Wednesday, July 17, 2013

St. Mark's Church - Zagreb, Croatia

St. Mark's Church in Zagreb, Croatia is the Catholic parish church of old Zabreb in St. Mark's Square. It is believed to have been built in the 13th century. When looking at the church from the side with the roof tiles showing the coats of arms, the building on the left is the seat of the government of Croatia and the building on the right is for the Croatian parliament. Also in the square is the building for the Constitutional Court of Croatia. 
St. Mark's church. The building to the right is for the Croatian parliament.
St. Mark's from the other side with a full view of the bell tower.
A different angle of the bell tower.
The year 1841 on the steeple.
Close-up of clock on the bell tower.
A portal door.
Close-up of the portal door.
Statue of St. Augustine in a niche near the door.
What really makes the church spectacular is the roof tiles, apparently done in 1880. They make it about as distinctive of a church as any I can recall anywhere. The coat of arms of Zagreb is on the right (the white walled city represents Zagreb, on a red background).
St. Mark's church. The building to the left is the seat of government of Croatia.
Coat of arms of Zagreb (in roof tiles)
Colorful roof tiles with a Croatian flag in foreground.
Varying roof tiles.
The gold border roof tiles remind me of some we saw in China.
Border roof tiles.
The coat of arms of the Triune Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia is on the left. It was adopted in 1848 (and banned in 1852 by the Austrian government) as an amalgam of the coats of arms of the Kingdom of Croatia (the red and white checkerboard in the upper left corner), the Kingdom of Dalmatia (the three lion heads, each with a crown on a blue background in the upper right hand corner, represent the Dalmatian coast) and the Kingdom of Slavonia (the lower half with a running marten on a red background), separated by two white stripes from two blue stripes (representing the Sava and Drava Rivers), the top one with a gold star. The Kingdom of Croatia was an administrative division within the Habsburg Monarchy between 1527 and 1868 (known as the Austrian Empire between 1804 and 1867). Until the 18th century, the Kingdom of Croatia included only a small part of what is currently Croatia, around Zagreb. Between 1744 and 1868, it included the subordinate autonomous Kingdom of Slavonia which was recovered from the Ottoman Empire. The Kingdom of Slavonia was part of the Habsburg Monarchy between 1699 and 1868. It included parts of present-day Slavonia (in Croatia) and Syrmia (in Serbia and Croatia).  In 1868 they merged into the newly formed Kindgom of Croatia-Slavonia. The Kingdom of Dalmatia was conquered from the French Empire in 1815 and remained a separate division of the Habsburg Monarchy until 1918 when it became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and later, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. It included the cities of Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik.
Coat of arms of Triune Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia.
The south portal works of art were by the Parler family sculptors from Prague at the end of the 14th century. There are 15 statues in 11 niches. Joseph, Mary (missing her head) and the baby Jesus (missing his upper body) are on top. Immediately beneath them are St. Mark (the church name-sake) and the lion. The twelve apostles are the remaining statutes on both sides (four are made of wooden, replacements for some that were destroyed). 
South portal
South portal: Joseph, Mary and Jesus on top and St. Mark and a lion underneath.
On the outside northwest wall is the oldest coat of arms of Zagreb (quite a bit different from the one on the roof in tile - but it does have the three castle-like turrets). It has the year 1499 engraved on it (it is a copy - the original is in a museum). 
Coat of Arms of Zagreb from 1499.
Inside the church are three sculptures by Ivan Mestrovic. A pieta is to the left of the altar, a crucifix over the main altar, and the Madonna and Child on the right. I love Mestrovic, but these don't have as much appeal to me as the ones in Diocletian's Palace or in the Novi Sad town square. 
Pieta by Ivan Mestrovic.
Madonna and Child by Ivan Mestrovic.
Crucifix by Ivan Mestrovic (poor lighting)
Crucifix by Ivan Mestrovic.
Pictures of other inside features follow:
Baby Jesus.
The pulpit and an altar.
Detail from front of altar.
Candles on altar and stone relief in background.
Baptismal font with John the Baptist baptizing Jesus.
Stained glass.

Perhaps Lazarus emerging from the tomb?


  1. Beautiful church on the outside, but I really wanted more lighting on the inside so that we could appreciate the wonderful art. The roof reminded me of the church on Castle Hill in Budapest.