bell was built in Gothic style, the second hold features of the Venetian floral gothic style, the third one was finished at the end of the 16th ct., and the fourth pyramidal top is adorned with four Mannerist sculptures. This bell tower is unique worldwide for its artistic styles interchanging on each of the four floors. The most precious part inside the Cathedral would be the chapel of St. John, work of masters Niccolo Giovanni di Fiorentino, Andrija Alesi and Ivan Dunkovc, built in a unique technique of piling up stone tiles. It is notable to mention St. Sebastian's church from 1477 as well as the oldest one preserved in its original form St. Martin's church dating from the 9th ct. The Duke's Palace, today the City Hall was built in the 13th ct., and Renaissance facade was added in the 16th ct. It is believed that the monumental Gothic stairway positioned in the centre of the Palace was built by master Matej Gojkovic. The City Loggia, a courthouse in the past, as mentioned in 1311, and was finished by Niccolo Gioavnni di Fiorentino in the '70s of the 15th ct. Judges’ benches made at the beginning of the 17th ct. are work of Trifun Bokanic. The huge wall of the Loggia is decorated with a relief of Petar Ban Berislavic carved by Ivan Mestrovic.


The central Antique monument in Pula is the famous Roman Amphitheatre - Arena. The legend says it was built by Emperor Vespasian as a token of his love for his lover Antonia Cenidi, though it got today‘s form in the years of 69-79. It had a capacity of 20 thousand spectators. Fights were very creative, cruel and came down to deciding on life or death of the gladiators. Stone used to build the amphitheatre was brought from nearby quarries. The ground and first floor consist of 72 arches, and the second floor has rectangular openings. The stone blocks are connected with iron junctions sealed with led. In post Antique era, when the level of humanity in Europe was low and tradition of getting metal from minerals partly lost, these iron junctions were ripped from the stone blocks causing destruction of many Roman structures of the fallen empire. The same scenario happened with Pula Amphitheatre, which is obvious from jaggy damaged edges of almost all vertical stone blocks on the arches. These holes were fixed later on, though central iron junctions were not pulled out, so at least the frontage of Arena remained intact. In the 13th ct. The City Hall passed a decision on banning further removal of the stones from Arena. Today Arena frontage rises as a proud lace structure of windows shaped as arches and rectangular telling a story of its past glory and grandeur. In 1585 Venetians decided to disassemble Arena stone by stone and transport it to Lido in front of Venice, but Gabriel Emo of a powerful mercantile family confronted them, so people of Pula put a memorial on Arena as a sign of their appreciation. Another dangerous situation happened in the 17th ct. When Venetians suggested to the military architect Antoineu De Villeu, who was building a tower, to use stone blocks from Arena for the purpose of saving. He wholeheartedly disagreed with such idea and protested: Let it stand there as pride and joy of the citizens wonder to the newcomers, memory to the old ones, and glory of the Republic Let it be preserved, let it be renovated as to last forever.