Church of St.Blaise
Church of St.Blaise

The baroque church of St.Blaise, the patron saint of Dubrovnik, was built on the location of the older church burnt down in 1706 fire.

It was built by a Venetian master Marino Gropelli from 1706 till 1715 and is a highly valued cultural monument in the heart of the historic centre of Dubrovnik.

The church was damaged in the earthquake in 1979 and in the war 1991/92 numerous direct shells damaged the stone decoration, sculptures on the facades and the capitals above pilasters. Due to damages of stone canals and cornices there was leaking of massive outside walls. Ceiling and vaults inside the church were damaged, many iron cramps in the walls corroded and expanded. It caused parts of stone fragments to fall out of the structure, primarily cornices on the facade and in the interior. Vertical cracks on the eastern, western and northern facades proved the damages of the church's constructive system.

The repair works on the church are very complex and double up in certain phases. First visible war damages on the balustrade, staircase and decorative ornament 'festoon' on the lower part of the main facade were restored in 1993 and 1994 by grants.

In the period from 1997 to 2006 through the restoration programme of the Institute for Restoration the local damages were continually repaired on the external and internal walls, two sculptures representing Faith and Hope and the statue of St.Blaise placed on the top of the northern facade were restored. Corner stone cornices on the northern facade were repaired, too. Due to their decay the repair works on damaged external and internal stone cornices are continued. With repairs of local damages the consolidation of walls was executed. Parallel to that the preparatory activities for entire constructive renovation were done. During the works the archaeological researches were undertaken and they discovered completely preserved foundations of the previous church below the present church's outline. Soil mechanic researches were also executed to find out the quality of the basic soil around the church. All necessary professional and project documentation is being elaborated for each step of these works.

During 2007/08 the technical documentation was done for the constructive renewal of the church: the analysis of the existing structure's stability, preliminary, main and implemental renewal projects, building permit for executing the works was received. In the same year the Survey of renewal and conservation and restoration works on stone fragments was performed. In 2008 the Survey of conservation and restoration works of the church's inventory was completed.

During 2008/09 the renovation works were performed as well as conservation and restoration of the richly decorated northern facade. It was installed the combined protection from birds (mechanical + low-voltage distributor) which significantly contributed to the decay of stone ornaments and sculptures. The continuation of works on constructive renovation of the church in the roof level and the dome will start in the second half of 2009 and they will be performed successively to ensured finances as well as the other conservation and restoration activities on the church. The Association of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiquities is involved in financing the renovation and conservation/restoration works on facades consistently to the annual renovation plans.