Karlo, Krešimir; Marković, Predrag:

Between Sources and Formal Analysis: The Peculiar Case of St. Mary Magdalene in Cazma

The church of St. Mary Magdalene in Cazma, a unique monument of medieval architecture in northern Croatia, is a monumental brick-built, three-nave church, with a square-shaped sanctuary. Its ground plan resembles the form of a double cross, which is formed by the transept and the two bell towers. According to the foundation document of the Cazma Collegial Chapter (1232), the church dates from the middle of the 13th century, corresponding to the second phase of the organisation of the territory of the Bishopric of Zagreb by Bishop Stephen II, when the town of Cazma was also founded. Furthermore, the fragments of the rosette and portal, as well as the two bell towers, align the church with the context of Hungarian 13th century royal architecture.

Written sources mention the seven medieval churches in Cazma, which have all been lost, except the one dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene. Furthermore, according to the sources, this church belonged to the Dominican order. Thomas Archidiaconus in Historia Salonitana (13th century) mentions that Duke Koloman (Kálman) was buried in Cazma »at the brothers Dominicans«. After the emerging of its medieval phase, in the last 20 years the church has become a well-known illustration of medieval architecture in northern Croatia.

During this time, it has been subjected to a number of archaeological excavations, but a certain conclusion of the church’s erection history has not yet been reached and the Duke’s burial place is yet to be found. So, the question arises, whose is the church actually? Is it a Dominican monastery or the Collegial Chapter church? In this paper we present the models for a possible solution to the church’s unclear erection history.

Predrag Markovic studied at Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, where he achieved his master (1995), and received a doctoral degree (2002). At the same faculty's Department of Art History he lectures the History of Medieval Art and Architecture, and was elected as an associate professor (2009). Currently he is the Head of the Postgraduate Doctoral Studies in History of Art, and the Deputy Head of the Postgraduate Doctoral Medieval Studies. Main area of his research is the religious architecture and sculpture from the period of Late Middle Ages in Croatia. Currently he is engaged with the early Gothic church architecture in Northern Croatia as well as the problem of medieval building practice (architecture as a work in progress), based on the studies of several cathedrals on eastern Adriatic coast (Šibenik, Korcula, Osor). He is the author of the book »St. James Cathedral in Šibenik. First 105 Years« (Zagreb, 2010), and co-author (with K. Karlo) of the article »Religious Architecture of the Military Orders in Medieval Slavonia and its Reflections in the 13th and 14 th century« (Hortus Artium Medievalium 20/2014, vol. 2).

Krešimir Karlo studied archaeology and history at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, where he received his MA in 2002. Since 2006 he has been working as a conservator in the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, Directorate for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, Conservation Department in Bjelovar, where he deals mainly with the medieval built heritage. He authored and co-authored several scholarly articles on the architecture of medieval Zagreb bishopric, which is his main research topic. He is a collaborator on the project »Croatian medieval heritage in European context: mobility of artists and transfer of forms, functions and ideas« funded by The Croatian Science Foundation (2014-2018).