What To Do in Trogir during a Day Trip

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Trogir is the City of Masters, the city which slowly but convincingly pulls us into an enchanted labyrinth of beauty, into narrow stone streets made of yellow smooth Stone. The colors of the stone remind us of the colors of the warm, afternoon sun.

This City of Masters began its master story with the portal of Master Radovan, Muscardello, Aleši, Blaž Jurjev Trogiranin, Firentinac and Duknović. These masters marked a turning point in the history of Trogir, placing it at the very top of the art world. The Romanesque art of Radovan’s portal describes the humanistic truth of redemption and shows us that good and love always outweigh evil.

Signs or marks that the masters have left will never be forgotten. They bear witness to the fact that these people were not only creating here, as can be seen in their numerous works, but also that they were enjoying life here, as shown by the various games carved around the Church of St. John the Baptist and at the entrance of the Cathedral.

The masters’ signs invite us to discover and explore. They arouse curiosity and with each new discovery we feel happiness and contentment. In these signs we will find the pieces of life and struggle against oblivion, but also the personal signs of masters who wanted to mark their authorship over particular building or sculpture.

Historical And Cultural Monuments In Trogir

The promenade along the waterfront in Trogir is magnificent. Photo credit EseJapan

In its cobbled streets, Trogir preserves numerous traces of local and foreign masters that are just waiting to be discovered.

Skillfully carved into the stone facades of the city, seemingly insignificant notches, dents, dashes, crescents, flowers, leaves and twigs, axes, blueprints and merles are revealed only to the keen eye of a curious observer. In these marks one can see the richness of art and the joys of everyday life in Trogir.

Trogir is a unique example in the history of European architecture and it is the city with the largest number of such stone signs or marks in Europe. Each mark carries its own meaning. Some of them mark the end of the construction, some of them represent the personal signature of the master and some are engraved votive prayers. The masters also carved games into stone, like chess and merles, that were used for entertainment during the construction break.

Discrete, but yet so powerfiil, these marks in stone can be seen on the facades and interior walls of the Cathedral of Saint Lawrence and Church of Saint John the Baptist.

Over the centuries, Trogir has turned into a magnificent treasury with many historical and cultural monuments, so UNESCO placed it on the list of protected cultural sites in 1997.

In the past, Trogir was always very attractive to many different rulers. Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Hungarian-Croatian rulers, Venetians, Napoleon and Habsburgs, claimed this unique city. Each epoch has left its mark, but during the reign of the Venetian Republic, the city experienced its cultural flourish. Many monuments were built and some of the most famous masters created their masterpieces in Trogir. These masterpieces leave an indelible mark on every visitor.

Tips: On the south wall of the cath6dral find the drawing of the ship from the 17th century

Churches and Monasteries In Trogir

The Cathedral of St. Lawrence also known as the Cathedral of St. John of Trogir, is the most famous church in Trogir. The construction of the Cathedral lasted for five centuries and the mixture of styles can be seen on the bell tower. The first floor was bulit in Gothic style, the second in Venetian floral Gothic style, and the third in Renaissance style.

The Cathedral of St. Lawrence, Photo credit EseJapan

Several great masters contributed to the construction of the Cathedral. The most significant artistic value has the main entrance or Radovan’s portal. The portal is the sculptural masterpiece. The lunette presents the birth of Christ and the events following it, while the upper arches present the scenes from the life of Christ.

The most beautiful space inside the Cathedral is the Chapel of Blessed John which was built in the isth century according to the project of Nikola Firentinac, with the contributions of Andrija Aleši and Ivan Duknović. Following the antique tradition, reliefs and sculptures present the life in the underworld.

The church of Saint John the Baptist belonged to the Benedictine monastery. It has one nave and it is built in Romanesque style. The portal has the lunette with the sculpture of the Lamb of God which is made in a style of Master Radovan.

In the cloistered Benedictine monastery of Saint Nicholas you can visit the Collection of Art “Kairos”. In this wonderful collection you can see the oldest relief in Trogir from 3rd century B.C. The relief shows Greek god of happiness, Kairos, which is depicted as a young man with wings on his back and feet.

Tips: Masters have left their marks and signs in the cathedral. One of them is master Muscardelli. His signature is on the leftpilaster. Can you find it?

Towers, Fortresses and City Loggias

Trogir is the oldest Dalmatian city with the life continuity since the Bronze Age. Many conquerors and nations ruled in this beautiful city, but one thing still remains the same. That is the notion that this city gives you everything you need for fulfilled life because it offers you safety and enriches your špirit.

The Fortress Kamerlengo

This fortress in the shape of an irregular trapezoid with four towers on its angles was built in the eight century. It is situated on the southwestern part of the island and it was built from 1420. to 1437., after the Venetian conquering of Trogir. To this day the fortress remains the symbol that reminds us how it is always important to fight for the things we love and appreciate. Near fortress there is first pharmacy opened in 1271. worth of visiting!

Tips: During the Trogir summer festival, the fortress becomes an open stage where you can see the performances of some of the world’s most famous musicians, dj’s, dancers and actors.

The town Loggia

It was built in the late i3th century in the form of a porch with six high columns. This loggia was a courtroom and on its eastern wall you can see the Renaissance relief of Nikola Firentinac, depicting Justice and the city’s patrons, Saint John of Trogir and Saint Lawrence. On the Southern wall of the loggia there is a relief of bishop Petar Berislavić, a great work of art of Ivan Meštrović. During the summer, you can hear famous Dalmatian groups of singers called klapa performing traditional Dalmatian songs there.

Tips: In the city loggia you can also see dancers performing traditional dance from trogir called kvadri lja. Kvadrilja is on the list of protected intangiđle cultural treasures of the republlc of Croatia.

Join us on a guided tour of the Trogir

We begin our tour in front of the City Hali to admire its representative façade and discover the secrets which it hides in its charming courtyard. We continue to the church of St. John the Baptist from the i3th century with numerous traces hidden in Stone, including several medieval games and a mysterious axe. There are also other marks, can you find them?

2. Exploring one of the most picturesque streets of Trogir, you will hear the legend of the Paitoni sisters and find out the story of Kairos, the Greek god of happy moment kept in the monastery of St. Nicholas from the nth century, the oldest cloistered monastery in Croatia. On your way to the monastery, be sure to stop by a family workshop that has nurtured the tradition of coral jewelry for over a hundred years. Just down the Street, there is the salon of the master of traditional Dalmatian suits, the tailor who makes suits for many celebrities.        

3. Passing through the south city gate with original i6th century wooden doors, we arrive at the promenade (or Riva, as we call it) to enjoy in the typical Mediterranean view of the sea, palm trees and anchored ships. Did you know that the tradition of shipbuilding in Trogir is as old as the city itself, almost 3,600 years?

4. Explore the Lučić Palače, home of renowned Croatian historian Ivan Lučić, and discover Stone fragments from different periods that his family has collected over the years.

5. Take a look at Fortress Kamerlengo and learn about life in Trogir during a long period of Venetian rule.

6. Walking through the medieval streets of Trogir will make you feel like you are traveling through time. Find out more about the noble families, their palaces and the Stone fragments that they collected to show their respect for the past.

7. We will walk through the complex of Garagnin – Fanfogna Palače, today the Museum of the City of Trogir, which houses permanent exhibition about the history of the city from the Greek period to the present. The main entrance to the city, the massive I7th-century north city gate.

8. We continue down the main Street to reach the pearl of the city, the Cathedral of Saint Lawrence, whose construction lasted almost 400 years and brought together the best artists and architects of those times. Masters Radovan, Firentinac, Aleši, Duknović and Bokanić are just some of the masters who carved their marks on this Stone beauty and whose works we still admire. We will especially focus on Master Radovan’s masterpiece, the portal that places Trogir at the very top of the art world. The Cathedral hides many other signs and marks, let’s discover them together!

After the tour do not miss this beautiful restaurant called “Tri volta“, with more than 50 years of tradition.

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