4 / 12 – 21 / 12 / 2019
“BACH is the beginning and end of all.” (Max Reger)
About the Zagreb Cathedral
The Zagreb Cathedral is an exceptional edifice. It is considered to be the greatest and most important sacral building in Croatia. It is an edifice that belongs among the monumental Gothic cathedrals and it indicates that Zagreb was a powerful medieval centre. The institution of the bishopric in Zagreb in 1093-1094 definitely initiated the building of the cathedral. Many archaeological finds prove that there already stood another old church. The cathedral as we know it was built in several stages, with interruptions between the 13th to the beginning of the 16th century, when the arches of the aisles were completed. What we definitely know is that the cathedral was completed and consecrated in the year 1217. However, it was severely destroyed at the time of the Tartarian incursion in the year 1242, but Bishop Timotheus continued thoroughly with its restoration in the Gothic style. The cathedral gets the southern massive bell-tower in the period from 1633 to 1641, at the time of the extremely active bishop Franjo Ergelski Hasanović. The builder of this period was the Swiss Ivan Albertal. He also participated in the restoration of the cathedral after the great fire of the year 1645. In the course of the 17th century and especially in the 18th century the interior of the cathedral was filled-in with baroque inventory, altars (eighteen), pulpits and memorial plates. The cathedral experienced the hardest blow in the great earthquake of the year 1880. After the earthquake which also gravely destroyed Zagreb there was a fundamental restoration of the cathedral undertaken and from 1880 to 1906 the cathedral was restored in the Neo-gothic style. The projects were prepared by the Viennese architect F. Schmidt; the construction was carried out byHermann Bollé. Bollé also carried out the work on the restoration, and he partly changed Schmidt’s projects. It was exactly in this restoration carried out under the management of Hermann Bollé that the cathedral received its current recognizable view with the two slender towers, tall truss roof, new pillars and new altars while the baroque ones were mostly removed. Along with many Croatian eminent men who were given crypts here, there are Petar Zrinski and Fran Krsto Frankopan, Ivan Antun Zrinski, Eugen Kvaternik and the definitely most outstanding person among all, the blessed Alojzije Stepinac, whose name is present in the frequently named cathedral as Stepinec’ cathedral. Nowadays, it is Bollé’s cathedral that gives the visual identity to Zagreb.
The cathedral takes central place of the spiritual life of all Croats.
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