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ST ELIAS CHURCH


An Orthodox church situated on a Roman capitol. It was built in late baroque style at the end of the 18th century in place of a medieval church of the same name, which at the time served the purposes of the Greek Orthodox congregation.


The city’s Orthodox church is situated just behind the Forum, on a Roman capitol. It was built in late baroque style at the end of the 18th century in place of a medieval church of the same name, which at the time served the purposes of the Greek Orthodox congregation - mainly merchants, soldiers and sailors.The church contains a wonderful collection of icons dating from the 16th to 18th century.


In 1548 the Zadar duke gave the existing medieval church of St. Elias to the Orthodox Greeks who as defectors made up the military border unites, the so-called Stratioti. He gave permission that the interior be adapted for Orthodox religious ceremononies.

 

During the second half of the sixteenth and through the seventeenth and especially throughout the eighteenth century more and more Orthodox Serbs came to Zadar, taking up the governance of the church. In 1773 the old and inadequate church was torn down and a new one built in its place. It was consecrated as late as 1805. Earlier, in 1754, a bell-tower had been built alongside the temple of the old church. The church and bell-tower, built in the manner of the late Venetian baroque manner and adapted to Orthodox worship, are a significant example of the coexistence and interpenetration of different cultures.

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