From UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the Cathedral of St. James in Sibenik and the Episcopal Basilica in Porec to centuries-old Marian sites near Zagreb and Rijeka, Croatia is a country that boasts a number of intriguing places to faith-based travelers.
Ina Rodin, director North America for the Croatian National Tourist Office says these important religious sites are spread across the country, but still easy to reach. “Croatia is great group destination because everything is nearby. Most destinations are only a few hours apart.”
The Catholic faith has a long history in Croatia, and one of the most picturesque Franciscan monasteries is on the island of Visovac, just north of Split. The grounds include a chapel, a museum and a flowering garden that is attended to by the small group of resident monks.
Croatia’s largest Marian site—in Marija Bistrica—is known for its statue of the Black Madonna and the Stations of the Cross path, which includes works by famous Croatian sculptors. Pope John Paul II visited the peaceful village, located just north of Zagreb, in 1998 and conducted a mass.
Back in the country’s capital city, the Zagreb Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the tallest building in Croatia. In addition to twin spires that stretch to 354 feet (108 meters), the basilica features outstanding examples of Neo-Gothic architecture.
Two popular pilgrimage sites are the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Trsat in coastal Rijeka (click here to read more about the city) and a Marian shrine dating from 1704 in the eastern Croatian town of Aljimas.
Top photo: Visovac Monastery
Photo by ©Dario Bajurin/Adobe Stock
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