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Vanja Kovačić ; Državna uprava za zaštitu kulturne i prirodne baštine, Glavno povjerenstvo u Splitu

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 8.036 Kb

str. 51-67

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Puni tekst: engleski pdf 8.036 Kb

str. 68-69

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The convent of St Nicholas in Trogir is the oldest of the benedictine order among Dalmatian towns. According to a copy of a document of 1064, the citizens of Trogir gifted to the sisters the chapel, house of the blessed Domnius, at The Lord's Door (Porta Dominica), along with the adjacent seafront. Archaeological excavations show that the earliest chapel mentioned in the foundation document stood beneath the high embankment on which the present-day church• was erected. The position of the Lord's Door has also been established. Inside the Church, along the northern wall, the defensive wall dating from late antiquity, built with smaller irregular stones, has been excavated, while the sides of the door are made of monumental stone carvings with built-in ancient spolia from the same period. In the early Middle Ages, the town widened concentric ally in the area towards the south in a narrow belt of four to five metres' width, and a new defensive wall was built. The town gate was positioned with its axis to the late antiquity gate as an extension to the cardo and form with them a complex providing a double entrance into the town with a space between. Concurrently with the building of the new defensive wall to the west of the late antiquity gate, a smaller church was erected which was later gifted to the Benedictine sisters. With external ground plan in the form of a parallelogram, the church's northern wall abuts the town wall of late antiquity, while its unusually broad south wall is an integral part of the new defensive wall. The longitudinal walls of the nave were divided by central and corner pilasters which formed shallow niches and carried barrel-shaped arches, most probably without the transverse rib. The apse is separated by its lengthened right-angled form and size from the proportions of the nave. From the method of its construction and its foundations, it indicates the narrowing and adaptation of a larger chamber for sacral purposes. Judging by the position of the south door which led directly on to the sea-fro nt, the chamber originally was used for the purposes of access to the harbour or as a guard, and only with additional changes became a modest chapel next to the town gate. The ground-plan irregularities of the building were primarily determined by the given area and the maximal use of existing walls. A tendency to establish symmetry at the front and back of the church produced asymmetry inside the building. Beneath today's apse in between the two town walls, there was an unusual and layered re-structuring. The eastern wall of today's apse lies on the walls of a square chamber which extended almost to the Lord's Door and which opened up into a broad arch towards the east. The eastern wall of the church of St. Domnius, therefore, and the western wall of the chamber formed a specific enclosed corridor or propugnaculum between double town walls. The untidy structure of the defensive wall and the parts of ancient tombstones and sculptures forming part of the town gate show the manner of building characteristic to late antiquity fortifications. It can surmised that the direction of the wall towards the east went underneath the bell-tower and served as foundation for part of the arcature of the monastery courtyard. The size of the door certainly does not correspond in its dimensions to the main ancient entrance into the town from the direction of the sea and arose because of the volatile times, when as a rule the numbers and sizes of openings would be minimised. Quick building interventions with the use of materials from ruined ancient buildings have been noted in Zadar and Salona another littoral towns and are attributed to the period after the expulsion of eastern Goths from Dalmatia. With the early Medieval broadening of the south front of Trogir the regular ancient perimeter was reconstructed into a polygonal scheme. Looting by the Saracens and the Arabs, who ventured into the Adriatic and attacked the littoral towns during the ninth century, was the incentive for the strengthening of the harbour part of town. At the end of the 9th and beginning of the 1Oth centuries a smaller chamber next to the harbour gate in Trogir was adapted as a church and was consecrated to St Domnius. The strengthening of the cult of the local martyr in the early Middle Ages, who also preached Christianity in Trogir, according to tradition, is a confirmation of the metropolitan rights of the Split church as successor to that of Salona.

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