Culture and arts of Cres

The landscape of Cres is a perfect setting for cultural heritage – city walls, old stone gate, numerous paintings, distyles and trefoils.
In the very centre most of the houses are one-storey or two-storied buildings while in the harbour public buildings were built such as the Duke’s Palace, Loggia, arsenal, numerous patrician palaces and the so called fondaco where corn was kept.

cres, grad cres, town cres,samostan cres

The Franciscan monastery Cres

The Franciscan monastery complex is located just off the historical centre. As usual with monasteries, its original location was outside the city walls, but as the city grew the monastery complex became part of the city centre. The complex comprises several buildings: Saint Francis of Assisi’s church with an adjacent bell tower, two cloisters, dormitories, a refectory, and gardens with an olive grove. In the past, the monastic territory went all the way down to the sea shore.

beli cres, supovi cres, island cres

City gate Cres

Cres used to be enclosed by a fortification system comprising defensive walls and five towers. Most of the system was deconstructed in the late 19th century, and the rest after World War Two. What remains of the fortification system are a round tower on top of the hill next to the historical centre, a few fragments of the city walls, and three city gates: two in the promenade and one under the clock tower.

valun cres, island cres

The Arsan palace Cres

The Arsan palace, the oldest patrician palace in Cres, was constructed in the place of a former arsan (It. aresenale, shipyard), which is how it got its name “Arsan”. At present it is home to the Cres City Museum. A bronze sculpture of Frane Petrić by Marija Ujević-Galetović stands in front of the museum. The Renaissance scholar Frane Petrić was born in Cres, but his family branch was connected to the nearby Moise palace. The Arsan palace, however, was commissioned by his relative from a different branch of the Petris family, bishop Antonio Marcello de Petris.

kula cres, tower bres

The tower of Cres

On the hill just outside the historical centre stands the last of the five towers that were once part of the fortification system constructed to defend the city of Cres.

creska loža, loža cres, loza cres

The town loggia Cres

The relocation of the seat of the local government from Osor to Cres brought about the need for the construction of new municipal buildings – in the first place, a bigger town loggia which was essential for trials and City Council sessions, but also as a space for the marketplace.

palaca moise cres

The Moise palace Cres

The monumental building in the middle of the historical centre was built during the first years of the 16th century, occupying the best position in town, where the main artery of the town centre is intersected by one of the busiest minor streets. The building dominates the south part of the historical centre, standing out among the modest two- and three-storey houses facing the intimate common courtyards and narrow, winding streets.

frane petric cres

Frane Pertić

Franciscus Patricius (1529-1597) was born in Cres on 25 April, 1529, into the most influential branch of the Petris family. He spent the first decade of his life in Cres, after which his uncle Gian Giorgio Petris (Cro. Ivan Juraj Petris) brought him along to the galley under his command to fight the Turks together. After a few years spent onboard the galley, Frane Petrić went on to gain an education in Venice, Ingolstadt, and Padova. His early education was under the patronage of Matija Vlačić Ilirik, his relative and a prominent Lutheran reformer.

crkva svete marije velike cres

The church od saint Mary the great

The main church in Cres was finished during the final years of the 15th century. The basilica and its 22-metre bell tower are located inside the intricate array of narrow streets of the historical centre, just through the port city gate. Masses and liturgical services play a significant role in the city dynamics, especially on main Christian festivals and holy days. The church choir has about forty members and it is one of the best in the region.

crkva svetog izidora cres

The church of saint Izidor Cres

The oldest fully functional church in Cres, built in the 13th century and dedicated to Saint Isidore, patron saint of Cres, whose day is celebrated on 2 January. In Cres, Saint Isidore is referred to as Saint “Sidar”, a Greek form of the name, which testifies to a colourful mix of cultural influences in coastal cities. The church is home to a large 15th-century wooden sculpture of Saint Isidore carved out of laurel wood, whose height is no less than 220 cm.

lazaret gradska knjižnica cres

Lazaretto - public library of Cres

Every medieval city had to have a lazaretto, a quarantine station for pilgrims and the sick. The term lazaretto comes from Lazarus the beggar from the Gospel of Luke, and the term quarantine is derived from the Italian word quaranta, meaning forty (the number of days travellers had to spend in isolation before being allowed entrance to a city).