Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Croatian Chronicles: Church History

I'm too tired tonight to sit and upload photos. (If you've never had jetlag, you don't know what you're missing!)

The photo above is a view from inside the church. A bit of history, courtesy of The Lonely Planet guidebook, will make more sense of what you see:

The circular Church of St. Donat [is] one of the most outstanding monuments in Dalmatia. Dating from the beginning of the 9th century, it was named after Bishop Donat who allegedly had it built, following the style of early Byzantine architecture. The unusual circular ground plan is especially visible on the southern side because the southern annexe is missing. The church was built over the Roman forum, which was built between the 1st century BC and the 3rd century AD. A few architectural fragments are preserved and two complete pillars are built into the church. [You can see the pillars in the photos on the previous post.]

So, outside the church, there are Romans ruins all around. In this photo you can see how some reconstruction has been done with the stones on the left (at least that's what I gathered), and how excavations are continuing on the right.

It's all quite fascinating, perhaps more so because this is all just out there in the middle of the city, along with the souvenir stands (on far left of photo.) Certain treasures have been moved into a museum, but all of this other stuff is right there on the square for anyone to sit on, or as I observed with one woman, to spread your hand-embroidered linens on for tourists to peruse.

Tomorrow I'll try to add the rest of the interior photos from the church.

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