Project Description

Portal
Franciscan Church, Dubrovnik, Croatia

 

project
restoration of the portal

location
Franciscan Church, Dubrovnik, Croatia

project director
Ministry of Culture, Conservation Office of Dubrovnik

contractor
Firentinac, Trogir

funding
Venetian Heritage

start date
December 2007

end date
June 2008

cost
€ 90.440,00

The Franciscan Church and Monastery were founded in about 1250 and over the centuries they underwent many transformations. The huge earthquake of 1667 completely destroyed the church as well as much of the city of Dubrovnik. One of the few remnants of the old building is the portal, which overlooks the main street of the city, known as the “Stradun”. The portal was carved in the late Gothic Venetian style by the Petrovic brothers in 1498 and includes pilasters with niches and capitals decorated with leaves; above the architrave, in the lunette, is an almost life-size high relief representing the Pietà. Statues of St John the Baptist and St Jerome stand within the niches to the right and left of the lunette. On the top of the trilobate gable, decorated with flamboyant leaves, is a statue of God the Father.
The stone surfaces were covered with black crusts of varying thickness, particularly in the areas not subject to rainwater. Surrounding these crusts was a brownish patina, probably due to the presence of oxalates. There were also instances of limestone incrustation and some areas suffered from crumbling. Fissures and small missing pieces of stone, particularly in the most critical points, were visible. The statue of God the Father was cracked in many places. The restoration work permitted an accurate interpretation of one of the most important examples of 15th century sculpture on the Dalmatian coast.