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Vanja Kovačić ; Ministarstvo kulture Konzervatorski odjel u Splitu

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 4.546 Kb

str. 89-105

preuzimanja: 305


Puni tekst: engleski pdf 4.546 Kb

str. 89-105

preuzimanja: 765



The graveyard of today’s Pučišća is located in a cove alled Stipanska luka (Stephen’s harbour); like other hagionyms on the island of Brač, it has preserved the memory of a Early Christian church and monostery. The toponym of the bay of Stipanska luka, and an uninterrupted cult, bear witness to the dedication of the church to St Stephen Protomartyr.
During research, it turned out that the whole wall of the eastern part of the building belonged to an Early Christian church. The apse is preserved according to its original ground plan and in its original volume, as are the perimeter walls up to the expanded nave on the western side. During archaeological research, while the church was being restored in the Late Baroque additions, foundation remains of a whole building with a narthex added on to the façade of the church were found. On the external face of the apse three masonry arched windows appeared; the central one had been partially demolished when the more recent aperture was made. Through the removal of the infill of the central and the south-eastern window, the still built-in frames of stone transennae with the beginnings of tracery were found. Below the central window, fresco painting with an imitation of red and yellow-grey marbling was found on the fragments of the plaster, done in imitation of much more luxurious marble cladding.
A narrow door led from the northern side of the church into a square room with an almost polygonal concavity in the floor. In the north west corner a small funnel has been built in, in the form of a quadrant with a raised plastered neck and an outlet under the floor of the room. This element was very likely for the washing of liturgical vessels immediately after the rite. Symmetrically with the southern side of the church was a cistern and a baptistery with a recessed cruciform baptismal font. In the northern and western arm there were three steps each, and on the south just one, at the level of the second height; the eastern end was not fenced with steps, the walls going all the way down to the floor. During replacement of the roof of the apse, which was built and raised, an original Early Christian semi-dome was found, built of alternate rows of travertine and tiles. In the medieval conversion, the wall of the apse was raised stepwise so that the later classical tegular covering was kept under the new walling, and in profile the apse had a lower wall of a wider radius and upper eaves on a wall recessed concentrically.
Fragments of the stone furnishings: a capital of altar mensa, a chancel pier, a fragment of the chancel slab and parts of the transenna show very limited achievements in the traditions of the simple forms of Brač sculpting.
The Early Christian church in Stipanska luka is a complex type of congregational church for a minor agricultural village which spread along the neighbouring hills and over the wider area of the port, as witnessed to by the remains of the walls and the nearby cistern. Although the baptistery is located on the southern side of the church, as against the organisation of space of the other congregational and monastic complexes on the northern shore of Brač, the form of cruciform baptismal font characteristic of the 6th century is nevertheless repeated.
The Split Archaeological Museum has finds of coins of the 6th century (no. 343) from Pučišća. According to currently available data, there were 119 items in the hoard of bronze coins of the Ostrogoth rulers Theodoric and Theodahad, and also of the Vandal king Gelimer, these last belonging to issues the minting of which ceased between 534 and 536. After the conquests of the Vandal kingdom in Africa and the taking of Salona, there was an almost twenty-year-long war waged between Byzantium and the Ostrogoths for the re-establishment of the rule of Byzantium in Italy and Dalmatia. For the purposes of the payment of the army, during the Reconquest of Justinia, a mint was set up in Salona that issued copper money, using old coins, particularly those of the Ostrogots, the circulation of which they had forbiden, as raw material. For this reason the Pučišća hoard very likely came into the country, in this hidden cove, during the war operations around Salona, and in the struggle for domination of the navigable routes on the Adriatic. There are no reliable elements for giving a precise dating of the church in Stipanska luka, but it was very likely the result of the great architectural and ecclesiastical activity that took place during Justinian’s renovation of the empire.

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