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The parochial church of Sta. Mary

A parochial church of St. Mary from 1498. (former new cathedral) is situated on the main square. It is one of the most beautiful renaissance monuments in our country. The cathedral has three naves, a trifoil front and early-Renaissance portal with a statue of Mother of God in the lunette, which is ascribed to Juraj Dalmatinac. It is oriented in the direction north - south, instead of traditional direction from west to east, probably because it was interpolated within already built tissue of antique and mediaeval town.

The sanctuary of the cathedral was from the original rectangular ground-plan reconstructed in the 18th ct. by elevating and extending it into a polygonal shape with a structured ceiling which was altered in 1936., and after the bombing in 1944. and 1945. the church was preserved, the new ceiling, floor, etc. were constructed (the works were finished in 1965.).

Altars and paintings from the 16th/18th ct. can also be found in the cathedral. Paintings and altars follow one after the other. The main Baroque altar is from the 18th ct., with a painting of Mary's Assumption with donators and patron saints among which St. Gaudencius holds a model of the town in his hands, a work of Andrio Vicentino (from the second half of the 16th ct.). Among the works of Venetian painters from 16th-18th ct. "Our Lady of Rosary" stands out, a work of Baldissero d' Anna. On the walls of the sanctuary there are 4 paintings on the board with figures of St. Peter, Paul, Nicholas and Bernardine, probably from the 16th ct. On the adjoining altars the paintings of St. Roko and Mary's Annunciation are very damaged, and they are attributed to Palma Junior. From the same period is the painting from the altar of St. Rosary.

In the vestry of the cathedral there is a sacral museum collection: golden and silver liturgical appliances from the 14th/18th ct., illuminated codexes from the 15th ct. are kept in the capitular archive, also a wooden Gothic plastic art of Christ's crucifixion in the tomb, Our Lady of angels, Baroque plastic art, old vault of St. Gaudencius in a very damaged state, the main holy object of Osor (traditionally it was drifted by the sea).

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The parochial church of Sta. Mary (cathedral) - details

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The bell-tower belonging to the parochial church (cathedral)

The bell-tower of the cathedral, on the eastern side, is a work of a master from Krk - Jakov Galeta, dating from 1575. The bell-tower is reconstructed in the 18th ct., in 1901. it is elevated on the height which is preserved also today.

The treasury holds a wooden Gothic sculpture from the 15th ct., golden and silver liturgical appliances and garments from the period from the 14th to the 18th ct., and in the capitular archive there are illuminated codexes from the 15th ct.


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Chapel of St Gaudiencius

It is a Gothic one-nave building from the 14th ct., with a pointed barrel-shaped vaulting in the sanctuary, a ceiling in the nave, Gothic motifs on the portal and with a bell-tower in the shape of the distaff. The sanctuary was painted with Gothic wall paintings from the 15th ct. The portal was later reconstructed and its gable decorated with a distaff-shaped bell-tower. There is also a wooden sculpture of St. Gaudencius from the 15th ct., a late-Baroque altar with marble incrustations from the 19th ct. and altar painting from the same period. On the northern side of the sanctuary in the wall, from the outside, there is a built in fragment with fantastic animals which intertwine with wine motif, while on the nave itself, also on the northern outer side there are fragments of intertwining ornaments.


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The bishop's palace

Bishop's palace was built during the Gothic period, by the end of the 15th ct., under the conduct of Venetian architect Giovanni da Bergamo, by order of bishop Marko Nigris. The ground-plan of the building is in the shape of the letter U. The façade towards the main square was decorated with Gothic windows of which the trefoil ends are lost and the rest is preserved. Towards the chapel of St. Gaudencius the palace is separated with a high wall which closes two yards.

Collections of stone fragments once occupied these yards, which belonged to buildings from various periods of the construction of Osor and of neighbouring places. In the upper yard there is a preserved water-well ornamented with wine motif, dating from the 16th ct. and a sepulchral slab with the image of a Franciscan friar, a Gothic work. A private bishop's chapel was also in the bishop's palace, for which Zucat Armini painted a polyptych with Our Lady and the saints in 1570.


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The townhall

The townhall is a building of a rectangular shape, dating from the first half of the 15th ct. It is a one-storeyed building with a deep porch and a big emphasized semi-circular arch in the ground-floor, which had a function of town's lodge, while on the first floor there was Osor's patricians' meeting-hall. A miniature bell-tower with a bell stands in the middle of the front.

The lapidary is situated on the ground-floor, containing antique fragments and a valuable and interesting collection of mediaeval intertwining ornaments. The Museum is situated on the first floor, with an archaeological collection of prehistoric, antique and mediaeval finds and scale-models of historical Osor.

CHURCH OF ST. MARY- the first cathedral of Osor

(at the cemetery)

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The church of Sta. Mary
at the cemetery

The diocese developed in antique urban environment, according to historical sources, in the 6th ct. Archaeological finds in present-day cemetery around St. Mary's chapel (it was built above older antique layer), have evidenced a complex of original early-Christian cathedral from the same century.

Archaeological excavations below the church and on the whole cemetery show that there was also a prehistoric place for worship situated on the same area. In the period from the 5th till the 6th ct. from the time of organized Christian community the whole area below today's cemetery was occupied by the cathedral, baptistery, bishop's palace and other ecclesiastical buildings.

Church of St. Mary has one nave, it was a part of former early-Christian double basilica with a baptistery on the northern side and with preserved remains of earlier sanctuaries. A remnant of antique floor mosaic and fragments of intertwining ornaments are visible in the church, and in the sanctuary itself there is a remnant of bishop's throne, considerably remodelled by the beginning of the 20th ct.


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The ruins of the Benedictine abbey with the church of St. Peter

Near to the entrance to Osor there are the ruins of Benedictine abbey with the church of St. Peter from the 11th ct., the greatest Romanesque monument of Osor. The church was in its original conception a three-nave Romanesque basilica, which was in the 16th ct. remodelled into a one-nave church. By the northern wall of the church there is an addition to the building with a late-Romanesque vaulted annexe which served as a vestry. To this abbey belonged the evangelistary of Osor, hand-written illuminated codex written in Osor in 1070., today in the library in Vatican.


Under the northern walls of the town of Osor there is a protected cove and a natural harbour called Bijar (or Vier). According to the legend, the first church in Viar was built by order of St. Gaudencius, the bishop of Osor, in 1005. The monastery of Franciscan Tertiary friars who were saying mass from Glagolitic missal was founded in the second half of the 15th ct., when the ancestor of an extinct family Romeis donated the church of St. Mary with a neighbouring house, some land and a garden to friar Mateja Bošnjak, a refugee before Turkish pushes. The monastery was abandoned in 1841., and it is in ruins today.

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Bijar - Church of Sta. Mary and the monastery

The church of St. Mary (from 1414) is a one-nave building, vaulted with a pointed Gothic vault and with a distaff-shaped bell-tower. In the course of years the friars gradually enlarged the church and built annexes to the donated house. An inscription engraved in Glagolitic letters above the lintel of the western door and to the left of the church portal tells about one of these construction works from the 1633. Glagolitic inscription on the distaff mentions that it was renovated in 1732. The friars have left Bijar in 1841. and after that follows the dilapidation of the monastery and subsequently of the church.


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The church of Mother of God of Loza

On the territory of the parish of Osor, about 5 km away from Osor, there is a secluded church of Mother of God of Loza, a Gothic church reconstructed in baroque style with trefoil front on the model of the cathedral of Osor. The oldest part of the church is its entrance wing from the 15th ct. Originally the church was a small chapel, vaulted with a Gothic vaulting. In time, due to greater congregation in the baroque period it was enlarged, obtaining a circular ground-plan. In the church, on the wall behind the altar, there is a painting of Visitation from 1877.

Position History Significant Buildings The Town of Mali Lošinj

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