Church and the Chest of St. Simeon the God Receiver, Zadar

Sveti Šime, Zadar, Croatia

Website of the Sanctuary

(023) 211-705

The Sanctuary is opened to the public:: Monday to Friday: 8.30 to 12.00 and 17.00 to 19.00. Saturdays 8.30 to 12.00

Church of St. Simeon, Zadar

Parish church of St. Simon is a pilgrimage sanctuary for the faithful of the city of Zadar and the entire archdiocese of Zadar, Croatia. It attracts its cultural and artistic heritage, which has been sparked by centuries, especially with sacred preciousness of silver and gold, among which a silver-gold-plated chest (a 250 kg sarcophagus) with preserved relics of the prophet St Simeon the God Receiver.

Church and the Chest of St. Simeon, Zadar

According to the Biblical account, Simeon had been visited by the Holy Spirit and told that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Christ. On taking Jesus into his arms he uttered a prayer, which is still used liturgically as the Latin Nunc dimittis in many Christian churches, and gave a prophecy alluding to the crucifixion.

Simeon in the Bible

Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, 29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation 31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” 33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed 35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” – Luke 2:25, ESV

Chest of St. Simeon

The chest is a goldsmith´s work of great value. Queen Elizabeth had it made for the relics of Saint Simeon the God receiver. It was made by a goldsmith Franjo from Milan, who lived in Zadar. South from the church there is a Roman pillar constructed in 1729, and made from two pillars of the city temple which were preserved on the captolium on Forum.

Church and the Chest of St. Simeon, Zadar

At first, it was an old Christian three-nave basilica, then a Gothic construction and later an interesting monument of provincial baroque.

It is decorated with reliefs with biblical scenes about Jesus’ in the Jerusalem Temple and St. Simeon and the historical scenes from the time (the entrance of King Ludovika to Zadar, the ban Pavao Šubić with his wife, Queen Elizabeth with her daughter, the death of Stjepan Kotromanić …).

The sarcophagus is carried by two bronze angels from 1647, made of seized Turkish cannons. Sarcophagus with the body of St. Simeon was held over three hundred years in the church of St. Marija Velika, which is located on the eastern side of today’s market.

Among the artistic values ​​that stand out in the church are the relief of the birth of Christ (13th century), numerous chalices from the 14th century and later, the image of the Virgin from the 15th century The bell tower of the church rises on the north side of the church and was completed in 1707. It was originally an early Christian nineteenth-century basilica with a series of double windows on the south wall that were renovated in 1986. At the time of the Homeland War the church also suffered damage caused by shelling.

Church and the Chest of St. Simeon, Zadar

Mass times

  • Weekdays: 8.00
  • Sundays and feasts: 8.30 and 12.00

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