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Treasury of the Serbian Orthodox Church of St Elias the Prophet in Zadar


The collection consists of various artefacts that were made in the historical period between the 15th and 19th century. These were created in Venetian, Italo-Cretan, Russian and Serbian workshops. Most numerous are the icons, which as a whole represent one ...

 

TREASURY OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF ST. ELIAS THE PROPHET IN ZADAR

 

 

 

The treasury of sacral art in the Treasury of the Serbian Orthodox Church of St. Elias the Prophet in Zadar is connected to the first settlement of Orthodox folk in the area. It evinces attributes of Greek, Italo-Cretan and Levant as well Serbian and Russian artistic creativity. It bears witness to the symbiosis of various national cultures which, due to a conjucture of historical circumstances, met here and permeated each other. Although these treasures suffered damages during the historical afflictions of the 20th century, especially during the bombardment of Zadar in WWII, they still bear witness to the cultural history of the Orthodox population in the region, particularly in the city of Zadar.

 

The collection consists of various artefacts that were made in the historical period between the 15th and 19th century. These were created in Venetian, Italo-Cretan, Russian and Serbian workshops. Most numerous are the  icons, which as a whole represent one of the most significant collection of their kind within the area of the Dalmatian Diocese. Various sacral ritual vessels, made from precious metals, are for the most part of Venetian or Russian origin dating from the 18th and 19th century. The greater part of the  large number of liturgical books published in Venice, Moscow and Buda has been preserved. A smaller number of Greek and Serbian texts is in manuscript. Of particular interest is the collection of antimins, dating from the 17th to the 19th century, which are  printed on canvas using the technique of woodcutting and etching.

 

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.


The marble ikonostasis painted by Michael Speranza, a painter from the island of Krf who at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century worked in the region, is especially attractive.


The painting of the ikonostasis was completed in 1811. In 1815 the icons from the old ikonostasis were transported into the newly-built chapel of St. Spyridon which was destroyed in WWII so that only a few of them have been preserved.





Riznica Srpske pravoslavne crkve sv. Proroka Ilije u Zadru

Treasury of the Serbian Orthodox Church of St. Elijah the Prophet in Zadar

Trg Serdara Stojana Jankovića 3, HR-23000 Zadar

Tel. +385 (0)23 251 014



Opening hours:

Summer: 8-12 and 18-20

Winter: 8-12 and 16-18


Entrance: 10,00 kn



 

Treasury of the Serbian Orthodox Church of St. Elijah the Prophet in Zadar officially reopened on May 17th, 2013.