History of the Cathedral

Soon after the Diocese of Zagreb was established (around 1094 A.D.) the construction of the cathedral in transitional Romanesque -Gothic style began. the construction of the cathedral lasted for a very long time and it was not completed and dedicated until 1217A.D. Shortly after, in 1242 A.D., the cathedral was severely damaged in the Tatar invasion, but bishop Timothy (1263-1287) started major reconstruction of the cathedral in Gothic style.

The reconstruction continued in the 14th and 15th century. In the 16th century the cathedral was fortified by walls and towers and in the 17th century the cathedral got its massive renaissance tower.

The fires and enemy attacks damaged the cathedral several times but it suffered its hardest blow in the 1880 earthquake. After the earthquake the cathedral underwent a major reconstruction in neo-gothic style (1880 -1906) under supervision of Herman Bollé and by designs of F.Schmidt. It was then when the Zagreb cathedral got its present form with two slim towers, high roof, new pillars in the sanctuary and altars which replaced the 18th century baroque ones.

Instead of the old tombs of bishops and nobles, behind the main altar a tomb for bishops and archbishops of Zagreb was built. Among others, here rest in peace  croatian martyrs Petar Zrinski and Fran Krsto Frankopan, whose bones were transferred from Wiener Neu Stadt in 1919 A.D., Ivan Antun Zrinski, Eugen Kvaternik etc. 

The last three archbishops of theArchdiocese of Zagreb, the Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, Franjo Šeper and Franjo Kuharić are buried in the cathedral as well.

Historical Overview of the Construction 

1093 or 1094 A. D. the Diocese of Zagreb was established 

1102 A.D. most likely start of the construction of the cathedral.

1217 A.D. the end of construction of the cathedral in transitional Romanesque style the consecration of the cathedral

1242 Tatar invasion the cathedral was severely damaged 

1254 -1284 A.D. bishop Timothy started construction of a new Gothic style cathedral the eastern part was built

1356 - 1433 A.D. the vaults of the western part of the church and lower parts of two bell towers were built in Gothic style 

1500 -1510  A.D. in all three naves of west part of the church, vaults of the same height were built as well as a core for singers in between the bell towers 

1624 -1645 A.D. two big fires severely damaged the cathedral. the reconstruction and construction of the southern renaissance bell tower, which served as an observation post, was carried out by Ivan Abertal.

18th century Gothic cathedral gradually got its baroque furniture (the pulpit, 32 altars, etc.). 

1852 A. D. the Diocese of Zagreb was elevated to an archdiocese.

1880 A.D. big earthquake in Zagreb destroyed the vaults, altars and the floor of the cathedral, and damaged the bell tower. 

1880 -1902 A. D. reconstruction of the cathedral was carried out by architect Herman  Bollé from Cologne. The Cathedral with two big towers outside and high pillars inside got its present neo-Gothic form