Sibenik (Šibenik) is city on the Croatian coast some 80 km north of Split. As it's positioned in the deep bay, it is one of the most naturally protected harbors on the Adriatic coast.
Sibenik is the city less known to tourist than Dubrovnik and Split, although it has its own personality and some great things to see and enjoy. The atmosphere in Sibenik is youthful and lively. Little streets lead to attractive squares where modern shop windows unite really nice with the fine and stylish architecture of the vanished centuries.
One of the things not to be missed in Sibenik is Sibenik’s cathedral – Cathedral Sveti Jakov, built back to 1434, is an important architectural Renaissance building in Croatia. It's listed by the Unesco as a World Heritage Site. The cathedral lies just underneath the fortress walls of the town in the old area of Sibenik .
This cathedral consists of lime stone and marble from the stone mason’s Island of Brac in Croatia. Juraj Dalmatinac and Nikola Firentinac, famous stone masters from Croatia supervised the building itself.
St James Cathedral of Sibenik
The Cathedral of Šibenik is the fruitful outcome of many interchanges of influences between the three culturally different regions of northern Italy, Dalmatia and Tuscany in the 15th and 16th centuries. These interchanges created the conditions for unique and outstanding solutions to the technical and structural problems of constructing the cathedral vaulting and dome. The structural characteristics of the cathedral make it a unique and outstanding building in which Gothic and Renaissance forms have been successfully blended.
Sibenik is a small town on the Dalmatian coast, opening out on a bay separated from the Adriatic by the Sveti Ante (St Anthony) channel and a multitude of tiny islands. The Subic family founded the town in the 10th century. It consists of a labyrinth of narrow streets and small squares climbing from the level of the cathedral to the fortress at the summit of the old town. Early in the 12th century, it came under the sway of the kings of Hungary, who granted its independence. In 1116 and 1378 Sibenik suffered at the hands of the Venetians. They took the town in 1412, renaming it Sebenico and holding it until the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797. The cathedral of St James owes its present appearance to three successive periods of construction between 9 April 1431, when the first stone was laid, and 1535.
Georgius Mathei Dalmaticus built the cathedral, except for the nave and the aisle walls, by assembling slabs of stone and the contiguous sections of pilaster and ribbing using a particular technique for the joints. The roofing of the aisles, as well as that of the apses and the dome, is made from stone ’tiles’. These roofing tiles are laid side by side with their horizontal edges overlapping, and the joints are made by the perfect fit. On the dome, the tiles are held in place by stone wedges fitted with great precision and are inserted into the ribs as into a portcullis. This type of construction could well have taken its inspiration from shipbuilding, or from the experience of many artists whose first trade was the working of wood as joiners, cabinet-makers, or model makers. The solution adopted for the cathedral at Šibenik was made possible by the outstanding quality of the stone used, which came from the stone quarries of Veselje, on the island of Brac, which is still in operation to this day.