The Benedictines of Zadar continue with their lives the thousand-year tradition of prayer and work at this holy place, following in the footsteps of their famous predecessors.
Čika, a member of the prominent Madi family from Zadar, is the restorer of the already existing monastery. In 1066, King Petar Krešimir IV received royal freedom and lands as a gift.
Her efforts and mission were continued by the younger daughter of Vekenega. Thus, mother and daughter breathed new life into the monastery with the strength of spirit and faith. Not long after its decoration, a church from the early Romanesque style - simple three-aisled basilicas - was built, and then a Romanesque bell tower was built next to the church of St. Mary and the capitular hall. Aware of the close connection between identity and language, the girls carefully nurtured the Croatian language.
Monastery of St. Mary
Zadar's Benedictine guardians are one of the most valuable church collections in Croatia, which with their 2,000 valuable objects tell the story of spiritual and cultural life in these areas.
The monastery and the church withstood the turbulent times until 1943, when they were almost completely destroyed. The sisters found their new home in the Zmajević seminary, renovating their monastery and returning to it in 1970.
During the bombing, the sisters buried precious works of art under the bell tower, and thus the treasures of Zadar were saved from destruction. The art collection was established in 1967, and contains many exhibits dating from the 8th to the 18th century. The Benedictine nuns of Zadar are located in the center of the city, and they find their peace from the hustle and bustle of the city on the farm in Smiličić, where they cultivate the land and grow their own food.
Our place and location
Zadar, an ancient city in the center of the Croatian Adriatic with a long and stormy history, was often destroyed, but every time it would emerge even more beautiful from the ruins.
Zadar with its city walls is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It used to be the largest fortified city in the Venetian Republic. Full of historical sights from the Roman era through the Middle Ages to modern architecture, it forms a rich treasury of Croatian cultural and spiritual heritage. This is visible on many sacred buildings and cultural monuments that adorn it.
Everything you want to know about our community and life, don't hesitate to ask. By learning about our life, you will understand why it is nice to be a Benedictine.