Trogir: St Lawrence’s Cathedral
Historic Church, view point from the tower
St Lawrence’s Cathedral (Sv Lovrijenca) sits on the north side of Trg Ivana Pavla II its entrance facing on to Trogir’s main street Gradska as it leaves the square to the north. Construction was begun in 1213 and took 300 years complete with the tower or campanile, typical of Venetian design, being the last thing built during the 16th Century.
Perhaps its most prominent feature is its western (main) entrance which was intricately carved in the middle of the 13th century by the local stone mason Radovan. Generally the motifs are from the Old Testament near the ground and as you look up they are replaced by those from the New Testament. All, including the pillars are stood on the backs of Jewish and Turkish figures who carry the weight of the doorway at ground level.
It is impossible to enter the porch or the cathedral without paying a fee, and a separate fee is charged for climbing the tower. This review is simply for the exterior of the doorway and the tower, which is well worth climbing as it gives commanding views across the whole of Trogir to the shipyards on Ciovo in one direction and, on clear day, to Split in the other direction. The climb however is not for the feint of heart as fragile wooden steps cling to the open interior of the tower, eventually to be replaced by metal steps in an open cage.
A more detailed view of Radovan’s carvings and the climb up the tower are both worth the small fee however, and the view from the top is well worth over-coming vertigo for.
In side the church is described in the guidebooks as gloomy. There is a small treasury if such things interest you.
In the immediate vicinity there is Cipiko Palace (opposite the church entrance) the ground floor of which can be entered free of charge and is now home to a tourist agency. There is also the Logia, on the opposite side of the square, next to the Clock Tower. This building was constructed in the fifteenth century and heavily restored during the late 19th century. One of the most prominent relief carvings in this building was of a Venetian lion and a figure of justice - but this was destroyed in 1932 by locals using dynamite who wanted to remove any signs of an Italian connection in the city.
By foot in a public square, the Cathedral is open daily from 9am-7pm except Sundays when it is opened for Mass.
Trogir: On Trg Ivana Pavla II.
Saturday, 7 April 2012