Meštrovićeve Crikvine - Kaštilac

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Crikvine-Kaštilac, the former Renaissance summerhouse (early 16th century) of the Capogrosso family, is situated in the vicinity of the Ivan Meštrović Gallery. Originally built as a holiday home for the aristrocratic Capogrosso family and as a possible shelter from Ottoman attacks, the edifice has also served many other purposes in the course of its history (at one point it became a tannery, then a cloth dyers’ workshop, and was even a lazaretto for victims of the plague). In 1939, Ivan Meštrović bought and adapted the complex, intending to exhibit a cycle of reliefs depicting scenes from the life of Jesus of Nazareth. The reliefs were to be placed in the newly constructed Chapel of the Holy Cross. In addition to building this chapel, Meštrović reconstructed the western part of the courtyard, building in it a peristyle with a variation of Doric columns.

The sculptor’s wood reliefs (some of which took 33 years to create) are of particular value because of the different styles attributed to specific periods. Starting from the early reliefs created in 1917 (Deposition, Temptation of Christ), the development of his artistic expression can be followed from the linearity of the stylised Art Nouveau, through the reliefs with harmonious classic curves (Christ and the Samaritan Woman, the Annunciation of 1927), to the realism of the 1940s. The cycle is one of the most moving Christological cycles in Croatian art. The apse holds a wooden crucifix from 1916, a work of extraordinary intensity.

The western part of the complex, which consists of the Church of the Holy Cross (with its reliefs and cloister), is an integral part of the donation contract of 1952. The Church of the Holy Cross is consecrated and destined for services in Old Slavic, which was Meštrović’s wish.

The eastern part of Meštrović’s Crikvine-Kaštelet complex holds the Renaissance Chapel of Our Lady of Good Counsel and an adjoining loggia with the stone inventory Meštrović added during the adaptation. Although he never finished renovating the east chapel, it remains an integral part of the artist’s design and spatial concept. It should thus be considered an indivisible part of the complex.
Meštrović's Crikvine - Kaštilac
Crikvine-Kaštelet of Ivan Meštrović in Split is the restored 16th century villa extended according to Meštrović’s idea as place of peace and contemplation. For the Church of Holy Cross in the complex he artist worked in wood the great Crucifix and 28 reliefs with scenes from the life of Christ. This is an oeuvre that belongs among the masterpieces of Croatian sculptors.


  • Street: Šetalište Ivana Meštrovića 46
  • Postcode: 21000
  • City: Split
  • Country: Croatia


  • Telephone: +385 (0)21 340 800
  • E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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