The Last Master-piece

architect Stjepan Planić
project The restoration of the Nun's Gallery in St. Mary's Church, Zadar, Croatia
written by Joško Belamarić


A bit before I got employed in the National Trust Institute in Split in 1979, I went to Rome to attend specialist training (in the field of musicology!) and there, on one occasion I met an R.A.F. pilot, who, over a glass of wine, told me that the pilots bet beer on who would be more precise in bombing the crossings of the streets of Zadar. Their orthogonal grid made the place look like a board for the children’s game of submarines. A few months later, my mentor Davor Domančić took me to Zadar, as a trainee, to the meeting of the most competent Croatian conservationists and they discussed the completion of the renovation of St. Mary’s Church, to be more precise, they were talking about the reconstruction of the choir, high on the church front wall. St. Mary’s was almost completely destroyed during the bombing of Zadar in 1943-44.