Posted by: viewfromtheriva | October 4, 2014

First photos of newly-restored St. Barbara’s, built during the 9thC, the oldest church in Trogir,


Every time I go Trogir with friends or clients I never fail to show them the long-covered entrance of  the tiny church of St. Barbara, built during the 9thC, the oldest church in this wonderful UNESCO World Heritage town.

It’s easy to miss, practically hidden under an arch at the south end of the fabulous main square dominated by the magnificent Cathedral of St. Lawrence.  The only photo of the actual interior I could find on the internet is this one:

So when I was there on Friday, I was astonished to see the door open–and not a soul inside, but clearly the restoration that had been going on for years, was almost complete.

The narrow, lofty interior, with three slender naves, of St. Barbara's Church

The narrow, lofty interior, with slender naves, and two aisles, of St. Barbara’s Church. It’s times like this I wish had more than just a cellphone camera!

Preserved in its original form, this jewel of pre-Romanesque art was originally called the Old Croatian Basilica of St. Martin.  The interior is such a surprise–with a lofty ceiling of many meters (historian say there was surely a tower at one time) with a single nave and two aisles.  The columns, ancient and gorgeous, are of different stone.  I can’t imagine where people sat since the church is so narrow.  Another odd feature is that all along the walls there are cut outs that almost look like statues could have been placed there.

the interior has different columns, each made of different stone

the interior has different columns, each made of different stone

At the front, there is a raised area with a single narrow window that somehow bathes the interior in a such a soft, quiet light you can almost hear whispering prayers.

notice the deep vertical niches along the walls

My guests and I were the only ones here, although there were lots of tourists just outside in the main square.  Notice the deep vertical niches along the walls

I hope that now St. Barbara’s is open, locals and tourists alike will come to enjoy and appreciate its quiet beauty.  I’m looking forward to finding out more about it.  St. Barbara’s Church—just one more reason why I find Trogir one of the most compelling towns in all Croatia

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