CROATIAN SHRINES

Day 1. Dubrovnik

Afternoon tour of the city.
Encircled by walls and fortresses, the historic city of Dubrovnik is a well preserved architectural and cultural masterpiece. A walking tour will take you to the Rector’s Palace, the Franciscan Monastery and its pharmacy dating back to the 14th century, the Cathedral and other sites.

Day 2. Dubrovnik - Vepric - Međugorje
Departure to Vepric and Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine. Croatia's Lourdian shrine of Vepric was established in 1908 by Bishop Juraj Carić, who was also buried there. A natural grotto and the surrounding landscape with wooded hills and a brook are reminiscent of Lourdes, where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared eighteen times in 1858. Owing to its natural beauty, the shrine is frequented by pilgrims. Having visited the shrine, we will head towards Međugorje. After a tour of Međugorje, you will have the option to attend a mass and climb the hill where Our Lady appeared. Međugorje is a small Herzegovinian town which became well-known in 1981, when Our Lady appeared on a hill to six children who were playing there. The children reported messages from Our Lady, and some of them have continued to see apparitions to this day. Međugorje has since been visited by several million of pilgrims from all over the world.

Day 3. Međugorje - Sinj - Solin - Split
Departure for Sinj and a visit to the Church of Our Lady of Sinj. Emigrations from the Cetinska Krajina region began due to frequent Turkish raids in the late 15th century. Local people took along the painting of Our Lady. During the most violent attack on the city the face of Our Lady on the painting began to change. When the city walls and buildings started to fall down and the defence seemed to have failed, the Turkish troupes got frightened, ceased the fire and their soldiers began to die suddenly. The town was saved. The grateful defenders made a golden crown with which the Archbishop of Split crowned Our Lady of Sinj. Each year, on 15 August, on the Feast of the Assumption, pilgrims flock to Sinj, when the Day of the City of Sinj is also celebrated. Leaving Sinj, we will head for Solin and visit the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Our Lady of the Island. The church was built on the foundations of St Stephen's Church from the 10th century, in which Croatian kings were buried. Located on an islet in the River Jadro called Gospin Otok (Our Lady's Island), the church is the venue in which Pope John Paul II celebrated mass during his second visit to Croatia.

Day 4. Split - Trogir - Zadar
A tour of Split includes Diocletian's Palace and the Cathedral of St Dominus (Sveti Duje), the patron saint of Split. Diocletian’s Palace is the world’s largest and best preserved palace from the Late Antiquity period. Emperor Diocletian constructed the palace as his holiday residence in the 3rd century AD, from which the city of Split developed later on. The palace complex and the Cathedral of St Dominus are both included in UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list. The Cathedral’s bell-tower is considered the major Romanesque architectural monument in Split. Departure to Trogir and a visit to Trogir Cathedral. It is believed that Trogir’s Cathedral of St Lawrence – or of St John, as local people call it – was built on the site of an Ancient Greek temple. The construction works began around 1200, and the signature of Master sculptor Radovan from 1240 can be seen on its western portal. His work is also a symbol of this cathedral. The construction was completed in the 16th century, when a bell-tower was additionally built. The cathedral is a memorial to the entire city and all the people who contributed to its construction.

Departure for Zadar and a tour of the city. Lovers of historic monuments and cultural heritage find Zadar’s old city irresistible. Absolutely worth visiting is the Church of St Donatus (Crkva sv. Donata), the city’s symbol and its best known monument. The church - which had most likely been constructed in the 9th century, in a circular form and in the Early Byzantine architectural style - was unfortunately not preserved in its original form. Other sites include the Church of St Francis - Dalmatia’s oldest Gothic church – and the Franciscan Monastery which was built later in the same style. Both buildings were afterwards restored in the Renaissance style. The church is famous for numerous works of art, such as its carved choir stalls and the sacristy that has a major historic significance.

Day 5. Zadar - Rijeka - Trsat
Departure for Rijeka and a visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Trsat (Gospa Trsatska). Legend has it that on Trsat Hill, in a meadow close to the city tower, people saw a little house that had not been there before. Inside the house they found a cross and a painting portraying the Blessed Virgin Mary. According to the local parish priest, it was the house of the Blessed Virgin Mary that was originally located in Nazareth. The Apostles had turned her house into a little church, and angels relocated it from Nazareth to Trsat in order to save it from the Turkish raids. Our Lady’s house remained in Trsat for three years and seven months only, after which angels moved it to the Italian town of Loreto, where it still can be seen.

Day 6. Rijeka - Zagreb - Marija Bistrica
Arrival to Zagreb and a visit to St Mark's Church. One of Zagreb's major attractions, the Church of St Mark is characterized by its unusual exterior. It was restored several times in different architectural styles. Ivan Meštrović was engaged in the most recent renovation which took place in 1937. The tiles on the restored roof of the church outline two coats of arms: Croatia’s, Slavonia’s and Dalmatia’s coat of arms on the left side, and the city of Zagreb’s coat of arms on the right. The tour continues towards Ludbreg, the Precious Blood of Christ Shrine. In 1411, a priest celebrating Mass in the parish church of Ludbreg realised that the chalice contained real blood, and not the wine that he had poured into it before the consecration. He embedded the chalice in the church wall, revealing the secret only at the time of his death, after which the miracle has been celebrated in Ludbreg until this day. Having visited Ludbreg, we shall head for Marija Bistrica and attend Mass there. Dinner and overnight stay in Marija Bistrica.

Day 7. Marija Bistrica
Breakfast and a tour of the shrine. The discovery of the statue of the Virgin Mary with the Child in the 16th century and numerous mysterious events that followed turned this village into Croatia's greatest and most frequently visited shrine. In 1924, Pope Pius XI granted the status of basilica to the church. We shall take part in the Procession and pray in the Way of the Cross marked by stone and bronze statues.

Day 8. Marija Bistrica - Zagreb
Departure

 

 

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