Experience the amazing atmosphere of the holy places we discover, from Medjugorje to the national sanctuary of Marija Bistrica.
Arriving at Dubrovnik on our journey through Croatia and Bosnia not only do we discover the most important christian sanctuaries but also the rich cultural and natural heritage.
The itinerary assumes arrival to Dubrovnik and departure from Zagreb Airport. If that is not the case we can easily alter the running order to take account of your plans.
Morning sightseeing of Dubrovnik, a city on UNESCO`s list of protected World Cultural Heritage. Visit the many churches and the Cathedral with its tresuary guarding the reliques of saint Blaise, the patron saint of Dubrovnik. One of the oldest pharmacies of Europe established by the Franciscain order witnesses the importance of Dubrovnik in the European scientific cirlces of the Middle-Ages.
In the poor village of Medjugorje in Hercegovina in the year 1981, Our Lady, Queen of Peace, appeared to six children. Mary’s own words to the children explained, “I have come to tell the world that God exists.” Medjugorje has become one of the most famous and most visited sanctuaries in the Catholic world (over 10 million pilgrims have visited Medjugorje). Climb to Apparition Hill by the way of the rosary, marked by wooden crosses and bronze reliefs. Evening service.
Makarska, a very popular summer resort with charming little streets leading to its pretty churches, squares and picturesque harbour. On the main square is a statue of the famous Franciscan friar, Andrija Kacic Miosic, it is just in front of St. Mark’s cathedral and behind it the monumental scenery of Biokovo. A short walk from the city centar brings us away from the busy tourist activities to the peace of the sanctuary of VEPRIC, dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes. It founded in 1908 by Bishop dr. Juraj Carić (1867-1921), who himself was burried on the premises of the sanctuary. Natural beauty and peaceful suroundings are much appreciated by a great number of pilgrims that come and visit througtout the year. The most important dates for pilgrimages are: February 11th, March 25th, August 15th, September 7-8th.
Split has kept the memory of some of the first Christian martyrs from late Roman antiquity in the region of today’s Croatia. Diocletian, the Roman Emperor who is known for his brutal persecution of Christians, was laid to rest in the mausoleum built within the the forthified palace in Split, in A.D. 316. His body was removed from the mausoleum in the 7th century while the building was being converted into a church, later it became the cathedral of Split, the emperor’s mortal coil was replaced with a shrine to St. Domnius (Sv. Duje), patron saint of Split.
The pride and jewel of Sinj and the whole of Dalmatia is the Miraculous Painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy who according to legend saved its citizens several times from the Turkish attacks. In 1752 Pope Benedict XIV granted a plenary indulgence to those who visit the church of the Holy Virgin Mary in Sinj. There are many royal towns of Mary in the Catholic world. In Croatia there are: Marija Bistrica, Trsat and Sinj. The Sinj sanctuary is famous all around the world wherever there are Croats. Numerous pilgrims come to receive Gospa’s mercy. Experts suppose that the painting was painted by an unknown Venetian artist in the 16th century. Later we drive back to the coast to Solin where we visit the remains of the oldest Croatia sanctuary to Mary, built by the Croatian queen Jelena in the 10th century.
Trogir is one of the remarkable examples of urban continuity on the eastern adriatic coast. The cathedral with the most magnificent portal in Dalmatia, the work of the sculptor Radovan, dominates the main square. The many little streets and squares of Trogir together with lively locals, give it an easy-going and typically Mediterranean atmosphere. In Šibenik, we visit the Cathedral of St. James, a successful fusion of Gothic and Renaissance art which bears witness to the considerable exchanges in the field of monumental arts between Northern Italy, Dalmatia and Tuscany in the 15th and 16th centuries.
By the end of the 3rd century Zadar had its own bishop thus founding the Christian community and even today the chief interest of our visit to Zadar lies in its churches.
St Donatus’ Church – a monumental round building from the 9th century, St. Anastasia’s Cathedral , basilica in Romanesque style built in the 12th to 13th century is the largest cathedral in Dalmatia.
The Museum “Gold and Silver” of Zadar is a highlight of our city tour of Zadar.
Overnight in the region of Zadar
The most significant sanctuary in Kvarner dedicated to Virgin Mary, and the oldest in Croatia, Trsat. The legend of Trsat sanctuary tells us of the miraculous transferring of Mary’s house from Nazareth to Trsat in 1291 and three years later to Loretto, Italy. The sanctuary houses the miraculous icon of St Mary and votive offerings as Trsat is also a sanctuary dedicated to Mary by seamen, (“protecting, defending and bringing them home”) the sanctuary of the Queen of the Adriatic – Star of the Sea. At the place where the Nazareth House existed, and later disappeared, the Frankopan princes of Krk erected the church, which became the oldest Frankopan endowment and pilgrimage location. Mary’s Trsat has become, at the international level, the most recognized Croatian sanctuary in the triangle Nazareth-Trsat-Loreto.
Today we leave the coast and head inland through the magical world of Plitvice to the Croatian capital city, Zagreb.
Nestled amongst a cluster of lush mountain valleys is the Eden of Plitvice Lakes National Park, the oldest national park in Europe.
We explore this magical world of Plitvice and discover its unique animals and breathtaking landscape during a walking tour of about 3 hours (on foot, a boat trip crossing the biggest lake and a panoramic bus drive).
In the afternoon we arrive to Zagreb.
The guided tour of the old town includes a visit to St. Mark’s church, reknown for its’ colorful tiled roof depicting the Croatian Historic emblem, the main square “Ban Jelacić”, the cathedral St. Stefan and a visit to Zagreb’s famous cemetery “Mirogoj”, considered to be one of the most beautiful cemetery parks in Europe.
Overnight in Zagreb
The statue of St Mary with the child performing numerous miraculous events in the past centuries, turned Marija Bistrica into the largest and most visited Croatian sanctuary. After a long period the forgotten statue had been rediscoverd on July 15, 1684 by Ivan Molitoris the priest of Bistrica and placed on the main altar between the statues of St. Peter and St. Paul. The following day, on Sunday, 16th july Magdalena Paulec, a noblewoman and a patron of the church, broughther paralised daughter Katarina to the church, and after taking her round the altar three times, the girl was miraculously cured. Since that day, pilgrimages to Marija Bistrica have never stopped.