Church of Saint Blaise - History and Facts | History Hit

Church of Saint Blaise

Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik-Neretva, Croatia

Built in 1715, the ornate Church of Saint Blaise was dedicated to the patron saint of Dubrovnik.

Peta Stamper

24 Mar 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Church of Saint Blaise

The Church of Saint Blaise is a Baroque church in Dubrovnik‘s Old Town, named for the patron saint of the city and former protector of the independent Republic of Ragusa (what we know today as southern Croatia).

Church of Saint Blaise history

The Church of Saint Blaise was built between 1706-1714, commissioned by Dubrovnik’s Senate to replace the original Romanesque church destroyed in 1706 during a fire. At this time, Dubrovnik was in a period of economic ‘decline’: the Mediterranean trade was overshadowed by the Atlantic, and the city had been decimated by the 1667 earthquake.

Additionally, despite being continuously in conflict with Venice, another important Mediterranean port, Dubrovnik’s culture was nonetheless heavily influenced by its Venetian merchant class, explaining the choice of Venetian master Marino Gropelli as the church’s architect amidst hostility between the republics.

The church’s Corinthian columns, angels and gold-leafing combined neoclassical Venetian architecture with the popular 18th century Baroque style, favoured by the Catholic Church for its ostentatious opposition from Protestant simplicity. Dubrovnik was the seat of a Cardinal Protectorate, so the Church of Saint Blaise’s design asserted strong ties with Rome, while showcasing Dubrovnik as wealthy and fashionable during a period of increasing political and economic vulnerability.

The Church of Saint Blaise’s lavish Baroque interior included a marble high altar displaying a 15th century gilt silver statue of Saint Blaise holding a scale model of the former Gothic church formerly occupying the site. Only this statue survived the devastating 1706 fire, the model capturing Dubrovnik’s architecture before the earthquake.

Church of Saint Blaise today

Explore the Church of Saint Blaise’s ornate Baroque interior with free admission. Outside, the church’s wide staircase and terrace is the perfect spot to watch the world go by. Late visitors can also admire the spectacular balustrade and stained glass lit up at night, and if you happen to be in Dubrovnik for the 3 February you can catch the Feast of Saint Blaise including a procession, parade and street celebrations.

Getting to the Church of Saint Blaise

Find the Church of Saint Blaise in the bustling Luza Square, which you can reach via public transport on bus lines 1A, 1B, 3 or 8 from the main bus station and port. The Church is also at the eastern end of the Stradun, Dubrovnik’s pedestrianized thoroughfare, easily found on foot. Cars are not allowed within the Old Town, but parking bays are located nearby at Ploce gate in Petra Kresimira street.

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