Saint Domnius Bell Tower in Split to be Restored after 110 Years

By 8 February 2019

One of the symbols of Split, the Saint Domnius bell tower, known to locals as Sveti Duje, will be restored. But what is so exciting about this project is that it is the first time the bell tower will be restored in 110 years, reports Dalmacija Danas and Slobodna Dalmacija on February 8, 2019. 

Nevertheless, one of the greatest city attractions, the view from the top of the bell tower, will still be open to eager visitors. But there is one catch - while visitors will still be able to enjoy the magnificent views from the tower, the restoration will last for three years, meaning an alternative way to walk to the top will be designed. 

This start of reconstruction, says the main conservationist in Split, Radoslav Bužančić, is logical after completing the interior design of the cathedral. The project is funded by the Split-Makarska Archdiocese, Kaptol and Mother Parish, as just the preparatory works are estimated at one million kuna. 

The last time the Saint Domnius bell tower was restored was 110 years ago, the conservation works lasted for 23 years. 

The bell tower of Saint Domnius is considered to be the most original on the Adriatic coast. Its construction began in the 13th century and lasted until the middle of the 16th century, which is reflected in its Romanesque and Gothic style.

It was thoroughly and radically restored from 1890 to 1908 when numerous stone figures were removed, and the last floor was stylishly aligned with the rest of the tower.

This time, the twirling stairs to the top of the bell tower will be changed, as they were set in 1908 when the Austro-Hungarian reconstruction was completed. 

Radoslav Bužancic, when asked whether three years is enough time to change the stairs in the bell tower, replied:

“The coincidence is that at the same time as the bell tower of St. Duje, the restoration of another world landmark, the Big Ben Tower, a symbol of London, will continue until 2025.”

As is already known, the heritage in Split needs to be taken care of regularly, and changing the decrepit staircase is primarily due to the safety of visitors. 

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