Church of Sigurata at Prijeko at Dubrovnik
Church of Transiguration of Christ
A small church of Sigurata at Prijeko was mentioned in the written papers at the end of the 12 century. By the original name of the church of Tranfiguration of Christ was known as an explicit example of Dubrovnik’s Pre-Romanesque style of constructing. After bombarding of the church in the Domestic war in 1991 year, archeological and conservator researches filled up cognitions about Pre-Romanesque stage of building then about later partitionongs and outbuildings.
Researches proved that on that place the church existed considerably earlier. It was established two older phases of construction, the first directs to boundary of the late antique and the early Middle Ages (6-8 c.), the second, to the early Middle Ages before 11 c. To its triple naves with small cupola in the central field from 11 c., after the great earthquake in 1667 year it had been added two asisles. In the explored and restorated church (1995), during its restauration it was made efforts to show the more original elements of the structure of the Middle Ages church, with the restorated wall’s surfaces, with differences of the constracting technique and forms from 11 and 17 c. Entireness of the church with stone yard of the convent of the Franciscan sisters, then warthy exibited articles that are in the convent’s museum, it is exceptional and layered value of the builders historic layers in the cultural landscape of Dubrovnik.
A Guide Through The Collection
We are now at Sigurata convent of the Franciscan sisters of the Third Order, or "the nuns of Sigurata" as they are called by the citizens of Dubrovnik. The name Sigurata is derived from the Latin word Transfiguratio which means "transfiguration" and the Convent has been named after the nearby Church of the Christs Transfiguration, built in 11th and extended in 17th century. The Nuns of the Franciscan Order came to live near the Church in 13th century. The first written documents mentioning this Order date back to 1st April 1281. The Nuns took care of the chruch supporting themselves by their own work-by needlework, such as lace and embriodery, they weaved, made cakes for family feasts, made rosaries and sold various objects for private worship. As only the poor girls entered this convent, they were rather hard up, so that all things were kept in use for a long period of time. The objects that can be seen here were still in use not so long ago although some of them are vjery old. Further use would have caused serious damage, so we decided to keep them here for future generations to see.
This room contains objects for everydax use, various utensils and tools. Here are devices for preparation of the Host from the 17th and 19th century, a printing press from 19th century, various vessels for liquids such as wine, oil and water, and other objects like a mortar with a pestle for crushing coffee, coffee-mills, mixers, spirit-cookers and irons. Than there are tools for combing, spinning and weaving wool. These two looms date back to 18th century the smaller one was used to weave ribbons and waist-bands, and the larger one for cloth. Here you can see an improved single-hook with all its accessories: chains for kettles (komo?tra), cauldrons and kettles, large and small pots, pans and pannikins, moulds for cakes (a famous Dubrovnik "kontonjata") and other household utensils.
In this dresser you can find the same things as in any kitchen cupboard today, china-ware from all over the world- from China to England, and silver cutlery.
The second dresser contains glass-ware and some other smaller household utensils, as well as rosaries worn by the nuns at the waist.
This is the picture of Saint Blaise from the beginning of the 19th century. This picture has found its place here because St. Blaise is the patron saint of Dubrovnik and of carders, wool combers, and here you can see a carding comb-such one was used to torture Saint Blaise. Down there is a hand made balance from the 18th century. (The balance is a symbol of justice-justice and freedom were the fundamental principles on which the Republic of Dubrovnik was based.)
This room contains objects used at church, ranging from those used at liturgical ceremonies to those used for private worship. This cabinet has at display liturgical object: chalices (communion cups), ciborium, a censer, patens, all manufactured by the craftsmen of Dubrovnik in 18th century. This monstrance has an engraving saying that it was manufactured and donated by the craft-guild of the goldsmiths of Dubrovnik in 1744.
Over there you can see the upper part of a clock tower from 18th century, two oil-lamps, so called "Venetians" also from 18th century two vases and two candelabra from 19th century.
On the right there is a number of crosses from 18th and 19th century, once used in the church and in sisters rooms.
Here you can see two wax models of the Child Jesus, so called Bambino, which in the past could be found at any home in Dubrovnik. At Christmas time they were put at the place in the house where they could be paid special honour, and ornamented with jewelry and candles, as it is done with the Christmas tree today, a custom imported from the North. Here you can also see three small statues: St. Tereza the Great, St. Ann with small Mary and St. Aloisius Conzaga.
Down there is a display of lace patterns made by the nuns. These were, the samples for sales-orders.
On the wall you can see two frames of relics worn on, the necklace, and several coral necklaces donated to the church as votive offerings.
This chest contains church robes, like those used at the mass as well as capes from the 18th and 19th century, made by the nuns in their workshop.
Here you can see a stone "pilo", a water storage and stone basin for washing hands, with a copper jug (rornjenč) which used to hang here in the past too. Above, on the stone mouldings, there is a number of English jugs from the second half of 19th century, (lister ceramics) and vases from the end of 19th and beginning of 20lh century.
These are two music boxes with porcelain statues of the Holy Family.
This cross has engravings of the Christ's Passion, it is used for leading the Way of the Cross, and these are two rattles that were used instead of the bell on Good Friday.
The exhibits of this room are mostly pictures originating from 15th to 19th century, the works of the Veneto-Cretan, Italian and Dubrovnik painters.
The oldest and the most valuable objects kept in this museum hang on this wall.
First you see a processional Crucifix made of gilded copperplate on wood, the work of local craftsmen from 14th century (unfortunately only one side has been preserved) than, there is this embroidery, a part of a clergyman's robe worn at the mass, made after the works of the Venetian painter Niccolo di Pietro in 1420 - than the painting of a ship in storm, distemper on wood, a votive offering made by Franjo Matkov, a painter from Dubrovnik in 1540. (This is the oldest preserved painting of a Dubrovnik - owned ship).
Than there are four pictures painted in Veneto-Cretan technics. The first is this Crucifix made by Franjo Matkov (the author of the ship), painted in 1540, here you can see two pictures painted by a Veneto-Cretan painter in 16th century; The Magi Paying Homage to Jesus and Annunciation, and this is a small icon of the Blessed Virgin Maty with St. Francis and St. Antonius, from 17th century.
Next some the paintings from the late Rennaissance: the small picture of the Lady of Rozary, made in oil on wood in 17th century, a manneristic picture of St. Luca and Virgin Mary with the Child from the end of 17lh century. This is the picture of St. Vincent of Ferrara from the middle of 18th century.
The author of these two pictures is a painter from 18th century, one shows the Holy Family, the other the Death of St. Joseph.
Here is a monumentally painted Crucifix, the work of a skilled painter from the 18th century. (Unfortunately, it has been blackened with the smoke of candles but it will soon be restored and than its unusual beauty will return). The last one is the Apocalyptic Christ, also from the 18th century.
On this wall you can see a number of oils from 18th century, painted mostly by native painters, some more, some less skilled.
First there is a small picture made in oil on copper showing St Francis of Paula, than St Margaret the Martyr; this work of a naive author shows St Magdalena in the desert; than the lady of Carmel, a eork of a not so skilled author.
Here is the Christ carrying the Crucifix with St John the Baptist and St Lucia (The Crucifix is usually painted with St Mary and Apostle John, Here we see two other saints because they were the patron saints of the Dubrovnik craft-guild of blacksmiths who used to attend service in this church. St John because he was chained in prison and St Lucia because she was considered the protector of the eyes of the blacksmiths were in constant danger – at that time there were no protective glasses.)
Here you can see a signed and dated picture: the Holy Trinity crowning the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Heaven, painted by Carmello Reggio Romano in 1700, and finally the picture of Transfiguration, the symbol of the church, made in 18th century after the famous painting by Rafael.
Next to the window there is a row of brozen tripod candle-sticks from 16 and 17 c.
Here there are a few crosses and this crucifix from 18 c., then painting which showes holy mass of St George Pope from 19 c.
There are some worthy paintings and liturgic things in the chaple upstairs.
By this, our walk through the history of Sigurata has been finished.
Thank you for coming.