Cathedral of Stone, Temple of Water in Sibenik

Sibenik is famous for two things: its cathedral, and the nearby waterfalls of Krka National Park. Rightfully so, because these things of beauty stand out.

The Krka River

The Krka River

St James' Cathedral

St James’ Cathedral

St. James’ Cathedral is a World Heritage site, as its construction over a period of more than 100 years incorporated different styles and building techniques in a unique way. The only material used was stone from the quarries of the island of Brac, and it was fitted together in a way more similar to shipbuilding or cabinet-making than traditional building construction, which is one of the reasons it’s listed.

A Renaissance exterior

A Renaissance exterior

Also, being built between 1431 and 1555 meant that the cathedral bridged the Gothic and Renaissance styles. There are flourishes around the interior that echo famous cathedrals in other cities, and a baptistry famous for its intricate designs.

The transept

The transept

Cheery church iconography

Cheery church iconography

My favorite part, though, was the frieze around part of the exterior, which was decorated with faces carved in the stone. Stories go that these are the faces of donors to the project, and the unpopular donors are depicted in unflattering statuary.

The baptistry

The baptistry

The baptistry ceiling

The baptistry ceiling

If we don't look at the lion, maybe he won't eat us. Don't look at the lion, man...

If we don’t look at the lion, maybe he won’t eat us. Don’t look at the lion, man…

Krka National Park is lovely. I met some people who didn’t like how accessible it was–they wanted their waterfalls earned through a couple hours of hiking–but the waterfalls aren’t a spectacular reveal here, so I don’t see the point. The park consists of a blue-green river flowing over little ridges, small changes in gradation, one after another, so it’s more like collections of tiered falls separated by expanses of river. The water flows at a good rate, so by the time it reaches the lower falls, which are actually a decent height at 47 meters tall, it’s rushing over and splashing down magnificently.

Ribbit

Ribbit

The lower falls

The lower falls

It only took fifteen minutes of following this guy to get this shot

It only took fifteen minutes of following this guy to get this shot

I visited the park with a young French woman I met at my hostel. We walked along the boardwalks trying to photograph bright green frogs and iridescent dragonflies, stopped for lunch at the bottom of the lower falls, and then decided that despite the slight chill in the air, we’d brave going in. It was cold but fun, and we got a workout in walking against the current.

krka sibenik

Overlooking Sibenik

Overlooking Sibenik

Laure and I doing our best to look glamorous and not fall over

Laure and I doing our best to look glamorous and not fall over

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Cathedral of Stone, Temple of Water in Sibenik

  1. Such fine photos, Lisa! Thank you, yet again. When I saw the brilliant blue dragonfly I thought to myself “How long did THAT shot take to capture?” and then saw the caption. Right! I like the ant and the dragonfly to the right, also, along with the pic of the green frog – all such fun to share with you – Thanks! What a magnificent area – gorgeous.

    Irene

  2. Pingback: They Only Come Out at Night in Zadar | Stowaway

Dearest Fellow Travelers, tell me what you're thinking!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s