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. The choir sings on Sundays and the more significant holy days. Choir members stand on a balcony, next to the recently restored organ built in 1829 by Antonio Callido, son of the famous organ builder Gaetano Callido and heir to his father's organ building practice. The church is commonly known as the church of st Mary of the Snows, due to its patronal feast day which is celebrated on 5 August, in accordance with the legend of Our Lady of the Snows. The legend is the subject of the main altarpiece. The original altarpiece painted by Andrea Vicentino was destroyed in the great fire of 1826; however, the restored interior and artwork are identical to the originals.
During the relocation of the local government from Osor to Cres it became essential to focus on the construction of a new, bigger main church, since the size of the previous main church – the church of Saint Isidore – could not meet the needs of the new seat of the archipelago. Although the construction of an identical church in Osor had been already under way, due to the urgency of the matter the main church in Cres was finished a few years before the one in Osor, which was finished in 1498. The two churches share a number of similarities: their dimensions are identical and their portals are similar. They are both basilicas and share a similar interior structure.
The Renaissance portal is decorated with pilasters topped by sculptures representing the archangel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary in the Annunciation scene. The relief in the lunette above the portal represents the Madonna and Child.
A wooden pietà, the work of an unknown author from the beginning of the 15th century, stands at the side altar of Saints Peter and Paul. The wooden sculpture predates the church itself and it remained unscathed in the great fire of 1826. The wood has remained perfectly preserved due to the layers of paint, the relatively constant conditions inside the church, and the smoke of all the candles that have been burned in this space for centuries.

crkva sevete marije cres
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The church od saint Mary the great

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Lazaretto - public library of Cres