From Gravosa the excursion to the plane-trees of Cannosa and to Stagno may be made. The great plane-trees are 40 ft. in circumference, and their branches spread over a diameter of some 200 ft. The larger one takes twelve men with outstretched arms to surround it. The villa of Count Gozze, close by, has beautiful gardens. Stagno has historical interest. It is twenty-three miles from Ragusa, and is mentioned in the "Tavola Peutingeriana" as "Turns Stagni"; the Romans knew it as "Stagnum." There are traces of ancient walls right across the isthmus, which is only a kilometre wide, Sabbioncello being thus almost an island. It was given to Ragusa by Stephen VI. of Servia in 1333, and the Republic spent 120,000 ducats in fortifying it during the next twenty-four years. Till 1815 it remained tributary to Ragusa, and was ruled by a civil and political count. A little way north-west was the northern slip of territory which Ragusa gave to Turkey to prevent her territories touching those of Venice, the little peninsula of Klek, with about two-thirds of a mile of coast and the little port of Neum. On the south the Sutorina valley fulfilled the same function. Both were handed over to Turkey in 1699 at the peace of Carlowitz with the assistance of Spain, and were only incorporated with Austria in 1878.
The road to Ragusa climbs the neck of the peninsula of Lapad, where the Ragusan merchants had their villas in their days of prosperity, passing the exercising-ground, up and down which recruits march and manoeuvre notwithstanding the heat. The high walls have masses of flowers hanging over them and little summer-houses perched upon them here and there among the verdure. At the bottom of the descent is a tree-planted promenade, across which the grey walls of the Porta Pile glimmer, pierced with a low arch above which the patron saint, S. Biagio, looks forth from an early Renaissance niche, with his hand raised in blessing, as he does from above the other gates and from the huge bulk of the Torre Menze, the great tower crowning the line of walls which ramps up the slope to the left. The situation is magnificent, and from the sea the view of the town is unique among Dalmatian cities by reason of the strong sea walls, a sign of freedom from the supremacy of Venice, whose winged lion only appears in one place, by the convent of S. Maria, on the gate to the sea, closed in 1358, where the upper border of the panel may also be seen. Within these walls the streets are mere narrow lanes in one direction, and in the other mainly flights of steps which climb the hill. Fine effects of light are produced in consequence, especially when the street dives beneath houses through dark arches. The only broad street is the Stradone, which runs from one gate to the other, and was once an arm of the sea, though one can scarcely believe that it could have been so sufficiently recently to have allowed of the ships lying close to the merchants' houses in the time of Ragusan prosperity, as some say. The houses along this street are all of the same character, and were, no doubt, built after the great earthquake of 1667. Many of them have shops beneath an arch, half of which is filled by the counter, while on the wall outside hang draperies of ravishing colours, or embroideries or metal-work, sparkling in the sun, or cases containing jewellery, brightly coloured leather-work, &c. Above the roof-cornices quaint dormers and strangely fashioned chimneys rise, producing a most picturesque sky-line.
The walls are perfect in their whole circuit, and give one a very clear idea of the complicated arrangements for the defence of a mediaeval town, by the many gateways and tortuous roads by which the town is entered, while the external appearance remains quite mediaeval.
These fortifications date from 1380, when the last Venetian Count had gone, but there are later additions. At this time the Castel S. Lorenzo was built, displacing an oratory built on the site of a nunnery established before the eleventh century. Forte Molo, by the harbour (formerly Fort S. Giovanni, and now much altered) and the tower of S. Luca still remain of the earlier fortifications. As the town spread it was fortified by the addition of the Torre Menze (built in 1464 by Michelozzo and George of Sebenico, but altered in 1538), the Torre Leverone (built in 1539 to defend the harbour and the road to Breno), and Fort S. Margherita (1571). The French built Fort Imperiale on Monte Sergio and the battery on Lacroma. The cliff-like masses of stone are stern and forbidding, and one thinks the citizens must have been glad to escape from them on to the wooded slopes of Monte Sergio (bare and stony now), though their apparent impregnability must have been comforting in those days; when the strong hand often over-ruled right and justice.
The origin of the city is given thus. Fugitives from Epidaurus (Ragusa Vecchia) in 639 took refuge on a rocky hill sheltered by an oak wood (dubrava in Slav, from which the Slav name Dubrovnik may be derived), and Salonitans joined them. In 690 or 870 they began to enclose the place with walls, with the help of the Servian ruler, Paulimir. These walls only enclosed the southern part, and the Stradone served as ditch and harbour. It is claimed that the Republic was founded in 663. Three extensions of the walls are recorded before the twelfth century. There was a Slavonic colony on Monte Sergio, on the other side of the ditch, and the name of their patron saint, Sergius, has survived in that name. The patron saint of the Latin colony on the island was Bacchus, and when the two colonies amalgamated, as neither would accept the patron saint of the other, they chose a fresh one, S. Blaise. They put themselves under Venetian protection in 998, the first count being Ottone Orseolo. The earliest recorded commercial treaty is with Pisa, made in 1169. From 1205 we find Venice supreme, and she remained so for nearly a hundred and fifty years, with an interval of Byzantine rule. In 1358 Ragusa was under the protection of the king of Hungary: the sneer against it of being "sette bandiere" (seven flagged) suggests that it sought protection from more than one power at a time. It was the headquarters of effort for the conversion of the Slavs, which explains the gifts made to its churches by Servian kings and nobles. From 1358 it was practically independent, though it paid a tribute of 500 iperperi to Hungary, and used the Hungarian standard as well as that of S. Biagio. The fifteenth century was the period of greatest prosperity, overshadowed by the fear of being eaten up by Venice. To make themselves secure the Ragusans paid tribute to Constantinople in 1453 of 1,500 ducats, increased afterwards to 10,000; and this tribute appears to have been continued till 1718. Sigismond Malatesta came to Ragusa in 1464, intending to make it a base of attack on Italy in conjunction with the Sultan, but stayed there, and became military commander. Ragusa thus gained the special benevolence of the Pontifical Court, and permission to traffic with the infidel.
The greatest misfortune which befel Ragusa was the earthquake of April 6, 1667, which is thus described. In the early morning "there came from below ground a horrible and dreadful earthquake, which in a few moments destroyed the Rector's palace, the Rector himself being killed, and all the other palaces, churches, monasteries, and houses in the city, everything being overthrown, and there was much loss of life; the havoc was increased by the huge rocks which fell from the mountains; thus the city became a heap of stones. At the same time, a wind having arisen, misfortune was heaped upon misfortune, and, in consequence of the fall of timbers upon the kitchen fires, flames burst forth: the fire lasted several days, causing much suffering to the few survivors of this horrible disaster. Not more than 600, besides 25 nobles, escaped, and it was a sad sight to see these people, most of them injured, wandering about almost beside themselves with despair, in the ruined streets, imploring pity and pardon from the Lord God for their sins. Moreover, the Castle rock was seen to burst open and close again twice, and the waters of the sea sank back four times. Even the wells dried up completely. The land fort remained untouched; the sea fort, the dogana, and the lazaretto were partially damaged, but can be repaired in a short time. Many, moved by compassion at hearing the lamentable cries of those buried among the ruins, struggled to remove the rubbish of stones and timber with which they were covered, and found some still alive, although they had been three, four, or even five days in that terrible condition" (from a Venetian book of 1667). A good deal of plundering went on, the peasants and Morlacchi looking on the catastrophe as a godsend. Biagio Caboga and Michele Bosdari armed their retainers, and kept watch over the ruined churches and public buildings: the relics and remains of the cathedral treasure were removed to a chapel in the Dominican monastery, and bricked up, with a barred aperture only left; and the State treasure was taken to Fort Leverone, where a provisional government was established. The situation appeared so hopeless that it was proposed to move the town to Gravosa, but the citizens would not leave the place. Apparently some 5,000 people had been killed, but the fragments of Venetian architecture on the slopes of Monte Sergio, as well as the one house pointed out beyond the cathedral, show that a good many houses survived in part.
In 1796, when the French occupied the Ionian Islands, a French commissary appeared at Ragusa, and asked for a loan of 1,000,000 francs. It was granted, but produced a rebellion which brought about a short occupation by Austrian troops. By the peace of Presburg (1805), Austria ceded Dalmatia and the Bocche to France. The Bocchesi and Montenegrins determined rather to give themselves to Russia, and, with the help of a squadron sent from Corfu, took the Bocche from Austria as far as Castelnuovo. The French moved towards Ragusa, meaning to occupy Cattaro. General Lauriston, with 800 men, crossed the Ombla and entered the city under pretext of resting his soldiers. The news reached Cattaro, and the Bocchesi, Montenegrins, and Russians invaded the territory of the Republic, beating the French near Ragusa Vecchia, and besieging them in Ragusa. On July 6, 1806, Gravosa was burnt, with the shipping and stores. In 1808 Marmont declared the Republic dead and buried, and the French retained Ragusa till 1814. In January of that year Count Biagio Bernardo di Caboga raised the people, and with English and Austrian troops, freed his country from the French. The flag of Ragusa flew for the last time between those of Austria and England on January 3. On the 28th the territory was taken possession of by Austria. A short time before the French occupation Ragusa had 400 sea-going ships.
There is very little remaining from the early period, though there are records of building being done. Resti, who is an authority for the local history of Ragusa, says that Stefano, king of Croatia Bianca, vowed to restore S. Stefano, Ragusa, and remained there two years while it was being done, spending much money upon it. His wife Margherita, a noble Roman lady, sent a quantity of silver to ornament the relics of the saints, of which the church had many and finally the royal couple visited it, the king being accompanied by several barons, and the queen by her ladies. The rest of the Court stayed at Breno and Canali, because the Ragusans said they could not accommodate them all, the city being but small. The king, in return for the distinguished treatment which was accorded him, is said to have given to the Republic, Breno, Vergato, Ombla, Gravosa, the valley of Malfi, and part of Gionchetto, on the condition of churches dedicated to S. Stephen being built in all the towns. After his death his queen resolved to retire to Ragusa and become a nun. She had a small room built for her by the side of S. Stefano, and also built the little church of S. Margherita, removed in 1570 when the fort which still bears the same name was constructed, and rebuilt in the present military hospital, the old Jesuit convent, where it was used as a mortuary. She also brought to Ragusa two pieces of the wood of the true Cross, the larger of which is still in the cathedral The cell which was built for her still existed in the fifteenth century. The church of S. Stefano was the old cathedral; it was partially destroyed by the earthquake of 1667, and never rebuilt. The site is now used as a recreation ground for the cathedral clergy. Above an early Renaissance door, made when the building was converted into a sacristy for the later church, is encrusted a piece of ninth-century sculpture, with the usual arches, crosses, and palmettes, and in the adjoining wall is an oculus with an ornamented moulding. By the side of the bishop's palace is a little chapel with a door apparently of the ninth century. It has a scroll pattern up the jambs and across the lintel, with the characteristic triple furrowing, and above the lintel a palmette cornice; on the reveal is a twisted guilloche treated in the same manner. There are two or three early churches of little interest on the hill; one at least has been rebuilt. Gelcich says: "Of the Byzantine epoch, except the bas-reliefs of S. Stefano, nothing remains save a memory in the name of the mountain above the city, and the worship of some saint whose name recalls the East."
The present cathedral was rebuilt between 1667 and 1713, and is of the usual character. It, however, possesses several good pictures and a very rich treasury. The most interesting of the pictures is a triptych or portable altar, an old Bruges picture, which the envoys took with them when they went to Constantinople every three years to pay the tribute. The subject is the Adoration of the Magi. In the centre the Virgin is seated with the Child on her lap. He is kneeling, and extending His hand to the oldest of the three kings, who has placed sceptre and gifts at the Saviour's feet. Behind him is another king; through arches a landscape is seen at the back. On the left wing are the third king, a Moor, with a group of figures and landscape behind. On the right wing is a bald-headed man in a rich robe, and in the background a castle. The centre panel is 2 ft. 9 in. high by 1 ft. 9 in. broad. It is in the style of Memling. There are also several Padovaninos and pictures ascribed to Titian and others, a Palma Vecchio, and a fine head of Christ by Pordenone.
The formalities for opening the treasure caused us some trouble. We arrived just as the usual weekly exhibition was over, and I was told that it was impossible for it to be opened again for seven days. I explained that I had a special permission from the Government to see such things, but that I preferred asking Monsignore (and the little Canon who opened the treasury) to be good enough to give me the facilities which I desired. He asked to have the statthalter's letter to show the bishop. I knew, of course, that he wanted to take it to the municipio, to see if it was authentic, and therefore consented, on his engaging to return it; and so we parted. The next day I was allowed to enter the treasury, thereby obliging a rich American family, who would otherwise have found the doors shut, and had a test of my knowledge applied by being asked the period to which a reliquary belonged of which the date was known. Having passed my examination satisfactorily, I had the pleasure of handling any of the objects which I desired to examine, and, further, of being asked to oblige Monsignore by telling him the period when certain of the objects were made. Some of the photographs of the reliquaries were not quite successful, and the next year we returned to make others, taking with us some copies which we had promised to send to the bishop. I was rather amused to be greeted effusively as "Carissimo"; it was such a contrast to our first reception.
The treasury is particularly rich in reliquaries, of which the most valued contains the head of S. Blaise. It consists of a number of small Byzantine enamels reset in an elaborate floral pattern of filigree and enamel by a Venetian goldsmith in 1694—"Franc deg. deg. Ferro Venet deg.," as he signs himself on the lower edge. The design resembles the later Hungarian enamel-work very closely. The stalks are simply gold wires, and the leaves, flowers, &c., are filled in with enamels of different colours, very delicately varied, leaving the copper ground showing, each plaque being surrounded with a twist of gold and pinned down to the capsule of the skull. Legend says that the head was brought to Ragusa in 1026, but even the Byzantine enamels scarcely look as old as that; and the occurrence of two half-lengths of S. Blaise and two of S. Peter suggests that it was made up with fragments of several reliquaries, of which other portions have been used in the arm reliquary of S. Blaise. The names appear to have been added in the thirteenth century; the letters are Latin. There are three rows of the enamels. At the top, upon the curve, are four figures in roundels—"SS. Andreas, Blasivs, Petrvs," and the Archangel Michael. The nimbi are blue-green, the figures red. The second row has eight enamels, alternately round and square; the round ones are unnamed, and represent three saints (one with a stole, holding a cross in the right hand) and a badly restored Madonna. The others are: an Apostle with a roll, "Santvs Petrvs"; a bishop, "Santvs Blasivs"; "Santvs Matevs" with a book in the left hand; "Santvs Jacobvs" with a roll. The third row has eight circular enamels, alternately figures and ornaments. The figures are: Christ enthroned, blessing with the right hand, and with a roll in the left inscribed "IC XC"; S. John the Baptist with inscription "S. IO. BAPT."; S. Zenobius, with his name in full, commencing with a Greek s; and S. John the Evangelist, "S. Johes Eb Agelisa." The arm reliquary is inscribed "Tomaso Paleologo despota del Peloponeso donato a Giorgio Radovanovich civi Raguseo 1452." The saints who appear on the enamels are SS. Laurence, Andrew, Nereus, Achilleus, Lucas, Tomas, Simon, Bartholomew, and Paul. Another reliquary has remains of enamel plaques of Christ, the Virgin, Simeon, SS. John the Evangelist, Blaise, and John the Baptist. A hand of S. Blaise is contained in a beautiful filigree reliquary, and is kept under glass. A head reliquary has a fine pierced pattern and a punched border of early Renaissance character, with niello medallions of the Evangelists' symbols. Another, not quite so good, is dated 1349, and has similar nielli, with interlacings of oak-sprigs. There are several very curious thorax reliquaries, and many arms. Two portable altars with inlaid reliquaries in patriarchal crosses were seen by Eitelberger, with fine figure subjects; on one the Virgin and S. John in repousse in Romanesque style, and Christ on the Cross on the other, with the monograms added in enamel. These I did not see. A cross with reliefs of the Virgin and Child, with angels at the top, S. Mary Magdalene below, and SS. Blaise and Vincent on the arms, encloses what the Canon told us with pride was the largest piece of the true Cross in existence. A processional cross of the fourteenth century, set upon an eighteenth-century stem, bears figures in relief of Christ, and the Evangelists' symbols, gilt on a silver ground. On the back are the Madonna and Child, with God the Father above and a cherub beneath, SS. Biagio and Francis. Most of the objects are either of the fourteenth or late thirteenth century in style, but may very likely be later, the goldsmiths still using the patterns of an earlier period. The curious reliquary supporting the jaw of S. Stephen of Hungary, and with a figure of the monarch hanging below it, is interesting (as well as unusual) as being an example of ancient Hungarian silversmith's work. It was brought to Ragusa for safety during the Turkish period. There are also several monstrance-like reliquaries, and one fine monstrance of a later period with something of German style in its foliated ornament; but the objects which are exhibited with most pride and with evident expectation of the stupefaction of the tourist are a ewer and dish of silver-gilt, which are covered with representations of sea creatures and weeds, worked with the most extraordinary realism and fineness, and proving very satisfactorily that the copying of nature and the production of a work of art are not necessarily connected. They are kept in leather cases, and the tourist generally makes the expected exclamations when they are disclosed to view. There is an "N" stamped upon the metal, and it is thought that Nuremberg was responsible for them.
The church of S. Biagio is quite near, a late Renaissance building, which replaced the votive church erected in 1349-52 after the plague of 1348, and burnt in 1706. Above the high-altar is the celebrated silver statue of S. Blaise which was saved from the fire, and is now preserved under glass. It is made of silver plates, gilded, on a basis of wood, and shows the front part of an old man with a long beard, in episcopal robes, holding a model of the city. The back portion has never been completed. The head is too large, the neck too short, and the arms too long. The chasuble has an embroidered cross with figures of Christ and three saints or Apostles, with two little angels censing below the arms, and a quatrefoil in the centre. Two half-length saints are on the dalmatic beneath a double arch. The draperies are well treated, especially the chasuble, upon which is worked an elaborate Burgundian pattern. The details of the town which the saint holds in his hand prove that it was made between 1480 and: 1485. It shows the harbour closed by a chain. The breakwater was built in 1485. The clock-tower also appears (built in 1480). The cast portions of the figure (of which the town is one) are of silver of a different colour from that of the beaten parts, and there is no-doubt, from the variety of style in certain of the details that it has been restored more than once, probably after the fires of 1547 and 1706.
The Dominican convent is just within the Porta Ploce, and the stair which leads to it dates back to Roman times, though it now has Venetian-looking balustrades of the fourteenth century. It led to a gate of the city. Until the seventeenth century it was the duty of the Dominicans to defend Porta Ploce; the Franciscans defended Porta Pile; and the cathedral canons Porta Pescheria. One hundred soldiers were selected monthly from the various ranks, and were divided into two bands for alternate nightly police; twenty-seven more were told off to defend nine selected points against external attack. The lesser towers belonged to patrician houses who were responsible for their defence, whilst the greater and more exposed were looked after by the State. The Dominicans were first established in 1225, in S. Giacomo in Peline, a small, roughly constructed church high on the hill, which has a fourteenth-century Madonna over the altar. Tradition says that S. Dominic himself established the community. The present church was building in 1297, and was consecrated in 1306. The portions which survived the earthquake of 1667 are the south door with the apse of the chapel close to it, the main apse, and the sacristy. This last is the ancient church of the Assumption, given to the Dominicans in 1253 by the Palmotta. The convent was built in 1348. The church has a long nave with a horizontal wooden roof and a polygonal apse. The choir was once vaulted. There are two side altars in recesses rather behind the high-altar. Above them are restored pictures by Nicolaus Raguseus. To the right the centre panel is filled by a figure of S. Nicholas in a shell-headed niche; on the right are SS. Mary Magdalene and James; on the left, SS. John the Baptist and Stephen. The panels are round-headed, and the sky fills the space behind the figures with their gilded nimbi. On S. Stephen's dalmatic are patterns in gold; S. Nicholas's chasuble is of gold with patterns on it. In the picture to the left the Madonna is seated on the crescent moon holding the Child, and surrounded by cherubs; on her right are S. Biagio holding the city, and S. Paul; on her left, S. Thomas Aquinas holding a church, and S. Augustine. There is a good deal of gold used in the draperies, and the ground is gold. Both these pictures are very decorative. The high-altar-piece is a Venetian Madonna and Child, with SS. Dominic and Clara. On the north wall is a picture ascribed to Titian, parts of which may be from his hand, but it has been restored. It represents S. Biagio with a crozier, holding the town; S. Mary Magdalene in ecstasy, with long hair and a white dress; at the right the donor kneeling, and behind him Tobit and the Angel. There is also a great coloured crucifix with SS. John and Mary, regarded as miraculous at the time of the plague of 1358. It was placed here by Pasquale Resti, and is well modelled, with the head cast down. The dark brown colouring of the hair is not pleasant, and the white drapery cuts hardly against the dark-hued flesh.
The pulpit is of stone; beneath shell-headed niches on the front stand figures of SS. Catherine of Siena, Dominic, Thomas Aquinas, and Peter Martyr. They and their emblems are painted; the nimbi and the ribs of the shells are gilded. Across the west end of the nave is a fine early Renaissance triple arch which was once the architectural setting to three altars on the north side of the church. Among the ornament, traces of Gothic feeling still linger. In the sacristy are an Early Martyrdom of S. Laurence and two other pictures in compartments on a gold ground, which bear a certain resemblance to others produced in the March of Ancona. The frame of one of them is especially fine, with projecting hoods to the niches in which the figures stand. In the centre is the Baptism of Christ, with a landscape background; on the right are SS. Augustine and Stephen; on the left, SS. Nicholas and Michael. Above are half-lengths of the Madonna and Child in a vesica starred with cherubs; on the right, SS. Peter Martyr and Francis; on the left, SS. Peter and Dominic. Another has the Madonna, SS. Julian, James, Dominic, and Matthew on a gold ground. These have also been restored. There are also two good Flemish pictures on panel, a Christ and a veiled woman. Within a pointed arch is an interesting funerary inscription stating that the port was the work of "Pasqualis Michaelis Ragusinus," with the date 1485. He was also master of the foundry, and apparently supervised the fortifications. He was the architect of the bridge of Porta Pile in 1471, and to him the design of the Sponza is ascribed by some. The note recording the commencing of the construction of the port (February 19, 1481) embodies the fact of the sailors' approval of the design.
The cross of Uros I. (1275-1320) is over an altar in a room within the sacristy, the door of which is kept double-locked. It is not very interesting from the point of view of craft. It is a patriarchal cross with piercings at the crossings, and rosettes at the ends of the arms, which are probably later additions. The material is silver, parcel-gilt.
The treasury contains reliquaries and chalices, and a Gothic monstrance, but nothing of great interest. The south door has round arches beneath an ogee hood, the jambs are ornamented with damaged scrolled leafage, and in the tympanum is a figure of S. Dominic. The apse of the chapel close by is Romanesque, and, with the flight of steps to the door and the foliage of a tree which overhangs them, makes a picturesque background to the groups of Herzegovinians who pass on their way from the Porta Ploce to the Stradone. The cloister is, however, the most picturesque part of the convent. Beneath round arches smaller cusped round arches with shafts and caps are grouped in threes, the head having two circles within it, sometimes pierced as quatrefoils, sometimes with an interlacing pattern with Oriental suggestion, and reminding one of the patterns in a similar situation in the cloister at Tarragona. The same mixture of ornamental motifs may be noticed in the richly carved moulding which terminates the wall beneath the parapet. The well in the centre is of 1623, but takes its place among the trees, flowers, and warm-toned stone quite pleasantly. Above towers the campanile containing two old bells, one cast by Battista of Arbe in 1516, and one by Bartolommeo of Cremona, in 1363. It was built by a Ragusan, Fra Stefano, in 1424, and has three stories of two-light windows, with mid-wall shafts under round arches, and a crowning octagonal stage. The enlargement of the church and convent was executed by the architect Pasqualis Michaelis, just referred to.
The Franciscan convent is at the other end of the Stradone, just inside the Porta Pile. The Order was at first established outside; but the convent founded in 1235 was destroyed by the Republic to prevent the Servians from using it as shelter, and in 1315 the monks came within the walls. It is said that S. Francis himself came to Ragusa in 1220, and several of the Franciscan convents in Dalmatia claim to have been founded by him. The church has a late Gothic doorway on the south, with an ogee tympanum bearing a Pieta, and flanked by pinnacled niches which have statues of SS. John the Baptist and Jerome; above is a figure of a bearded saint holding a book. The foliage is well carved, and the pilasters are panelled in two stages. Behind the church is the first cloister, surrounded by an arcade resting on coupled octagonal colonnettes with unmoulded round arches, divided into groups of six by piers. The wall above is pierced by oculi of different sizes, some of which have quatrefoil tracery within, and the caps of the columns show an almost Romanesque variety and vivacity. The wall terminates with a carved quarter-roll moulding and a balustrade with cusped round arches above coupled colonnettes. This balustrade, notwithstanding its style, was only completed in 1629, unless this date refers merely to repairs done at that time. On the south side is a fifteenth-century fountain, with a later statue of S. Francis; in front of it is a paved walk flanked by seats, the backs of which form the enclosure of the raised garden on each side. It is as pleasant a place as the Dominican cloister, though quite unlike it. The architect was Mag. Mycha of Antivari, whose signature may be found on a corner pilaster, with the date 1363. Higher up the hill is another cloister, long and narrow, with round arches resting on square piers, and a well under a picturesque penthouse roof. Here it was that the herbs and simples were grown. By the side of the steep stair (which goes up still higher) a little rill of water flows, I suppose, to the lower cloister. The convent cost 28,000 ducats to the public treasury, besides much given by generous donors, the Ghent merchants especially contributing largely. The top of the campanile was replaced after the earthquake of 1667. In the sacristy are some stall-fronts and cupboards ornamented with intarsia of arabesques and figures of saints of the Order, the latter rather rough in workmanship. Also a pretty, early Renaissance lavabo in Istrian stone. The church plate, including a fine monstrance, is kept in a Gothic cupboard painted with the arms of the Bona family. In the church is a great crucifix which came from Stagno, painted in tempera, with the symbols of the Evangelists. The library is rich in literary documents, and in the convent, upstairs, is a picture which shows Ragusa as it was before the earthquake.
High on the hill above the Franciscan church is the early nuns' church of La Sigurata, hidden away in a court. Like several others of the early churches it shows no sign of its great antiquity.
The Rector's Palace was commenced in 1388 and completed in 1424, at a cost of 40,000 zecchins. In 1435 it was partially burnt, and was restored under "Onofrio Giordani de la Cava," who had been five years in the city.
The second story, which existed as a kind of tower above each end of the facade, was thrown down by the great earthquake, and never rebuilt. The loggia has stone benches against the walls, one to the left, and two, one above the other, to the right, which were the seats for senators on great fete days. In 1462 there was another fire, so that only fragments of Onofrio's work remain—the hall on the ground floor with the seventeenth-century wooden ceiling, several of the caps of the loggia, and the courtyard within, the great door and the windows of the first floor. This is all that appears to have been preserved. The great council then called in Michelozzo the Florentine and George of Sebenico. The former was at Ragusa in 1463, looking after the building of the walls of the city; and on February 11, 1464, it was ordered "that the palace be rebuilt" after his designs; but, in the following June, George of Sebenico was appointed, working, no doubt, on the general lines laid down by Michelozzo. The great hall was burnt during the French siege, and very little remains inside worthy of note. There are two tolerable pictures, one an early copy of the Paris Bordone in the National Gallery, the Venus and Adonis, and the other, a Baptism of Christ, in the manner of Paduan work of the fifteenth century. Both have been restored. The courtyard has an arcade of round arches, resting on cylindrical columns with Renaissance caps, and an upper arcade resting on twin columns and piers, two arches to each bay, both stories being vaulted with sustaining arches, but without ribs. The loggia in front has ribs and bosses at the intersections. A small staircase to the right contains other remains of Onofrio's building—a bracket, on which is carved a figure of Justice holding a label, and with a mutilated lion on each side of her; opposite to it is a capital, on which is carved the Rector administering justice; neither of them in their original place. The main doorway is pointed with a richly carved moulding and caps, which belong to Onofrio's work; above it is S. Biagio in a Renaissance niche, and between the caps and the arch a shallow frieze is interposed, on which are carved little figures engaged in combats, a love scene, and Cupids with an organ and trumpets. The corbels from which the vaults spring are carved, the subjects being two groups of boys playing, a man fighting a dragon or basilisk with club and little target, a struggle between a girl and a bear, &c. The doors at the end, the Porta della Carita, where distribution of corn used to be made to the poor at a low price, and that opening on a stair to the hall of the Lesser Council appear to belong to the earlier building. The ring with the lion's head on the door is a fine piece of fourteenth-century bronze-work. The knocker is not so good. A knight with raised arm stands on a lion's head against a post covered with scales; above and below foliage spreads out. The caps of the loggia are very fine, though not of equal value. The three central ones are Renaissance work, and marry admirably with their heavy, ornamented abaci, which in the others appear over-heavy, and plainly an addition. In the earlier work the technique of the carving is better, and the foliage has more spring. The most interesting one is the AEsculapius subject, which De Diversis saw in the carver's hands in 1435, planned, as he says, by Nicolo de Lazina, a Cremonese noble, who was chancellor at the time. It is interesting both from the point of view of the carving and costume, and as showing the apparatus of an alchemist's laboratory. Close by it on the wall is the "metrical epitaph," which De Diversis says the chancellor composed. The columns, which are of Curzola marble, belong to the earlier building, though the entasis shows that classical feeling was beginning to affect even architects who worked in Gothic. Mr. T.G. Jackson's explanation of the addition of the heavy abaci seems quite reasonable—viz. that the earlier arcade was pointed, and that, since a good deal of the building survived the fire, it was necessary to raise the springing of the arches, when they were made round to match the levels of the ends which were not destroyed. The carved string-course above and the Gothic windows of the piano nobile are also remains of the earlier building. There was a castle on the site of the palace from the days of the establishment of the Slav colony on Monte Sergio, which, together with the marshy inlet which then occupied the site of the Stradone, afforded sufficient protection to make sudden attack on the part of the Slavs inadvisable; when the two settlements were joined together by a common line of defences it became the seat of government.
There are two other pieces of Onofrio's work still in existence in Ragusa, the pretty little fountain between the Rector's Palace and the Sponza, next door to the Corpo di Guardia, of which an illustration is given, showing a certain admixture of Renaissance feeling with Gothic foliage, and the much mutilated fountain just within the Porta Pile. It had two columns at each angle, of which only the inner one remains, and a marble cupola surrounded by statues. The aqueduct which supplies it and the other fountains is eight miles long, and brings the water from Gionchetto. It was only completed in 1438, after many discouraging incidents. Opposite to it is the pretty facade of S. Salvatore, built after the earthquake of 1520, and due to Bartolommeo da Mestre, "protomagister" of the cathedral of Sebenico, which it resembles a good deal in the character of its design and mixture of Gothic and Renaissance forms. It has a nave of three bays with an apse; the vaulting is Gothic, as are the windows, but the arches rest on classic pilasters, used also at the angles of the facade, the horizontal lines of which are varied by the semicircular gable and quadrants which flank it. A rose-window occupies the central place, and above the door (which is rather later in style) is a long dedicatory inscription in an ornamented panel space.
At the bottom of the piazza, upon which the Rector's Palace, the cathedral, and S. Biagio face, is the Sponza or Dogana, the ancient custom-house and mint. The custom-house was on the ground floor, and the scales for weighing merchandise hung in the wide arch opposite the entrance. The mint was on the second floor, and the first floor was used for carnival and social meetings of the nobility. The building is of several periods dating from the beginning of the fourteenth century to 1520, a date given by an inscription on the second story. The courtyard has an arcade of round arches, four on each side, and one of a greater breadth at each end, resting on octagonal piers, the caps and arches moulded simply. The first floor has an arcade of pointed arches, two to a bay, with alternate piers and columns, the end having circular arches above the broader arch below. The second story is lighted by four little square windows, and above are three quatrefoils to give air to the roof timbers. On the end wall are two angels in relief, holding "I.H.S." within a garland. The two arcades are vaulted simply, the caps on the first floor have good foliage, and the stories are divided by moulded string-courses. Names of saints are inscribed over the doors of the warehouses opening from the lower cloister.
The facade terminates with a fantastic cresting above the roof cornice. In the centre of the second story is a niche with a figure of S. Blaise, flanked by two rectangular windows on each side. The piano nobile has two ogee-headed windows with geometric tracery, flat decorated archivolt, and slender shafts on the outer and inner surface of the jamb, and a three-light window in the centre, made up to a square head with quatrefoils in the fashion of the Ca d'Oro at Venice. On the ground floor there is a graceful round-arched portico resting on columns with Renaissance caps; beneath it are the windows and entrance door of the custom-house. The building is still used for its original purpose, and Albanian and Herzegovinian porters lounge about it in strange costumes. The clock-tower was built in 1480, and altered in 1781. There is a bell in it founded by Battista of Arbe. Opposite is the Roland column. Affixed to a pilaster is a symbolic statue typifying freedom of jurisdiction and commerce. It was replaced there in 1878 after a prolonged sojourn in the Rector's Palace, having been thrown down by a storm in 1825, when a brass plate was found with an inscription of the beginning of the fifteenth century, stating that here was the place of the standard of the Republic. It is not a work of any artistic merit.
A little way outside Porta Pile (thought to be a corruption of the Greek word [Greek: phyle], a gate) is the cemetery church "alle Dance," overlooking a bay beneath the Lapad promontory. It was begun in 1457 for the poor of the city, and contains a fine picture. The west door is elaborately carved with somewhat confused ornament, and in the pointed tympanum is a Madonna and Child flanked by two standing angels, which do not fit in quite comfortably. By the door is a holy-water niche of still stranger design, with a shell-head which quite insufficiently supports the three figures forming the crowning feature. The sacristy was in possession of several women who were washing clothes on both the occasions when I visited the church. The picture is by "Nicholavs Rhagvsinvs," who thus signs it, with the date 1517. It is in the original frame divided by pillars into three compartments, with a predella and a lunette above. In the lunette is a Crucifixion with the Virgin and S. John, two female figures and S. Mary Magdalene, and cherubs round our Lord; the Virgin's robe is deep blue; the others are red or green, on a gold ground. In the centre compartment are the Virgin and Child enthroned, with a little S. John kneeling, surrounded by little angels. Silver crowns have been added. The Virgin has a red robe with a cloak of cloth of gold on which is an elaborate pattern in dark blue; the Child holds fruit and corn; the cherubs have scarlet wings and gilt nimbi. In the right-hand panel is S. Martin on horseback, dividing his cloak; he wears a green tunic, over which is a golden coat with a design in red lines upon it. The cloak is bright scarlet. The beggar is Christ with cruciferous nimbus, On the left hand is S. Gregory, with his dove on his shoulder, carrying a crucifix; he wears a richly-embroidered cope of cloth of gold, with red pattern and a border of saints in niches. These are both on gold grounds. The predella has also three compartments. In the centre is S. George and the dragon, with a pale blue landscape and sea; the princess kneels in the background. On the right hand is a saint receiving a mitre from two bishops, surrounded by other bishops, monks, choristers, &c. On the left, a pope in a golden robe is being crowned by two cardinals, surrounded by cardinals, bishops, Dominicans, and Franciscans. There is a landscape background. The whole effect is most decorative, due partly, no doubt, to the fine frame with golden arabesques on a dark blue ground. Another picture above the high-altar looks later, though it is in a very architectural frame. It represents the Madonna and Child on a large scale in the centre, with God the Father and angels in an oblong panel above. At each side of the Madonna are two small saints one above the other, probably SS. Francis, George, Blaise, and Nicholas. The Madonna and Child and God the Father have crowns of silver or silver-gilt; the Child is nude; the Madonna draped in metal, with a pattern on the outer robe. The background and the frieze are entirely covered with little votive silver plaques.
From the hill which one mounts on the return, the whole of Ragusa lies spread at one's feet, from the great fort S. Lorenzo, perched upon its rock, to the Torre Menze, the culminating point of the walls, in front of which the lower slopes of Monte Sergio are covered with the houses of the suburb. On a fine evening the view past the fort towards the Bocche is enchanting, but when scirocco blows, and the foam splashes high up the rocks, it is not safe to approach the edge. Here a pleasant garden has been laid out, and aloes grow, though not so luxuriantly as on the other side of the town.
Above the door of the salt-magazine near Porta Ploce is the oldest relief of S. Blaise, possibly dating from the beginning of the thirteenth century. Behind the communal palace is the harbour, Porto Casson, which recalls the prosperity of the Republic, when it was one of the richest countries in the world, and when the merchants and privateer captains who lived in the Via Priko, upon the hill, owned between them 100,000,000 ducats, according to computation.
From here a little steam-launch plies in the afternoon to the island of Lacroma, on which a cloister was founded in the eleventh century, the Benedictine rule being transplanted hither in 1023 from the Tremiti Islands in the person of Fra Pietro the Ragusan, who, with a priest named Leone, laid the foundations of the monastery on land given them for that purpose. An inscription mentions the name of Vitalis the archbishop, son of Dominus Theodore (1023-1047). It was the Ragusan Westminster Abbey till the Franciscan and Dominican churches were built. Here it was that Richard Coeur de Lion escaped from shipwreck, and, according to local tradition, founded the cathedral of Ragusa in gratitude for his escape, though the entries in the Ragusan archives prove that it was built by contributions from the nobles. The ill-fated Maximilian of Mexico owned the island, and restored the convent as a country residence, in which the unfortunate Crown Prince Rudolf also lived. We, who had gone there in hopes of seeing something of the eleventh-century buildings, were disappointed at being taken through corridors and rooms containing objects which were looked upon as relics, and finally round some elaborately laid out and luxuriant gardens to one or two natural curiosities. The building is now occupied by a school, towards the support of which a landing-tax of one corona per person is exacted. This did not, however, prevent the man who showed us round telling us that he was dependent on the charity of visitors! All that is to be seen in the way of architecture is a cloister of the early Renaissance period, pretty enough with its garden within; but I should certainly not recommend the English tourist to spend time and money in visiting the island.
Beyond the harbour of Ragusa the road leads below the Dominican convent to the outer Ploce gate, passing two chapels—SS. Annunziata, with a group of S. John the Baptist and two other saints in the tympanum of the Gothic doorway, and S. Luke, with Renaissance decoration and tympanum. Turning sharply beneath two gates, above the outer of which S. Blaise stands in his usual place, the road passes over a stone bridge which replaces the original drawbridge, and through the outer gates to the lazaretto and Turkish bazaar. Here there is a late Renaissance fountain, at which country people, most of whom are Herzegovinians, may be seen watering their mules, for the road to Trebinje comes down to this gate. There is little else to see in the bazaar, the importance of which has much declined; but from this side of the town charming views of Ragusa may be obtained, with a foreground of rocks, of aloes, often in bloom, of rough steps going down to the shore, or a little farther away, where the height of Lapad can be seen crowning the city, of olives and stony roads; always with the blue sea stretching from below towards and beyond the grey town shut so securely within its walls. Beyond is the romantically, situated deserted convent of S. Giacomo degli Olivi, and from it paths wander farther among olives and cypresses along the edge of the cliff, below which, on the level of the water, is the grotto Spila Betina.
The Republic was a curious mixture of enlightenment and oriental backwardness. In 1335 the whole town was paved, a great sewer was constructed, and there were regulations about tiling and other constructional matters. Traffic in slaves was abolished by act of the Greater Council on January 26, 1416. In 1432 a foundling hospital was established, and in 1435 public schools. All who died of the plague in 1430 were burnt, by advice of the Ferrarese physician Giacomo Godwaldo, who also established the custom of isolating the sick some years before. Yet, in the state prisons below the small loggia, prisoners were sometimes walled up alive, and dungeons existed flooded at high tide, without any precautions being taken to prevent it. The treatment of women was quite oriental. In 1462 girls above the age of twelve were not allowed outside the house, and were seen only by their relations and by ecclesiastics; and, of course, marriages were arranged by the parents. In the theatre, only noble women and those of the citizen class were admitted. The sumptuary laws were strict. Nobles and public officials above eighteen were obliged to wear a large loose robe and black hose. It is recorded that a certain Tuberone Cerva came into the Senate one day with a robe longer than the prescribed measure, and it was cut short then and there, which mortified him so much that he turned monk. At funerals they had hired mourners, which again suggests oriental influences.
The consiglio maggiore contained all the nobles above twenty years of age inscribed in the golden book called "Lo Specchio" (which was compiled in 1440). The Senate acted as court of appeal in judicial cases, and was formed of forty-five senators, the "Pregati," who were over forty years of age. The executive was the Little Council of seven members. At the head of public administration was a senator who from 1358 was called Prior, then Count, and later Rector. The populace called him "Knez" (Prince). He was in office for a month only, and, with eleven councillors, settled the most important affairs of state. He lived in the palace, and only left it on state business. He wore a red cloak with a black band on the left side, and red shoes and stockings (in accordance with a Byzantine tradition). He never went out alone, but was always accompanied by councillors, secretaries, the chamberlain, twenty-four red-clad attendants, and a band of music. Besides the Rector there was a town council of ten, which acted as police superintendents. The five provveditori, elected annually from among the "Pregati," looked after the rigorous observance of the statute. No law could be altered without the vote of seven-eighths of the Greater Council, and no new law could be made without a three-quarters majority of the same. The treasurers were elected from the oldest senators. At the head of the eleven administrative districts were counts or representatives; they were the only salaried officials.
Under the Venetian supremacy great precautions were taken to prevent usurpation of the rights of the Republic, while the count was received with great splendour. On disembarking, he presented himself to the people, received from the signory the standard of S. Biagio, and, with this in his hand, swore on the gospels to preserve and observe the customs and laws of Ragusa. Then he went to the cathedral, receiving at the door incense and holy water from the chapter, who gave him the gospels to kiss, upon which he renewed his oath in front of the altar. After a canon had delivered an oration in praise of him and of the doge, he returned to the piazza, still bearing the standard, where he received the homage of the people, "who swore the holy pact with the Serenissima," the standard of S. Mark being unfurled.
The people were divided into five castes—clergy, nobles, citizens, workmen (sailors, merchants, &c.), and countrymen. There was a gulf between nobles and people. The countrymen were like serfs attached to the land, and spoken of as "tilings" belonging to their masters. Among the nobles were two orders. Those of ancient lineage were called "Salamanchesi," from the University of Salamanca, where they had been educated; the "Sorbonnesi" (from the Sorbonne) were nobles of more recent date.
After the earthquake of 1667 several citizen families were ennobled. But between the two ranks of nobles the antipathy was so great that they never intermarried. The plague of 1526 destroyed 20,000 persons, that of 1348, 11,000, and the earthquake of 1667 some 6,000. It has been computed that in the times of her prosperity Ragusa counted 40,000 inhabitants. In connection with the visitations of the plague it may be noted that in 1466 the musicians of the rector were ordered to go every Saturday to play before the houses of large donors to the votive church of S. Biagio; but by the request of their descendants this custom was in 1548 replaced by a similar concert in front of the altar of the crucifix in that church.
In 1805 the first capital sentence for twenty-five years was pronounced. The city went into mourning, and an executioner had to be brought for the purpose from Turkey.
The salt monopolies and the customs were the most important parts of the revenue, but there were also important manufactures. Ragusa made woollen and silk stuffs after the looms for silk were brought from Tuscany in 1539, and shoes and glass, coral wares and wax, besides salt and other things were produced and sent into the interior by caravans. Ships went to India and America, France, Spain, England, and Holland. A document addressed by Cromwell to the Senate is extant, granting privileges in all English harbours to Ragusans, and they were as daring sailors as the Bocchesi, as many as 300 serving as captains in the navies of Charles V. and his successors.
The earliest law of Ragusa relating to the coinage is one of 1327 imposing penalties for falsification of money. This shows that it had a mint before that time. At this date the "grosso" is the only silver coin of the town known, but the fines are all calculated in "iperperi." The word "zecha" occurs for the first time in a law of 1338. A few years afterwards all importers of silver had to present themselves at the mint within three days of their arrival, the tenth part of their silver being liable to purchase at "14 iperp: and 2 grossi" the pound. If they did not do so the tenth part was confiscated, half going to the informer. In 1420 the price was half as much again, and in 1161 it was worth 38 iperperi the pound. In 1748 the mint had ceased issuing money, but was at work again from 1791 till 1806. The iperpero was worth 12 grossi, and 3 of them went to a scudo. The earliest known is of 1683. In Ralph of Coggeshall's time it was worth 3 sous of silver—that is to say, about 10s. At Ragusa this coin still passes, according to a writer in the Bullettino di Storia Dalmata.
Six miles beyond Ragusa is Ragusa Vecchia, the ancient Epidaurus, which became a Roman colony in 10 A.D. under the Consul Cornelius Dolabella, and was destroyed by the Avars. Near here is the grotto of AEsculapius, on Mount Snienitza, thought to be the Mons Cadmaeus of antiquity, entered by a hole 8 ft. across in the living rock. The cave is in the form of a cross, 92 ft. long and 164 ft. broad, with stalactites and stalagmites. In the middle is a pond called "The Nymph's Bath," with slightly acidulated and intensely cold water. A legend, which goes back to the tenth century, says that a dragon lived here, going out at night and slaughtering men and women. The hermit S. Hilarion attacked and burnt it, calling on the people to thank God, and declaring that it was the Devil. According to one tradition AEsculapius was born in Epidaurus of a beautiful Dalmatian, Jupiter being his father. His statue, in the form of a serpent, was erected there, but was taken to Rome in 393 B.C., during a visitation of plague, which then ceased.
THE BOCCHE DI CATTARO
The fine harbour known as the "Bocche di Cattaro" is thirteen miles long from the entrance to Cattaro itself, which lies at the extreme south. The "bocche," the mouths, lie between the Punta d'Ostro and the Punta d'Arza, both fortified, and in the channel is the little rock Rondoni, on which is another fort, Mamola. These defensive works were completed in 1897. The bay was known to the ancients as "Sinus Rhizonicus," Rhizon, from which it was then named, being the modern Risano at the extremity of the northern arm. The "Tavola Peutingeriana" gives the name "Resinum." The first mention of the "Rhizinitie" is about B.C. 229, at the period of the unfortunate wars waged by Teuta, widow of Agron, against the Romans. Their origin is variously ascribed to Colchis, Troy, and to Sicilian colonies sent by Dionysius of Syracuse. The Bocchesi prefer a Sicilian origin; but the Greeks called all this part of the continent Illyris Barbara. Livy mentions the Rizuniti among the peoples of the kingdom between the fall of Teuta and the ruin of Genzius. Risano was Teuta's capital, and there she died in 220 B.C. Her husband Agron had conquered the country as far as Friuli.
Teuta allowed her subjects to be pirates, with the result that Issa (Lissa), the only island which had remained independent, complained to Rome, and the Romans sent an embassy to protest; but the youngest ambassador offended her majesty, and was beheaded in consequence. This decided the Romans to destroy her power, and treachery made the task easy. From 227 B.C. Corfu, Lesina, and Lissa were under Roman protection; the Illyrians were only allowed two ships, and were not permitted to pass the Issus. Subsequent intrigues between Demetrius (who had gained the lordship over the Ardiei by treachery) and Philip III. of Macedon, wars and revolts, brought about the subjection of Illyria to the Romans, and its conversion into a province in 168 B.C. The far-seeing Rizuniti had already put themselves under Roman protection, and were therefore given privileges, exempting them from all public burdens.
At Prevlacca, near Punta d'Ostro, are remains of antique walls, thought to be those of the ancient Epidaurus, by those who maintain that it was at the gates of the "Sinus Rhizonicus." Most authorities, however, agree in placing it at Ragusa Vecchia. Objects of the bronze age have been excavated at Risano, and sepulchral stones and altars of strange and un-Roman form have been found at Lastua Inferiore and Perzagno.
Cattaro appears as a Roman city under the name of Ascrivium or Acrivium, and it and Risano are the only two towns known at the fall of the Illyrian kingdom. The Romans made a road from Aquileia to Durazzo. It passed by Epidaurus and along the Sutorina Valley to Castelnuovo, where it turned along the coast to Risano, Perasto, Orohovac, Dobrota, and Ascrivium. Thence it went to Castel Trinita. This road put the Rizuniti into communication with the Dalmatians, and with the tribes to the south. Rizinum was a Roman colony, and inscriptions show that it belonged to the Sergian tribe and was governed by decurions. It was the seat of the god Medaurus, of whom all that is known is contained in an inscription found at Lambessa in Mauritania, set up by a Dalmatian legate sent to Numidia as consul by Marcus Aurelius (161-180 A.D.). It records the dedication of a lance to him.
Ascrivium was also a Roman colony. The municipal senate was presided over by duumvirs, who held office for a year, and had power over the entire administration of the city and of justice. The greater part of the ancient Rhizon is now under water, and Cattaro has been many times destroyed by invaders, so that there are very few antique remains.
At Risano are the remains of a building vaulted in two compartments, like an ancient tomb, and a few stones. Some thirty sarcophagi found there in 1870 raised hopes of the discovery of a necropolis, but these hopes were disappointed. A colossal foot of an ox in bronze and one of white marble were found in 1868, and a few inscriptions, one of which, at the entrance to the Greek church, shows that the 7th Legion was stationed there. It is to a distinguished soldier, who had twice gained a golden garland of honour, neckchain, and bracelets, which he wore in the triumph after the Dacian war. At Prevlacca, Cattaro, Scagliari, Scoglio S. Giorgio, and Perasto are also inscriptions.
After the death of Theodosius the "Sinus Rhizonicus" became subject to the Western Empire (395 A.D.), and till the days of Diocletian it was the southern limit of Dalmatia. Justinian took it from the Ostrogoths, and, considering it as part of Dardania, fortified the castle of [Greek: Kattaros] in 532 to defend it from barbarian inroads. Risano, like Salona and Epidaurus, was destroyed by an inroad of the Huns in 639, after which Heraclius handed Dalmatia over to the Croats and Serbs, who divided it between them. He, however, reserved to himself the important coast-towns. In 867 the Saracens destroyed Budua, and went with thirty-six ships to attack Porto Rose and Ascrivium, which they burnt. The inhabitants took refuge in the fort, and after the Saracens had gone, with the help of some nobles from the Bosniak city of Kotor (as is said), rebuilt it. The Slav name is still Kotor.
The bishopric of Cattaro is said to date from the fifth or sixth century as suffragan to Spalato (that is, to Salona, as Spalato only became metropolitan in 650); but the first certain date occurs in 877, in which year an act of the Concilium Delmitanum, when the ancient rights of Salona were divided with Spalato, enacts that Cattaro and Budua shall be suffragan to Dioclea. Bishops of Risano are mentioned in 141 and 591. In 1033 the metropolitan of Salona called a council, and the bishop of Cattaro went with those of Dulcigno, Antivari, and Suacia. They were caught in a storm and wrecked at Bacile near Torcole, twelve miles from Lesina, and were all drowned. The sailors have never forgotten the catastrophe. The Cattarines in consequence sent to the Pope, pointing out the difficulties of communication, and obtained transference to the arch-diocese of Antivari.
The "bocche" consist of several expanses of water, separated by narrow canals and surrounded by lofty mountains, which often rise so nearly directly from the water's edge as greatly to increase their impressiveness. The scenery is exceedingly fine, and indeed the view from the road to Cettinje is claimed as almost unsurpassed in Europe. The first of the narrows is between the Kobila range (1470 ft.) and the west point of the peninsula Lustica. It leads into the Bay of Topla, and the steamer heads direct for Castelnuovo, leaving on the left the Sutorina, the lower part of the Canali valley, a portion of the territory of the Republic of Ragusa ceded to Turkey in 1699 to form a buffer state between herself and Venice. The Slav name of Castelnuovo is Erzegnovi, and it was founded in 1373 by the Bosniak king Tvarko I., Kotromanovic. In 1483 it was enlarged and raised to the position of principal place in the dukedom of Herzegovina, founded by Duke Stephan Sandalj (1435-1466). It lies on the slopes of Monti Dobrastica and Radostak, piling up most picturesquely above the little harbour, with great bastions split with wide cracks and deformed by the loss of pieces which have fallen into the sea, but clothed with ivy which hides much of the ruin. It has often changed its masters. After the death of Stephen Sandalj it became Turkish; in 1538 the Turks were driven out by the Spaniards and Venetians. At that time the Spaniards built the fort which crowns the hill to the north of the town. It was the only part of Dalmatia ever held by the Spaniards. Next year the Sardinian renegade, Hassan Barbarossa, put the whole garrison to the sword, and also conquered Risano. The Turks retained possession of Castelnuovo till 1687, when, by the assistance of the Knights of Malta, it again became Venetian. Three Turkish inscriptions still remain; one over the door of the Spanish fort, which was restored by the Turks, a second of 1660 over the Porta Terra Ferma, and a third on the well in the piazza.
Towards the east is Kloster Savina, a monastery said to have been founded in 1030, and now the summer residence of the Servian Orthodox bishops of Cattaro. There is, however, nothing to be seen authorising so early a date; the smaller of the two churches may perhaps date from the thirteenth century, since it has a pointed wagon vault and transverse ribs without mouldings. In this church the Knights of Malta who died some two hundred years ago lie buried. The interest of the place lies in the seventeenth-century silver-work, in which the treasure is rich. It includes some twenty carved crosses mounted in silver and enamel from Mount Athos; hanging lamps of pierced silver, in which the design is much older than the workmanship, with medallions of saints; silver-mounted book-covers, one of which is decorated with enamels; a most curious "five-bread platter," with a cup in the centre, and two little cruets and two little platters on projecting arms, all in pierced work of archaic design enriched with blue enamel; and some embroidered vestments of the fifteenth century, all of which are said to have been brought from Studenitza. Farther on is Meljina, with a lazaretto of the seventeenth century.
The view from the road between these two places is enchanting. Above the blue waters of the Bay of Teodo the ground rises to the mountains, which divide it from the Gulf of Cattaro, while farther still and bluer, the greater heights of Montenegro cut the sky with their serrated edges. To reach the Bay of Teodo another of the narrows is passed, the Canal of Kombor, by the foot of Mount Dvesite. Here is a naval station. The land is the most fertile in the whole district, and here is grown the famous Margamino wine. At Bianca, near Teodo, Danilo, Prince of Montenegro, used to pass the summer. Farther on is the Strait of Le Catene, so called because in 1381 Lewis of Hungary actually put chains across it to protect the inner portions. Opposite to the channel is Perasto, to the left the Valle di Risano, to the right the Gulf of Cattaro. In front of Perasto are two little islands, with picturesque buildings upon them—the Scoglio S. Giorgio, and the Madonna del Scarpello, a little church with a green cupola, containing a picture of the Madonna ascribed as usual to S. Luke, a Byzantine work decked with gold and silver, brought hither from Negropont in 1452. For many years the Bocchesi brought shiploads of stone to increase the size of the island, and still, on July 22 of each year, a stone-laden boat goes from Perasto to the rock. There are two festivals celebrated here, of which the more important is that of the Assumption, August 15. The other, the Birth of the Virgin, on September 8, is less so. There is a proverb "Entre le due Madonne cade la pioggia," the greatest rainfall occurring between the two festivals. On festival days the picture is decked with rings, chains, &c., kept locked up at Perasto during the rest of the year. The property of the church is over L30,000. For five hundred years it has been a centre of interest in the Bocche. According to the legend, a luminous figure of the Madonna was seen by a sailor on the rock on July 22, 1452, and on that spot a chapel was erected. The present church was built in 1628. Inside are a good many late seventeenth-century pictures, and in two rooms close by are votive pictures of the usual kind. There is a cafe on the island for the benefit of pilgrims. The island of S. Giorgio is gradually wasting away. The monastery is said to have been the most ancient in the district, and a list of the abbots "in commendam" from 1166 exists, with notices of the church and monastery, going back to the tenth century. There was a long contest for its possession between Cattaro and Perasto, ending in the assassination of the abbot by the Perastines, who took the property by force. Venice gave the commune of Cattaro an annual subvention as solatium. The abbey, destroyed in 1571, was rebuilt in 1624, and in 1654 was plundered by the Turks, and then almost ruined by earthquake in 1667. The French erected a battery upon it, which was abandoned some thirty years ago. The church-was restored for service on October 27, 1878.
Near Risano, at Sopoti (the rushing), is an intermittent waterfall 45 ft. high, which I was told was 100 ft. wide. As soon as it runs dry the cave from which it issued can be entered for several hundred yards. The flow commences after heavy rains, and at the same times a well, or spring, at Cattaro spirts up with such force as to throw out stones of several pounds' weight. Above Risano are two strong fortresses, erected after the insurrection of the Crivoscians in 1881. The revolt of 500 men against conscription necessitated the mobilisation of a whole corps d'armee to subjugate them. They lived on the slopes of inaccessible mountains, and the troops had to make the mountain paths into roads practicable for artillery. The rebels were taken between troops from Risano and Orohovac, and others who came from the Herzegovinian mountains. Part laid down their arms, and part fled into Montenegro. To prevent a recurrence of the trouble, and perhaps also with an eye to Montenegro, the forts and a number of blockhouses were built, which one may see high up the mountains, sometimes against the sky-line.
A white line about 3,000 ft. high marks the military road between Perasto and Cattaro; the way of access to the blockhouses, in each of which a detachment of twenty-five men, with two non-commissioned officers and one lieutenant, is on duty for a year at a time, bearing great heat in summer (for it is said that an egg laid on the rock in the sun is hard in eight minutes), while in winter they are often blocked by the snow for two or three weeks together.
Perasto is now a little place of some 500 inhabitants, but shows in its ruined palaces and unfinished church that it was once populous and prosperous. It has had a stormy history, during which the Perastines have shown themselves sturdy fighters and loyal supporters of their overlords, and is the one city of the Bocche which remained faithful and grateful to Venice, even after Campo Formio. When the Austrian troops came to take possession, the gonfalon, which had been confided to the Perastines by the Republic, as a reward for their faithful services almost four centuries before, was buried beneath the altar of S. Nicolo with a solemn requiem, as if for the burial of a father. It was a red flag with a yellow border, and the winged lion in the centre, prepared to defend the cross planted upon a base rising out of the sea. It was only consigned to the army in maritime and land enterprises in the Levant. The city was distinguished by Venice with the title of "fedelissima gonfaloniera." The guards were selected from the twelve "casate" into which the city was divided, the names being those of the original feudal families. It is asserted that the Perastines had the same honour conferred upon them by the Servian kings, the guard consisting of a company of twelve. Some say that it was their valour in taking the citadel of Cattaro in 1378 which was the origin of the trust. After the contests with Cattaro in 1160 it followed the fortunes of that city till 1365, but in that year Perasto put itself under Venice. The activity shown in assisting Victor Pisani in 1378 had other results, for it was attacked shortly afterwards and sacked by the allies of Lewis of Hungary. Till about 1400 it was subject either to Lewis or Tvartko of Bosnia. It is now quite a little place, with some 500 inhabitants. The palaces, with fine stone balconies now falling into ruins, which were inhabited by the noble families, show how it prospered under Venetian rule, as do the high campanile and the fragment of a large church on the model of La Salute at Venice, commenced some hundred and thirty years ago, but never completed. It is entered from the sacristy of the small church, the arch and vault of the apse towering above it, and showing the whole of the vault and the caps of the pilasters over its roof. In the museum are a banner taken from the Turks in 1654, a sword presented to the commune by Peter Zrinyi, and the gonfalon already mentioned, which was buried beneath the altar. A fine processional cross, a sixteenth-century filigreed chalice, a monstrance, and several reliquaries are also preserved in the place; and here is also the mausoleum of Bishop Zmajevic of Antivari, who took the Albanians to Borgo Erizzo near Zara, and was a Perastine by birth. It lies at the foot of Monte Cassone (about 2,900 ft. high), upon which is Fort S. Croce. From its base the Bay of Ljuta stretches away south-eastwards towards Dobrota, with Orohovac at its foot. The two Stolivos beneath the lofty Vrmac, and Perzagno may be seen on the opposite shore. This last-named place stands finely on a promontory, with a large domed church (an unfinished shell with gaping window-openings) crowning the eminence, whilst many houses, of the same date as those at Perasto, and with fine angle balconies, are scattered about the road along the shore, from which there are delightful views. A late Renaissance church has a rather pretty rose-window with radiating shafts recalling the Romanesque.
Nearer to Cattaro is Mula, and on the other side Dobrota; along both roads are red and white oleanders, orange and lemon trees, ancient figs and chestnuts, locust beans (carob), olives, pomegranates, and main' flowers, among which may be specially named beautiful pale mauve irises. The torrent Skurda, or Fiumara, separates the mountains Pestingrad and Mrajanik from the lofty Lovcen, which towers above Cattaro to the height of 5,770 ft. It is the holy mountain of Montenegro; on it the great Wladika Pietro, the singer of the Servian redemption, chose to be buried, as if from that height his spirit might watch and protect the land to which he devoted his life. Every year a pilgrimage climbs to the white-walled little chapel which sparkles on the dark mountain side. The Servian dream is for the waters of Cattaro to be covered with ships under the eagle of the Nemagna, for the country folk know well the story of Uros, the great Stephan Nemagna, and the epic of the wars against the Turks.
In the city of Cattaro, the ancient Ascrivium or Acrivium, some small remains of the Roman period are to be seen encrusted in the walls of the clock-tower, an altar and a memorial to a girl and her teacher. At the beginning of the ninth century it boasted several fine buildings, to which a rich man named Andreaccio Saracenis, mentioned as "Certo zitadino nobile zintilhomo si de generazion come di richeza," contributed. Towards the end of the eighth century S. Maria Infunara was built by him in the rope-makers' district, and here he also founded a convent to enable his second daughter Theodora to lead the life of contemplation. He also paid for the first cathedral of S. Trifone, which Porphyrogenitus says was circular. The body of this martyr of the third century was being brought to Venice from Asia Minor by certain merchants, when a storm obliged them to shelter in the Bocche. The magnates of the city and Andreaccio treated with the pilot for its purchase, and paid 200 Roman solidi for the shrine, and 100 for a gemmed crown above it. On January 13, 809, clergy and people went by ship to Porto Rose to fetch the body. On their return the bishop invited them to stop on the spot where the church was to be built, and hymns were sung. February 3, the reputed day of his martyrdom, was accepted as the festival, and a figure of S. Trifone was put on the standard of the city. Certain coins which bore his effigy were named after him. The sarcophagus of Andreaccio, in which his wife was also buried, was found beneath the street in 1840, between the cathedral and the bishop's palace. A portion of the ciborium of his church is encrusted in the wall of the sacristy inscribed: "Andree sci ad honorem sociorvmq majorem," and other fragments of the same period have been found during the restoration, which is still going on. That these fragments were part of an ambo on three columns, to which reference has been found, is proved by the inscription from the Ash Wednesday service which runs along it, "Memento te homine," &c. The front had two crosses beneath semicircular heads, with conventional trees or candlesticks beside them, and a great piece of circular interfacings, small and large, like the slabs at S. Maria in Trastevere, Rome. The sides had bands of ornament dividing the surface into unornamented sunken panels. A capital or two of the same period were also found, a relief of peacocks drinking from a vase, and some antique fragments, a piece of a frieze, a column of cipollino and several of granite, and a few antique caps.
The rock above the town, called Stirovnik, has a chapel upon it, the Madonna della Salute, now used as an ossuary, which has a piece of Lombard carving inserted in the tympanum above the door. The present cathedral was built about the middle of the twelfth century. A great effort was made, contributions were invited, and a tax of three per cent, on legacies was imposed. Success crowned the effort, and on June 19, 1166, Bishop Malone consecrated the altars, amid the rejoicings of the Bocchesi. The head of S. Trifone, stolen in 968, was brought from Constantinople in 1227 by Matteo Bonascio. At first deposited in S. Pietro, it was brought to the cathedral on December 20, with great pomp. In return, he was given the field of S. Theodore, and his family was exempted from communal taxes in perpetuity.
The plan of the cathedral is that of a Roman basilica with nave and aisles. The three apses are semicircular, with pilasters externally. The nave has three quadripartite bays, and a half-bay to the west. The aisles have seven quadripartite bays, two to each one of the nave, with columns between the three pairs of piers upon which the vaults rest. The bay before the apse has been a step higher than the rest. What the arrangement will eventually be it is difficult to say, judging from the state of the interior on the two occasions when I was in Cattaro. The columns of the nave are some of them Byzantine-Roman, and some of them Corinthian. The aisle windows and the fine east window are Gothic. The vaults are most of them of the sixteenth century, the towers of the facade seventeenth or eighteenth, and the great rose-window and the doorway below, late Gothic with Renaissance details, rebuilt after the earthquake of 1667. The nave is about 88 ft. long, the aisles within the towers 81 ft., breadth of nave, 19 ft. 6 in., of the aisles 9 ft. 9 in. The ciborium is exceedingly interesting. It rests upon four octagonal columns of the red marble of Lustizza, a place not far away. The altar was rebuilt and beautified in 1362, and it is probable that the baldacchino is of that date. On the base on which the pillars rest are sinkings showing that the altar had a central octagonal pillar, with four smaller circular ones surrounding it. The caps of the ciborium are rather richly carved, and the lintel bears on three sides subjects in relief from the legend of S. Trifone, the back being carved with ornament. The illustration shows the three stages of trefoiled arches, the two lower with coupled colonnettes. The lowest has caryatid figures of a warrior and a civilian in front of the angles to the west. The next stage has twisted colonnettes at the angles, the third squat single shafts, and on a little crowning member pierced with four arches stands a gilded angel, the rest of the canopy being octagonal. The proportions of the figures are squat, and the carving rather rough. The first time I saw it I was able to examine it closely, as it was surrounded by scaffolding, and there were some remains of colour on the figures; but I should not like to assert that it was original, since I understand that the reliefs were painted to imitate marble, and the figures gilded about the middle of the last century. The silver pala is said to be fixed on the wall of the apse during the completion of the restoration; it certainly was not there when I visited the cathedral, and I have not seen it.
The treasury contains a good many rather uninteresting objects, such as arm and leg reliquaries of the fourteenth century, or later rather, decorated with nielli and bosses in relief, and a few others shaped like vases borne on stems; on some of them the date 1483 can be traced. The reliquary of the body of S. Trifone is of silver, and rather rough sixteenth-century work, but encloses a wooden coffer, upon which remains of ninth-century paintings have been discovered. The head reliquary is of gold and enamel, the stem and an arcade round the upper part of fourteenth-century work (the upper portion re-made in the seventeenth), and the foot apparently of an intermediate period, with early Renaissance details upon a Gothic plan, medallions in relief, and rough scroll-work. The knop has eight roundels with niello crosses crossleted; on the stem are saints in niello in vesicas. The arches of the canopied arcade are filled with figures in relief in couples and enamels in basse-taille, red and blue alternately. The nielli have had a ground of blue enamel. These two reliquaries and a crystal cross in a very graceful setting, early Renaissance in style, are kept in a receptacle lined with cut velvet, upon which are embroideries of half-figures of saints beneath niches raised in gold; above the niches are domes, and between them twisted columns, probably originally part of a vestment. A globe-shaped ciborium, with cresting and knop of the fourteenth century, is interesting. Upon the globe a pattern with beasts and leaves is chased; the foot is conical and sexfoil in plan, with little niello medallions and piercings on the perpendicular parts of two steps. The knop has pinnacles and pierced gables. A half-length figure of Christ in silver, upon a seventeenth-century pierced hemispherical base, is well modelled and designed, and a reliquary cross of wood used by the Capuchin monk Marcus Avianus, on September 12, 1683, to bless the allied hosts on the Leopoldsberg before the relief of Vienna from the Turks, deserves mention. In the treasury is also a great Romanesque crucifix of painted wood, over life-size, with the feet crossed. According to tradition it belonged to the church of the Franciscans outside the walls, built in 1288 by Elena, wife of Orosius I. The church was pulled down when there was war between Venice and the Turks, and moved within the Porta Gordicchio, which was therefore called the Porta S. Francesco. Most of the convents are now used by the military authorities.
La Colleggiata is the ancient church of S. Maria Infunara, which Andreacci Saracenis founded, but was rebuilt in 1221, during the Servian period. It has a nave two bays in length, the first cross-vaulted, and the second with a dome enclosed within an octagonal drum, and with a barrel-vaulted presbytery before the apse. An aisle to the north, continued to the tower as a sacristy, is later. The apse has shallow pilasters dividing the exterior surface into three, in the centre of which is a walled-up east window of two lights, with a cross within a circle in the tympanum beneath the enclosing arch. The arch of the south door is perhaps a fragment of the original building, and the west door also looks early. In the aisle is a Virgin and Child, with painted faces, and the hands and feet added in relief and painted. The draperies are silver and silver-gilt, patterned, and each figure has a nimbus formed of a gilded patterned roll. The background is of silver, with little angels supporting the Virgin's nimbus, and there is a curious frame of filigree arabesques of tinsel set in wire and standing free.
S. Luka, the Greek church, of nearly the same period and plan as the cathedral, was built in 1195 by Marco di Andrea Casa Franci, and Bona, daughter of Basilio, prior of Cattaro, The dome is pointed, and rests on four pointed Romanesque arches with rough pendentives. The apse is divided by pilaster strips into three portions externally, and in the central one is a two-light round-headed window with central colonnette. The roof is continued over the chapel of S. Spiridion to the north (which has an apse, but no window, except the little rose over the external door), and this makes the church look square from the south-east. The west side has one clerestory window beneath a great unmoulded arch, and a circular-headed door below, the jambs of which are made of earlier fragments; the late belfry is of three arches, two and one; beneath is an unusual curved ornamentation, a curious presage of the "New Art" of a few years ago. The church appears to have been restored in the fourteenth century, since a consecration by Bishop Doimo II. is recorded in 1368; but it has been a Greek church since 1689, was enlarged in 1747, and the structure shows signs of considerable rebuilding. The iconostasis is of the seventeenth century; the paintings are covered with silver plates. There is a huge cross with wings at the base and paintings. Through the central arch the arca and a little cross are seen. The chapel of S. Spiridion also has its iconostasis. At Easter time two processional crosses of silver and a Resurrection banner decorate the church outside the iconostasis. The Cattarine silversmiths have also executed work away from their own shores. It will be remembered that Stephen IV. of Servia gave a silver altar to the church of S. Nicola, Bari, in 1322, the work of Abrado of Cattaro.