Cathedral of St James
The Šibenik cathedral also distinguishes itself by being entirely built from one single material – stone from the quarries on the islands of Brač, Rab and Korčula. Giorgio da Sebenico was the first to use the method of prefabricated construction, which was revolutionary at the time: stone slabs were precisely carved to slide into the grooves of their neighbours, which allowed for the stone parts to be assembled like Lego blocks, without the need for mortar. The roof of the central nave of the Šibenik cathedral and the transverse aisle creates a barrel shaped semi-circular dome that is visible from both the outside and inside, while the gable of the western side of the cathedral – as completed by Nicolas of Florence – ends with a tripartite, trefoil shape as a faithful projection of the section of the internal barrel-shaped semi-circular dome of the central nave and the domes of the two side aisles that have the shape of a quarter-circle. The trefoil front of the Šibenik cathedral is, therefore, not a subsequently built backdrop for the triple-nave church, as it completely corresponds with the transverse section of the form of the interior. This made the Cathedral of St James the first and only church in Europe to feature a trefoil gable.
The construction of a new cathedral was the symbolic culmination of Šibenik’s centuries-long striving to separate from the Diocese of Trogir and to, with the help of its own church, attain communal autonomy. It was erected on the southern side of the old central town square, on the site of the Romanesque Church of St James.