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Literary Circle of Split; [email protected]
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  • Linguistics


The author distinguishes between two similar reconstructions on the Early Mediaeval churches of Sv. Duh (Holy Spirit) at Škrip and Sv. Ivan (St John) at Bol, carried out in the Early Romanesque period. Both churches are reconstructed structures originally built in the late Roman time. Special attention is paid to the Sv. Duh Church at Škrip in order to explain its architectural strata. Recent research reveals that the church was built in the 7th century and it was a basilica with two aisles. Early Mediaeval churches on the Island of Brac were often discussed in professional literature owing to their numerous and varied architectural solutions. Two among them, Sv. Duh at Škrip, and Sv. Ivan at Bol, appear tipologically different and if, in this case one can speak about tipology they are related by almost identical Mediaeval reconstruction which has determined their present-day appearance with marked features of that style and by the recent discovery that both are adaptations of Roman buildings. The Early Mediaeval churches of Sv. Duh and Sv. Ivan and Teodor at Bol were built on ancient foundations during the 7th century and were reshaped by the Early Romanesque reconstruction. The reconstructions were carried out with the same intention, immaginatively and with a subtle feeling for architecture. The smooth interiors of the dilapidated churches were enriched by niches along the longitudinal walls during reconstruction. Besides the sculptural and stylistic features of the plastically rendered interior it also was of great constructive importance since this enabled the craftsman to strengthen the wall supporting the stone barrel vaulting. The level to which the old structures have been preserved shows that the churches were not completely destroyed. Strong impetus for these changes was given by the new style just coming into fashion, but also by the changes in church function which demanded a larger sanctuary. Archaeological excavations have not revealed any pre-Romanesque apse, so it might be assumed that neither of the two churches originally had one. They were added much later at the time the churches were reconstructed. The builder, in charge of the reconstruction, made a new independent construction on the pillars, using the old wall to strengthem the new supporters of the stone barrel vaulted ceiling without stripes. In the reconstruction this completent craftsman must have been guided by his deep religious feelings towards everything belonging to this holy place. Otherwise, it is not possible to understand why he did not take advantage of the old structure and more firmly connect the two walls on the spot where it could have easily been done. This contemplative attitude, this adoration of a place where God is present, even in the Holy Sacrament, is not only the pre-Tridentine relation towards holy places, but displays also the personal piety of the craftsman who poured his intimate feelings into this church.

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