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The builder of the bell tower of the Romanesque cathedral of St Anastasia


T.G. Jackson was hired to complete the construction of the bell tower of the Romanesque cathedral of St Anastasia in Zadar. The bell tower was finished in December 1893, and it is his only architectural work in Croatia.

 

 

Sir Thomas Graham Jackson (1835-1924) was a major figure in the late-Victorian architectural scene, but also a prominent researcher of the architectural history.  He was born in Hampstead in north-west London, and educated at Brighton College and then Oxford. He is perhaps best known for his Examination Schools in Oxford (1876-82), and other striking buildings there.

 

Sir Thomas Graham Jackson visited Croatian Adriatic coast on several ocassions and his enthusiasm opened a new chapter in the Croatian history of art. After many previous researchers of the Croatian Adriatic, he was first who drew attention to the richness of Medieval and Renaissance architecture and the exceptional value of the arts and crafts from the church treasuries.

 

While traveling along the Croatian coast in the period from 1882 to 1885, Jackson meticulously recorded his impressions and with astonishing precision he made the beautiful collection of water-colour paintings ​​of fine architecture and outstanding achievements of Medieval goldsmith and carving skills, which were later published in his book Dalmatia, the Quarnero and Istria (Oxford, 1887).

 

Only two years later, as one of the best expert on Medieval architecture of Dalmatia, T.G. Jackson was hired to complete the construction of the bell tower of the Romanesque cathedral of St Anastasia in Zadar. The bell tower was finished in December 1893, and it is his only architectural work in Croatia. Otherwise, ground floor and first floor of the bell tower were built in 1452 (during Archbishop Vallaresso), while the upper floors were built from 1890 to 1894 by English architect and art historian Sir Thomas Graham Jackson, based on the model of the bell tower of the cathedral in Rab.