Thursday, August 26, 2010

The church from my past - Pula, Croatia (PVDP on Vacation)

The saying goes that you can't go back home again, but one can certainly visit them and remember the past. This was the view I saw during summers all through the '60s that I spent in Pula with my grandmother and aunt. I remember running outside and saying that I'll be playing by the church ("bicu kod crkve"). From this view, Mariner's church ("Mornaricka crkva") is the same. But when I was a kid during SFRJ (Socialisticka Federativna Republika Jugoslavia), the church was not in use. As kids, we'd manage to sneak in thru some temporary opening and look at the dusty benches, the remainders of an altar and then to frighten the resident pigeons. But throughtout the years, the bells always rang at 6 pm.

Now, Church of Our Lady of the Sea is fully and beautifully restored. "Very interesting and picturesque is the navy Church of Our Lady of the Sea (1891-1898) located on the hill of St. Polycarp. It was started by the architect Von Schmidtand continued by Victor Lunz. But it was Natale Tommasi, a builder from Trident, who did the greatest part of the work, particularly as regards the appearance and decoration.The church is three-nave basilica, it has plan of a Latin cross with a semi-circular apse, and it was built in mixed neo-Romanesque and neo-Byzantine styles." (Ref. virtualtourist.com) The above photo shows the exquisite interior chapel on the right, and one of the lion's with a reptilian tail which flanks the enterance on the left. I checked for a hidden treasure I may of left 40 years ago in the pocket formed by the tail, and even though the objects were not there, I knew the treasure was.

9 comments:

Naturedigital said...

A beautiful church well preserved.
Costas

Wanda said...

What a beautiful House of Worship. Would love to visit there.

TheChieftess said...

How beautiful...so glad it didn't go to ruin during the Socialistic Republic...such an interesting personal history you Tash!!!

Bibi said...

It's interesting that you say that the church fell into abandon during the socialist years. Here they didn't, but on the other hand many more are now being built. During those years, people often hesitated to have their children baptized in churches or even celebrate slavas. The churches were there and were kept up, but fewer people went. But that's back!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I would have loved to see this church when it was in mothballs. Amazing that it was neglect and not vandalism. All of it is so fascinating.

What is that strange structure in the background in the first photo?

Tash said...

PA - I think a lot of the church interior was carted off and vandalized too. I know the kids used to throw rocks at the mosaics on the outside, hoping to get a few gilded squares. The mosaics have all been restored and are just gorgeous - photos to follow.
Good eye re the funky structure in the back - it's a crane for Uljanik (a ship building) that stretches along this section of the coast (more sounds from my childhood - the clanging of the ship building)...they had a Chinese ship in work at the moment - glad to see that China is utilizing the local expertise and importing something!

Tash said...

Bibi - I used to attend church service with my mom in Tuzla's Orthodox church for Uskrs and Bozic, but it was a novelty with me. Mostly only the old granny's went to church. My aunt in Pula, as a teacher, who was also very religious, went to church only in other towns so that it would not get back to the authorities and get on her record. Definitely a change for the better now.

spacedlaw said...

This church looks very familiar, of course (given the shared heritage of Croatia and Italy).

Petrea said...

Wonderful remembrances, Tash, and I love the photos, too. I'm enjoying your vacation photos!