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Sixteenth Century Fortifications of the Town of Cres (Cherso)

Laris Borić ; Odjel za povijest umjetnosti, Sveučilište u Zadru

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 681 Kb

str. 133-148

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The unstable political situation in which Venice found itself at the time of the League of Cambrai, but also the more frequent incursions and attacks of the Uskoks in the later sixteenth century, were responsible for the surrounding the town of Cres, its medieval nucleus and the newly formed town areas with a wider and stronger fortification system of a regular square plan, with four round towers at the angles and one rectangular tower located in the north-east area, and four town gates. The only angle tower that still survives is the north-west land tower based on which other towers can be reconstructed.

Three of the four town gates have been preserved: the Harbour gate, on the ground floor of the Clock Tower, and two east gates: Porta Marcella and Porta Bragadina. All three are constructed in the mannerist style of the classical architectural language, with rusticated arches flanked by two Tuscan or Ionic half-columns articulated with stone rings. These half-columns carry an architrave with coats of arms, which terminates with a projecting cornice. Most reliable sources for the dating of the building phases of the Renaissance fortifications, and for the identification of the master-carvers who worked on them are the register of the decisions of the Town Council, and the Book of the Building of the Walls (Libro della fabbrica delle mura) which is in the State Archives at Rijeka and contains records of payments for the construction expenses for individual parts of
the walls. The book covers the period between 1514 and 1610, the year when the construction expenses were concluded, although the works on the finishing of the individual parts continued until 1689, the year carved in the inscription referring to the completion of the wall. The article analyses the building phases
of the individual segments, and the groups of master-carvers who worked on them. It identifies the stone-cutting family workshops Stošić, Zvonarić, Soldatić and Mladinić, but also a number of local and foreign master-carvers who appeared in the individual building phases.
Among them, a special place belongs to Izidor Stošić who was mentioned between 1521 and 1559 as the Protomagister of the structure and, based on the commission of the Town Council; he is identified as the builder of the town’s Clock Tower. The mentioned town portals
clearly demonstrate the way in which the local builders, gathered around the local workshops, applied the projects embodying contemporary stylistic tendencies which were doubtlessly works of the yet unidentified Venetian architects.

Ključne riječi

Cres (Cherso), 16 th century fortifications, Venetian Republic, Renaissance

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