Posted by: viewfromtheriva | December 30, 2009

The Church of Saint Sava finally gets its miracle

The unfinished portal of the Church of Saint Sava

The condition of the 8 meter tall exterior walls is still in good shape after waiting more than 80 years to be completed

Croatia, more than 95% Roman Catholic, has always had an uneasy relationship with The Serbian Orthodox Church.  This week, after more than 80 years of waiting, the Diocese finally received approval to complete its  magnificent basilica-like Church of Saint Sava here.

Most people in Split are unaware that the Serbian church in Split is right behind the Fish Market, on the grounds of a former 14thC  convent–part of which has been lovingly restored.  A large open room on the second floor has been made into an orthodox church, which like Russian orthodox churches, has no pews, just an iconastisis (a central area flanked with icons and other religious artifacts, through which the priests enter to conduct the services).

Downstairs, there is a plain brown metal door that opens onto a large plot of land almost totally occupied by the partially completed Church of Saint Sava.  The portals of the church and the friezes around them are particularly stunning and seem as ancient as the religion itself.  Waiting silently are cut slabs of stone all around the basilica-like structure to be put in place once the dome is erected.

What is so striking about the Church of Saint Sava is that is it completely unseen from outside the teeming stalls of the Fish Market or from nearby Marmontova Ul, one of the main city walking and shopping promenades.

We were fortunate to get a brief tour and history from Nikola, the English speaking head of the monastery and religious school that the Serbian Orthodox Church runs in Krka, about an hour from Split.  As he explained, the church is now looking to raise necessary funds to complete their dream of having their own church in Split “within 2 or 3 years”.

If you are interested in helping, a special building fund has been created at RBA Austria Bank in Zagreb.  Donations can be sent to the Serbian Orthodox Church’s bank account there, IBAN HR6424840081500174023.

Enjoy our new Croatian vacation portal

Read more about Croatia at secret dalmatia’s unique blog



  1. Happy New Year Robert and Natasha. You are always finding small treasures in the city.

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