Named after the patron saint and protector of Dubrovnik, the Church of Saint Blaise is one of the most beautiful—and locally beloved—buildings in Old Town. Venetian architect Marino Gropelli built the present-day baroque-style church in 1715, after the original was significantly damaged in the massive earthquake of 1667.
The church is best known for its remarkable 15th-century statue of St. Blaise holding a model of medieval Dubrovnik, as it looked before the devastating earthquake, in his hands. The statue, which is the only surviving remnant of the earlier church, now sits in the main altar.
As one of Old Town Dubrovnik’s most cherished landmarks, the Church of St. Blaise is included in most walking tours along with other noteworthy attractions like Rector’s Palace, the Franciscan Monastery, and Sponza Palace.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Church of St. Blaise is a must-see landmark for architecture and history buffs.
- Modest dress is recommended if attending mass services.
- There is no admission fee to visit the church.
How to Get There
The Church of St. Blaise is located within the walls of Old Town Dubrovnik, across from Town Hall and between Rector’s and Sponza Palaces. Most visitors arrive by bus, by local ferry shuttle, or as part of a guided walking tour of Old Town.
When to Get There
The church is open to visitors daily. Old Town Dubrovnik can get very busy during the summer months, so visit early in the morning to avoid crowds. As well as being a popular resting spot for weary tourists, the church’s wide front staircase is the setting for many special events including a New Year’s Eve celebration as well as the opening festivities of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival and the annual St. Blaise Festival.
The Festival of St. Blaise
In a tradition dating back to the year 972, the Festival of St. Blaise kicks off on February 2 each year with the release of white doves, symbolizing peace, in front of the eponymous church. Then on February 3, the official feast day of Saint Blaise, the relics of the saint are carried through the streets of Dubrovnik and honored with food, music, and other festivities. The festival is included on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list.