In times gone by, builders often recycled materials from previous structures in their own projects. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the Church of St Donat in Zadar, Croatia.
The round Church of St Donat in Zadar
St Donat (which coincidentally is circular, like a donut) was built in the 9th Century by the Byzantines. It was constructed on, and to a large extent out of, the earlier Roman Forum, which predates it by around 1000 years.
Part of the Roman Forum
A Roma column, which was reused as a Pillar of Shame in the Middle Ages
The church rests directly on the paving stones of the Roman Forum.
St Donat resting on the paving of the Roman Forum
Pieces of Roman columns used as part of the church’s foundation
The massive entrance to the church
Upright Roman columns inside the Byzantine church
360 image of the main floor of St Donat
More Roman columns and other stonework used inside St Donat
Reused Roman inscription tablets
A similar intact tablet on display in the Forum outside St Donat
Another Roman tablet, this time used as a bench, just inside the door of St Donat
Running around the entire church is a balcony, which was once the Women’s Gallery.
Women’s Gallery viewed from the main floor
Steps up to the Women’s Gallery
The Women’s Gallery
More recycled Roman columns in the Women’s Gallery
Looking down from the Women’s Gallery, it’s easy to see how St Donat rests on the original paving of the Roman Forum
Sue demonstrating how the Women’s Gallery worked 🙂
Although the entire interior of the church is now painted cream, complimenting the stone from which it is constructed, the walls were probably originally decorated with colourful frescos.
I was surprised to discover that St Donat hasn’t been used as a church for over 200 years, since 1797, although it still hosts music performances to this day.
Looking down on the Forum from St Donat
The bell tower of St Mary, across the Forum
Window honouring R2D2?
Our last view of St Donat as we head out to sea
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This post was inspired by this photo themes of Cream from Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack? and All One Color from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.