Šibenik Cathedral

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The Cathedral of St. James (Croatian: Katedrala sv. Jakova) in Šibenik, Croatia is a triple-nave basilica with three apses and a dome (32 m high inside) in the city of Šibenik, Croatia. It is the church of the Catholic Church in Croatia, and the see of the Šibenik diocese. It is also the most important architectural monument of the Renaissance in the entire country. Since 2000, the Cathedral has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

It is often mistakenly known as "St Jacob's", because Croatian, like many other languages, uses the same name for both "James" and "Jacob". It is dedicated to Saint James the Greater.

side the cathedral there are four large, evenly matched columns on which the dome rests. The builder decorated the capitals and came to arrangements with the nobles who were to finance the building of chapels, on condition that they would be free to choose their own builders.In the first chapel on the right-side, there is the sarcophagus of the bishop, humanist and writer Juraj Šižgorić (1420-1509) which is the work of Andrija Aleši based on a design by Juraj Dalmatinac. Aleši also created the statue of St. Elijah which stands behind the bishop's throne. On the left-hand side is the sarcophagus of Bishop Ivan Štafilič, during whose life the cathedral was completed. Beneath the choir there are the graves of two bishops, which reliefs: on the right Bishop Calegari and on the left, Bishop Spingarola. The latter is the work of the local artist Antun Nogulovič.

Opposite the famous Altar of the Holy Cross (Sveti Križ) made by Juraj Čulinovič (Giorgio Schiavone) is buried (1433 or 1446-1505). On the altar there is a painting by Felipe Zaniberti. Amongst other altars to the left of the entrance is the Altar of the Holy Three Kings with a painting by Bernardo Rizzardi, according to the ground plan of Juraj Dalmatinac (see above). The fragments of the mosaic of the Holy Three Kings in St. Mark's Basilica in Venice are now in the Museo Marciano in Venice. The sides of the altar are decorated with reliefs of two angels holding the scroll of Nikola Firentinac, set into shell-shaped niches. The Cathedral Treasury includes works by the Renaissance master Horacije Fortezza of Šibenik (1530-1596), an exceptional goldsmith and miniaturist.

After Fiorentino died in 1505, the construction was finally completed in 1536 by two other craftsmen, Bartolmeo of Mestra and his son Jacob, completely following Nicholas' instructions. The cathedral officially became consecrated in 1555 after a multitude of Venetian and local craftsmen had worked on it, in Gothic style. Most of the restoration was done between 1850 and 1860 and subsequently between 1992 and 1997.

The dome of the church was heavily damaged by the JNA-supported Serb forces during the shelling of Šibenik in September 1991. Within years it was quickly repaired with no damage visible. It is interesting to note that this cathedral has no bell-tower. A tower on the adjoining city walls served this purpose.
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