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Crkva svete Trojice, Split, savršeni kameni sekstant :": Holy Trinity Church, Split, the perfect stone sextant


This deformed, askew little sixfold church (8th/9th century) is the perfect measuring instrument, like most similar buildings

of the Old Croatian sacral architecture. They are unusually small and often irregular in shape, which is not the result of an

immature architecture. On the contrary, they were deliberately constructed to be a monument, shrine and astronomical gadget.


Irregularities in this church arose due to deflection angles of the sun on the local horizon. For example, the central apse is

oriented toward feast day of the local patron saint. Apse and its window were constructed so that the appearance of the first

ray of the day is perpendicular to the septum of the church. The remaining two windows on two adjacent apses are not in their

midst, but are arranged asymmetrically. Precisely placed, they provide chosen saint's sun ray its vertical drop at the ends of the

septum, which divide the sanctuary from the rest of the inner space of the church. The mentioned windows also have other tasks

related to changes in the position of the sun in the sky, which determined the majority of Christian religious feasts and holidays.


The Church of the Holy Trinity in Split, among other curiosities, testifies to the excellent knowledge of pre-Romanesque founders

of small Old Croatian churches, when it comes to geoastronomy, the value of the azimuth, and altitude angle of the sun in transit

through the local meridian.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on March 20, 2014
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Zlatan Olić