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Nakladnik: Kršćanska sadašnjost
Broj Stranica: 110
Jezik izvornika: Hrvatski
Godina izdanja: 1983
Dimenzije: 350 x 265
St. Simeon's Shrine in Zadar
On the high altar of the Church of St. Simeon in Zadar, two large baroque bronze angels bear a gilded silver chest much older than themselves. The cold glitter of the already faded gilt, the worn silver plate, beaten out to the last square inch by the tools of goldsmiths and bearing a legend of figural scenes succeeding one another, cannot help making a strong impression on anyone who looks at it. Medieval mystery surrounds the chest, and it seems to rebuff the rational eye of the expert. Many stories, old and new, are connected with it, and make it difficult to discover what is true, and what is legend.
The chest was made for a well-preserved body which, according to 13th century Zadar tradition, was that of the prophet Simeon, who held the infant Christ in his arms in the Temple at Jerusalem. This is his body, not the one kept in Venice. The Venetian—Zadar dispute over which relic is authentic reflects the fierce rivalry between the two towns, a rivalry which, in the distant centuries of the Middle Ages, contributed to the historical rise of Zadar. The struggles, victories and defeats, and the courage and perseverance of the Zadrans, were in a certain way connected with this body.
The chest itself is much more important for history and the history of art than the relic. It recaptures an important period in the history of Zadar, and not only of Zadar but also of the whole second half of the 14th century. It was then that this powerful city commune, and its inhabitants, struggled for complete independence and economic prosperity, and found that they were the focus of the interests of an ambitious king, Louis of Anjou. The city's role was to become the link between the King's South-Italian possessions and the Polish-Hungarian-Croatian state over which he ruled. The chest was commissioned by his wife, Queen Elizabeth Kotromanic, who was to play an important political role after his death, and to die tragically not far from Zadar, in