Examine the artwork of this humble church. Its stark exterior and orange steeple provide a simple foreground to the rambling Biokovo mountain range.
Visit St. Mark’s Church (Crkva Sv. Marka) to appreciate the contrast of its simple exterior and elaborate interior decorations. St. Mark’s Church is a co-cathedral and the main church of the seaside town of Makarska. Construction began in 1700 and building work continued for several years but the structure was never entirely completed. Until 1828, the church had its own bishops, who were responsible for collating its impressive artwork.
The church’s façade features an austere Baroque design. A staircase leads to the main entrance, above which are two mullioned windows and a rose window. Look to the rear where a clock tower and belfry rises to a terracotta pyramid-shaped spire. Notice how the church creates an interesting forefront to the rugged peaks of the Biokovo mountains.
Just inside the entrance is a reliquary that stores the bones of the town’s patron saint, St. Clement. See altars dedicated to the Virgin Mary and Our Lady of the Rosary. Another altar has huge wooden statues, which honor Calvary, the site of the Crucifixion. See works by Austrian, Croatian and Venetian painters. One of the church’s paintings, which depicts the Virgin Mary and Jesus, is thought to be by a Byzantine artist.
Find the church on the north side of Makarska’s main square. In the center of the square is a statue dedicated to a celebrated Franciscan friar and author named Andrija Kačić Miošić. There’s also a Venetian fountain built in 1775.
A 5-minute walk west from the church is Makarska’s elegant seafront promenade. Enjoy views of the Adriatic Sea, Venetian mansions and mountain peaks. Spot colorful sailboats at the marina and watch passersby from a café terrace. At the southern end of the promenade is Park šuma Osejava, where hiking trails cut through forests and lead to beaches and viewpoints.
St. Mark’s Church is open daily and admission is free. Remember to dress appropriately and be respectful of worshippers when visiting. Photography is allowed inside the church.