The closed city of Dubrovnik in Croatia - District of the Jesuits

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Church Saint-Ignace. Click to enlarge the image.The district of the Jesuits is one of oldest of Dubrovnik and preserves, except for the place of the square, an anarchistic plan inherited the Middle Ages and narrow and tortuous, cut roofed passageways and paved lanes small rollers. It was, at the time of the Republic of Raguse, rather the district of the aristocratic palaces, with their gardens and their courses interior.

Already, the alive one of St Ignatius Loyola, in 1552, the Father Jesuit Nicolas Bobadilla, S.J., one of the first companions of Saint Ignace, was invited to Raguse to preach there. Later, the Jesuits came regularly to the invitation from the archbishop from Raguse, initially as missionaries, then as teachers.

For the Jesuits very quickly the need to establish a college with Raguse - an institution for the teaching and the education of youth appeared. In 1634, when the Jesuit ragusain, the Marine Father Gundulić (1596 - 1647), left a rich legacy and allotted it to the foundation of a College of the Jesuits with Raguse (Collegium Ragusinum), it was necessary to find a site suitable for its construction in a city then over-populated, before the great earthquake.

In 1653, the Father Giovanni Canauli was named vice-chancellor of the community Jesuit of Raguse. He draws up a plan for the site of the college and the church in the spirit of town planning baroque, which required the destruction of the chapel of the Holy Cross and about twenty dilapidated houses. The Vice-chancellor and the Large Council, as well as the ecclesiastical authorities, having accepted the plan of Canauli in 1658, the new vice-chancellor of the Jesuits, the Father Orsat Ranjina, native of Raguse, started to buy houses and sites of construction for the new college and the church. The building work started in 1662, on the basis of drawing of the father Serafin Jesuit. Unfortunately, the building firm was temporarily blocked by the earthquake devastator which took place on April 6th of the year 1667.

VisitsVisits

The Church of the Jesuits St Ignatius Loyola (Jesuitska Crkva Svetoga Ignacija)
Since the place of the Market (Gundulić place), one reaches the church dedicated to St Ignatius Loyola (Sveti Ignacije Loyolski) by the Street Andrović and the Street close the Jesuits (Ulica uz Jezuite), then by climbing a staircase monumental baroque which leads to the square of the church, the place Ruđer Bošković (Poljana Ruđera Boškovića), dedicated to Roger Boskovitch, Jésuite and illustrates mathematician, former student of the College of the Jesuits of Raguse.
Staircase of the Jesuits, uz jezuite. Click to enlarge the image.Scalinata, the staircase of the Jesuits. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).Scalinata, the staircase of the Jesuits. Click to enlarge the image.
Street Strossmayer. Click to enlarge the image.Street Strossmayer. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).Coming from the museum of the Corn exchange, one can follow Ulica Od Rupa very right; the street becomes Ulica Strossmayerova, skirts the high wall of the convent Saint Catherine then of the church Saint-Ignace and ends in the middle of the monumental staircase. To assemble the steps to arrive on the right on the square of the church.
Church Saint-Ignace seen since the ramparts of the Door of Pile. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).The church dedicated to St Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, was built after the earthquake of 1667, towards the end of 17th and the beginning of the 18th century, according to the plans prepared by the famous architect and painter Andrea Pozzo (1642-1709); this father Roman Jesuit was inspired partly by the church Saint-Ignace of Rome, the church of Gesù, which is the church-mother of the Society of Jesus (Societas Jesu, shortened in S.J or S.I). However, the design of Pozzo never was entirely carried out, because the construction of the church extended over one long life: started on April 23rd, 1699 with the installation of the first stone, it was completed only in 1725 by the solemn blessing of the church.

Its imposing frontage baroque very succeeded, which dominates the Bošković place, shows all the characteristics of the Counter-Reformation (bent forms, columns, pilasters, pediments, mouldings and cornices interior). It also presents a beautiful gate and a dome of the same style.

The bell-tower of the church shelters the oldest bell of Dubrovnik, molten in 1355 by Vivencije and its Viator son.

Church Saint-Ignace. Click to enlarge the image.Frontage of the church Saint-Ignace. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).Church Saint-Ignace. Click to enlarge the image.
Frontage of the church Saint-Ignace. Click to enlarge the image.Frontage of the church Saint-Ignace. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).Frontage of the church Saint-Ignace. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).
The decoration of the chorus illustrates the style baroque as much, with its profusion of mouldings and worked cornices guiding the glance towards the chapel of the apse of the high altar and its opulent mural frescos appearing the scenes of the life of the St Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus.

These frescos in trompe-l’oeil, very representative of the pictorial style Jesuit, are the work of Gaetano Garcia, painter sicilian baroque of Spanish origin, which painted them between 1735 and 1737, according to drawings of Andrea Pozzo.

The chapel represents St Ignatius Loyola in celestial glory, in the middle of clouds and mixed cherubs. In the lower part there are three frescos:

  • the central table shows Saint Ignace, holding the book of the constitutions of the Society of Jesus, surrounded by four women - allegories of the four continents where the Jesuits worked at the 18th century (Australia is thus excluded);
  • the table of left: Saint Ignace sending holy François-Xavier to the missions;
  • the table of right-hand side: Saint accessible Ignace in the Company Saint Francis-Borgia.
Chorus of the church Saint-Ignace. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).Chorus of the church Saint-Ignace. Click to enlarge the image.Chorus of the church Saint-Ignace. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).
Nave. Click to enlarge the image.Stained glass. Click to enlarge the image.
The church has four collateral furnace bridges. The first former one on the left represents the death of saint François Xavier on the island of Sancian. The subject of the table on the former collateral furnace bridge on the right is also a happy death, that of saint Joseph. In the tables of the posterior furnace bridges one sees the presentation of the Small Marie to the temple (on the right) and the saint Augustin (on the left).

Other paintings representing the figures of the young saints Stanislas and Jean Berchmans, as well as decorations of the church, were carried out in the period 1894 to 1895 by the brother Antonio Moscheni, S.J., and its assistant.

The church preserves one of the most invaluable collections of liturgical silver objects of style Roman baroque.

The Venetian painter Bartolomeo Litterini (1669 - 1748) is the author of the three retables of the church: saint Augustin, appearance of Marie to the Temple and the death of saint Joseph.

Nave of the church Saint-Ignace. Click to enlarge the image.Nave of the church Saint-Ignace. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).Nave of the church Saint-Ignace. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).
Nave of the church Saint-Ignace. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).Nave of the church Saint-Ignace. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).Nave of the church Saint-Ignace. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).
Nave of the church Saint-Ignace. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).Nave of the church Saint-Ignace. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).
Cave of Our Lady of Doors. Click to enlarge the image.With the right-hand side of the main entrance of the church, the chapel contains a Presentation of Marie child to the Temple (a rather rare topic) and a cave of Notre Dame de Lourdes, one of the first caves in Europe built inside a church, in 1885. The first manufacturer was the brother Fulgenzio Malagoli, but the current form is the work of the Croatian sculptor Lojzika Ulman. This chapel recalls that the worship of the Virgin is essential for the Jesuits.

The church Saint-Ignace also contains the tombs of several bishops of Dubrovnik: Mgr. Antonio Giurice († 1842), Mgr. Tomasso Jederlinich († 1855), Mgr. Matija Vodopić († 1893).

The College of the Jesuits
The College of the Jesuits, Collegium Ragusinum. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).On the Boskovitch Place, on the left of the church Saint-Ignace, the large building of the famous college of the Jesuits is, prestigious establishment which attended, like pupils, great minds of the Republic of Raguse.

The Jesuits could not establish a college with Raguse (Collegium Ragusinum) only in 1658, nearly one century after the arrival in 1560 of the first Jesuit with Raguse, the Father Nicolás Bobadilla, S.J., one of the first companions of saint Ignace. The construction of the college, according to the plans of the Jesuits Ranjina and Canauli, started in 1662, but was delayed by the earthquake of 1667.

The main entrance presents a low-relief having an inscription of 1481.

The authorities of the Republic of Raguse, conscious of the need for educating youth in the era of general economic crisis that the city met after the catastrophic earthquake of 1667 and the difficult political circumstances which prevailed with the course the following decades, entrusted this education to the Jesuits, recognizing the excellence of their teaching.

Following the abolition about the Jesuits in 1773, the College became the property of the diocese of Raguse which entrusted the education of youth to priests ragusains. Later, teaching was taken again by the Piaristes Fathers (in Italian, Scolopi) who ensured this service until 1868. At the time of the arrival of the French Armies, in 1806, followed by the Austrian armies in 1814, the building of the College was transformed into military hospital. This situation remained unchanged until 1940, when the building was given to the diocese of Dubrovnik which transferred the seminar to it. Nowadays, the traditional high school “Ruđer Bošković” is installed in the buildings of the College.

The Staircase of the Jesuits (Scalinata)
This impressive staircase led to the square of the church Saint-Ignace since the place of the Market, by borrowing the street Close the Jesuits.

The “Scalinata” is a staircase of style baroque, with the successive flights of steps in arc of a circle, designed in 1738 by the Roman architect Pietro Passalacqua of Messine. Work is a reminiscence of the famous staircases going up to the church Trinità LED Monti since the Piazza di Spagna in Rome.

Scalinata, the staircase of the Jesuits. Click to enlarge the image.Scalinata, the staircase of the Jesuits. Click to enlarge the image.Scalinata, the staircase of the Jesuits. Click to enlarge the image.
The Convent Saint Catherine (Samostan Svete Katarine)
The Music school is lodged in the old convent Saint Catherine.

The foundations and the crypt of the church of Saint Peter-the-Large, the first cathedral of Raguse, were discovered under this church.

The Street of Marguerite (Ulica Od Margarite)
Street of Holy Marguerite. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).Garden behind the ramparts. Click to enlarge the image.

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