The Cathedral of St. Lawrence (or Sveti Lovro in Croatian) is located in the heart of the island where the old town of Trogir is located. It is one of the architectural jewels of this thousand-year-old city.
The cathedral has been listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1997 (like the city). This religious building in Romanesque and Gothic style has three naves. The cathedral stands out from the other buildings on the island because of its height and is a landmark in the city. You can enjoy a wonderful view of the surrounding area after climbing the steps leading to the top of the bell tower.
The foundation stone of the present church was laid in 1213, over the ruins of a first Christian church destroyed by a Saracen raid. The final touch was not made until the 17th century. Hundreds of builders took turns during its 400 year construction.
- Most of the building was built during the first fifty years. The building’s original style is therefore Romanesque.
- The interior vaulting is Gothic, as it dates from the 15th century.
- The 47m high bell tower was built between the 14th and 16th centuries. Its three floors are all different, resulting from successive demolitions and reconstructions by architects of different influences. Originally, the church was supposed to have two bell towers, but only the south tower was built. There are four statues at the top by the sculptor Alessandro Vittoria, reminiscent of the mannerist influence of the Venetian classical style.
Master Radovan’s door
The cathedral of Trogir has several doors, but it is best known for the fine workmanship of its main door (the West door). The door was completed in 1240 and was mainly carved by the Croatian master Radovan, who was born in the city.
Very little is known about this sculptor, but the quality of his work is remarkable. The door is made up of four parts and faithfully represents scenes from the Bible (Garden of Eden, Annunciation, Birth of Christ, Resurrection) but also hunting scenes.
Visiting the cathedral of Trogir
There is a fee to enter the cathedral: it costs about 4€. Besides the building, you can also visit the bell tower. The climb is steep and you can access the final part with a small ladder to enjoy the view over the city. There are less people in the early morning or around 6 pm once the tourist groups have left.