After ten very enjoyable and relaxing days on Dugi Otok, we returned by ferry to Zadar and headed slightly further down the coast to Šibenik. The ancient city centre of Šibenik has a network of steep pedestrianized streets which are fascinating to explore and in the midst of which is the Cathedral Church dedicated to St. James.
The Cathedral was constructed during a period of just over 100 years between 1431 and 1536. It is built entirely of stone quarried from nearby islands without any brick or wooden supports. Large stone blocks or slabs were brought together in such a way that the edge of one slab entered into the groove of the second slab. It is reputed to be the world’s largest Church built in this manner.
On the outside of the Cathedral are many fascinating carvings including 71 different heads with a variety of facial expressions.
|On the north wall, either side of one of the entrances, Adam and Eve are portrayed, both holding onto their fig leaves and looking somewhat embarrassed!|
|As Sybille and I have, at different times, both made the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, the reputed burial place of St. James, we were interested to see how he was portrayed. We discovered that he appears not once, but twice in carvings on the Cathedral exterior. At the pinnacle of the chancel roof, he is portrayed as St. James the Teacher with book in hand. However, on the north wall, immediately above Adam, he is portrayed in his more usual role as St James the Pilgrim. Unfortunately, his pilgrim staff is in need of some repair.|
|By steadily climbing up through the ancient narrow streets of Šibenik, it is possible to visit the citadel fortress that overlooks the city. The effort is more than worthwhile for the magnificent views back down on the Cathedral and across to the nearby islands.|