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Historical Churches (Self Guided), Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is one of the most famous spots on the Adriatic shore, because it's also an important port. It is a city with a lot of history and culture, as proven by its impressive cultural and architectural heritage. Christian sites are a "must see" in Dubrovnik, and they are found as and in monasteries, churches and other monuments. Discover them by following the next walking tour.
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Historical Churches Map

Guide Name: Historical Churches
Guide Location: Croatia » Dubrovnik (See other walking tours in Dubrovnik)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.8 Km or 0.5 Miles
Author: emma
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • St Saviour's Church
  • Franciscan Monastery & Museum
  • Serbian Orthodox Church
  • St Ignatius Church
  • Cathedral of the Assumption
  • St Blaise's Church
  • Dominican Monastery
St Saviour's Church

1) St Saviour's Church

This marvelous old house of worship is a main attraction in the old part of Dubrovnik. The building was erected in honor of Jesus Christ, in recognition for the town being spared from a great earthquake that hit in the early 1500s. In fact, you can find a monument to that fact located on the front side of the building. Construction was finished in 1528. The famed Petar Andrijich was the designer and architect of the church.

The overall design is in the shape of a Gothic cross. There is a vault that is ribbed, and there is one nave. The overall design of the outer walls is also Gothic, even down to the classic pointed windows. A keen observer of architecture will note, however, the bits and pieces of Renaissance stylings in the main building, as well as in some of the trimming.

This church is very important to the city because it is one of the only buildings that actually survived the earthquake that struck the region in 1667. So, it is very important to the city’s history. Make sure to see the beautiful Onofrio fountain that is located inside the Pile Gate at the location.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Franciscan Monastery & Museum

2) Franciscan Monastery & Museum (must see)

The Friary of St. Francis of Dubrovnik was organized in 1317. The original structure that housed the local religious order was pretty much destroyed during the earthquake of 1667. The group did rebuild their home and incorporated more modern styles of architecture into their new structure. As a result, like many buildings in the area, it displays elements of Baroque and Renaissance style architecture. The main component of the building that survived the earthquake was the old cloister.

Access to the monastery can be gained from the St. Saviour Church. While there, make note of the door that you walk through, as it is one of the oldest surviving pieces of the original building. This piece was added in 1499 and represents a classic style known as Venetian Gothic.

There is a wonderful little museum located here also, that many people miss, in spite of the very reasonable charge. It is open to the general public every day and houses valuable copies of manuscripts and chorales, as well as valuable paintings by unknown masters, a 14th-century head relic of St Ursula, and a collection of ex-voto jewelry.

Why You Should Visit:
This is a quick visit but not to be missed, particularly the lovely garden/courtyard area (perfect for reflection) and the 700-year-old pharmacy.
There are some lovely murals and pieces of art, lots of subjects for photography, and opportunities to learn more about Dubrovnik's history as well.
Although right by the Pile Gate and the main entrance to the Walls, this is an oasis which the larger tour groups happily do not have on their itinerary.

It seems you can enter the cloister garden without a ticket but a ticket is required for the apothecary museum.
While photos are only allowed in the cloisters part, if you visit the old pharmacy shop, you can buy potions made from old recipes!

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-6pm (Apr-Oct); 9am-2pm (Nov-Mar)
Serbian Orthodox Church

3) Serbian Orthodox Church

The Orthodox Church is a relatively new addition to the town, in terms of the local churches. It was constructed in 1865. The reason for this is that the local Serbians were not allowed to build a formal house of worship within the city limits until just a few years before the construction of the building. After that point, it has remained a house of prayer since. There are not as many members around anymore, as many of the Serbians left the area during the war of 1991.

Anyone of any denomination is allowed to purchase and light votive candles here. The local congregation is happy to share that honor.

Upon entrance, one will be able to see the many icons of Cretan and Byzantine origin here. Just next door, there is also a museum that displays even more of the old icons from the church. Go up to the second floor to see them.

The church is free to visit for anyone who wishes to come. The museum has a nominal entrance fee. The building is open seven days a week.
St Ignatius Church

4) St Ignatius Church (must see)

A fine example of an old Jesuit-style Roman Catholic Church, the Church of St Ignatius of Loyola is located on the very southern edge of the old part of Dubrovnik. Construction of the facility was started in 1665 and was delayed for a bit during the great earthquake of 1667, with completion reached in 1725. The designer was Ignazio Pozzo.

Like many such buildings owned by the Jesuit community, this local house of worship was modeled after the Gesu in Rome, which is the main headquarters for the Order. The overall architectural style is done in Baroque. The square in front of the church is a very popular spot for gatherings in the city. It is also decorated with a beautiful stairway, which is a classic example of Baroque style.

There is a small college associated with the complex here as well, which is worth a look. You will want to make note of some of the fine examples of art throughout. The fresco paintings here are quite beautiful. The bell is also the oldest in all of the town.

Why You Should Visit:
The mixture of the location at the top of the now-famous Game of Thrones 'shame' steps, the lack of tourists, and the old detailed interior all contribute to a memorable landmark.

Try to visit when the mass is on (there's an English mass on Sundays at 11am during the summer – end of March to end of October) as the lights are on and the inside looks spectacular.
You can reach the church either by the Jesuit staircase that provides a wonderful view as you walk up or by climbing gradually through a maze of back streets that spare you the effort of all the steps.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 7am-7pm
Cathedral of the Assumption

5) Cathedral of the Assumption (must see)

The Assumption Church is an impressive structure that has undergone a lot of change over the years. The original cathedral was a Byzantine-style construction that was built in the 6th Century. So, a church of one type or another has been here a very long time. The whole building was redone in a construction phase that lasted over 100 years, starting in the 12th century. At that time, a more Romanesque style of design was incorporated into the building. Local legend has it that the change was financed by King Richard the Lionheart after he was rescued here during his campaigns. Like most buildings in Dubrovnik, this one was badly damaged during the great earthquake of 1667 and rebuilt in a Baroque style.

On the inside, there is a beautiful painting of the assumption of Mary, done by Titian around 1552 A.D., along with a copy of Raphael’s “Virgin of the Chair”. The local sacred art collection is also worth a look, as it is typical of the type of work being done here during the 1500s.

Why You Should Visit:
Albeit smaller than expected on the inside, Titian's polyptych, as well as the very unique and simply beautiful Stations of the Cross, really make a visit here worthwhile.
At night, the cathedral is lit and becomes a magical place, which keeps its old aspect – there are no restaurants/bars in the area, just people passing and old stones.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 8am-5pm; Sun: 11am-5pm (Easter-Oct), Mon-Sat: 9am-12pm / 4-5pm (Nov-Easter)
Sight description based on wikipedia
St Blaise's Church

6) St Blaise's Church (must see)

This church is named after the local patron saint of Dubrovnik – formerly the protector of the independent Republic of Ragusa. The image of the saint is carved in stone on all Dubrovnik's fortresses and the bastion, above all the city gates, and on all official seals and coins. A feast in his honor is held on February 3rd each year. The church has some of the relics of St Blaise as well: both of his hands and a bit of bone from his face are held inside.

The church was formed in the 14th century and was originally built in the very popular Romanesque style, as much of the construction was done in that time frame. The great earthquake of 1667 damaged the building extensively. It was totally lost in a fire in 1706. Afterward, the church was modeled on Sansovino's Venetian church of San Maurizio and rebuilt in 1714 in Baroque style.

On the inside, you will want to see the beautiful golden statue of St. Blaise holding a scale model of the Romanesque church which was destroyed by the earthquake in 1667. Crafted in the 15th century by an unknown local master, the statue is on the main altar of the church and was the only one to survive the fire of 1706.

The church’s front steps are the setting for some of the most important events of the life of the city, including New Year’s Eve and the opening night of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. There is also a market out front with numerous crafts and food offerings (honey, jams, olive oils, sugared fruit and nuts).

Why You Should Visit:
Unlike a lot of churches, this one is light, bright, less foreboding but equally pretty and beautiful.

It can get quite crowded inside so go early morning or later in the evening, or when a service is on to sit with yourself.
Whenever you go, make sure to check out the beautiful stone carvings above the door.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 8am-12pm / 4:30-7pm; Sun: 7am-1pm
Free admission; open until midnight in August
Dominican Monastery

7) Dominican Monastery (must see)

The Dominican Monastery of the area is very old, having been established in 1315. Much of the original financing came from the local government. In addition, many local builders volunteered their services to help the Dominican Order get established in Dubrovnik. Sadly, this building was also damaged in 1667 by the great earthquake and had to be rebuilt in places.

It is a classic example of a Gothic cloister, adjoined by a working medieval well here and an old bell tower that combines various architectural styles from the Romanesque to the Baroque. A special treasure of the Dominican monastery, however, is its library with 216 incunabula, numerous illustrated manuscripts, a rich archive with precious manuscripts and documents and an extensive art collection.

The stairway has a balustrade which leads to the south entrance. You will notice the Romanesque style of architecture, which was done by a famous artist from Milan named Bonino. There is a statue of St. Dominique here as well, depicting the founder of the Dominican Order. Also deserving mention are the newer Gothic arch and the statue of Christ.

Why You Should Visit:
If looking to go somewhere peaceful, away from the crowds, this is an excellent place to go to.

Buy the Dubrovnik one-day ticket that gives you access to several museums, including this monastery.

Opening Hours:
Fri-Tue: 6am-7pm; Wed, Thu: 6am-9pm

Walking Tours in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Create Your Own Walk in Dubrovnik

Create Your Own Walk in Dubrovnik

Creating your own self-guided walk in Dubrovnik is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Dubrovnik Museums and Galleries Tour

Dubrovnik Museums and Galleries Tour

Being the religious and cultural center of the Dalmatia region, Dubrovnik boasts an incredible historical heritage. This heritage is manifested by the large number of cultural establishments in the city, among which there are numerous museums and galleries. Check them out by following the steps of this self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Dubrovnik Introduction Walk

Dubrovnik Introduction Walk

Dubrovnik is one of the most visited cities of Croatia. It's a historical destination, packed with points of interest and many monuments. Most of the attractions situated in Dubrovnik are to be found in the old city area that was actually listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. Find the most famous sights of Dubrovnik in the next walking tour.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles