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MY ISTRIA GUIDE

Visit Dalmatia and discover the most beautiful bell towers in the region

Visit Dalmatia and discover the most beautiful bell towers in the region

Imposing bell towers as witnesses to Dalmatian history

When you think of Dalmatia, the first associations are usually the blue Adriatic Sea, fairytale beaches and the breathtaking landscape. But Dalmatia also has a long and interesting history.
As you stroll through the streets of Dalmatian cities, you will come across charming architecture, with each building telling a unique story.

In this text we introduce the most beautiful bell towers in Dalmatia. They fascinate with their appearance and tell the most beautiful stories from their past. These magnificent buildings are breathtaking, but the view of the surroundings from above is even more enchanting.

Firstly, we introduce you to the bell tower in Zadar, the tower of the Cathedral of St. Anastasia. It is a Romanesque building and the largest church in Dalmatia. This cathedral was built twice in the 12th and 13th centuries, with the older part from the 9th and 11th centuries remaining, but the construction of this cathedral goes all the way into the 4th-5th century. The bell tower of the Cathedral in Zadar was also built twice. The first part was built in 1452 while the upper floors were built from 1890 to 1894. The bell tower is decorated with stylised plant mosaics and net ornaments. At the top there is an octagonal pyramid with a brass statue of an angel.

a-view-from-below-of-a-high-bell-tower-in-Zadar-with-square-windows-on-every-floor

Sibenik is one of the most important Dalmatian cities full of beautiful sights. The most famous building in Sibenik is certainly the Cathedral of St. Jacob. It is interesting that originally a tower of the noble Teodosevic family served as the cathedral's bell tower. However, the tower was destroyed at the end of the 19th century. Today, unfortunately, there is no bell tower next to the Cathedral of St. Jacob, but in Sibenik you should definitely visit other churches with magnificent bell towers, whereby the bell tower of the Church of St. John will certainly be remembered. It is a bell tower from the second half of the 15th century, which is a mixture of Gothic and Renaissance. The bell tower was recently renovated in 2008 and today it shines again in all its glory.

view-of-the-city-of-sibenik-with-many-houses-and-the-cathedral-without-the-bell-tower

The Cathedral of St. Lawrence in Trogir found its place on UNESCO's list of protected heritage. This building is characterized by a variety of styles, from romantic to baroque, which makes it really unique. The construction of the cathedral began in 1213 on the foundations of an early Christian cathedral and was completed in 1589 when the last floor and the bell tower were built. The construction of the bell tower took almost two centuries.

the-Trogir-bell-tower-with-many-different-decoartions-and-a-statue-in-front-of-it

The city of Split is adorned with many sights. One of the most famous is certainly the Cathedral of St. Domnius, which is located in the complex of the Diocletian's Palace. It is considered to be the oldest cathedral in the world and the bell tower of this cathedral is considered to be one of the most unique bell towers on the Adriatic. Construction began in the middle of the 13th century and lasted until the middle of the 16th century. As a result, a combination of Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles was created. The top floor was styled by Renaissance features, but these details have been removed so that this part would stylistically be in line with the rest of the bell tower.

bell-tower-in-split-within-the-complex-of-diocletians-palace

Besides the most important Dalmatian cities on the coast, many islands also hide beautiful bell towers. We would especially like to draw your attention to the islands of Brac, Hvar and Korcula.

On the island of Brac, in the town of Lozisca, there is the magnificent bell tower designed by the famous architect and sculptor of Brac, Ivan Rendic, in the second half of the 19th century. Its appearance is a bit different from other bell towers of Dalmatian cities, and there is an interesting legend behind it. After the residents of Brac invited the famous architect to design the bell tower, he came up with a variety of ideas, but the residents of Brac were not satisfied with any of them. However, there was another sketch in his portfolio that delighted everyone, but his was a design for a bell tower in Venice and the architect warned the residents of Brac that they could not afford it. When the people of Brac decided to build this bell tower on their island, the whole village was in debt so that the plan could be realized. Unfortunately, it is still not known whether it is just a legend and who actually built this mighty baroque bell tower.

the-eye-catching-white-bell-tower-located-in-a-small-village-on-Brac-island

In the main square of the town of Hvar the Cathedral of St. Stephen I is located with its bell tower. The cathedral and the bell tower took on their current appearance in the 17th and 18th centuries and to this day symbolise a mix of Gothic, Renaissance, Mannerism, Baroque and even Romanesque styles. Since the bell tower was built by the masters from Korcula, its architectural style is similar to the bell towers on the island of Korcula.

main-square-of-the-town-of-Hvar-with-the-cathedral-and-bell-tower-in-the-centre-of-it

On the beautiful island of Korcula you will find the Cathedral of St. Mark with an enchanting bell tower that offers a breathtaking view of the Korcula archipelago. The bell tower itself and the cathedral were built of Korcula stone and testify to the architectural skills of the time. As the construction of the cathedral and the bell tower took a long time, different styles can be seen in the details of the building, from the Romanesque through the Gothic to the Renaissance and the Baroque era.

view-from-above-of-the-Korcula-bell-tower-with-hills-and-the-sea-in-the-background

Finally, we will introduce Dubrovnik to you! The Dubrovnik bell tower rises in the center of this world-famous tourist destination. The first version of this bell tower with a clock decorated with figures was built in 1444, but a terrible earthquake in 1677 destroyed the bell tower, so in 1929 a new bell tower was built by using the original designs. The bell tower still has an original wrought iron clock. Unfortunately, the bell tower was damaged several times during the Homeland War. Once the tower was so damaged by a grenade that you could even see the main street Stradun through the tower from a distance. Today there is a cinema and a theater on the ground floor of the bell tower.

the-popular-street-of-Stradun-in-Dubrovnik-Old-town-with-its-bell-tower-in-the-back

If you spend your time in one of our villas in Dalmatia, don’t forget to explore the streets of at least some of these cities and visit these spectacular buildings!


Martina Pozgajec

22.10.2021
+385 1 222 70 50