Tuesday, September 06, 2016

St George Slays Dragons All Over Croatia!

Croatia Online - Sveti Juraj Statue
I learnt quite a lot this morning as I was cataloguing photos of day 8 of our epic trip around Croatia. The day took us from one of our favourite campsites in Senj, to Novalja on Pag, but it was a stop in Sveti Juraj that piqued my curiosity, specifically the statue in the picture. What was it and what was its relevance?

The light slowly dawned……..

First of all, I finally twigged that Sveti Juraj is, of course, Croatian for St George and therefore the statue must depict the man himself slaying a dragon. Given that St George is our patron saint I wondered what he was doing near Senj and discovered that he featured quite a lot in Croatia, particularly in the capital Zagreb. There it appears that, not only are there no less than three statues honouring St George, but also a secret society – The Brethren of the Croatian Dragon – which took St George as their patron and continues to have influence today.

The second connection I made, that had not previously dawned on me, was that it was our old friend, the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who is mostly responsible for the charm and character of Split city centre, who was also responsible for poor old George’s demise as a Christian martyr.

Read the full article that illuminates St George’s place in the Croatian world here - St George The Dragon Slayer In Croatia

Unfortunately I am not much clearer on why the place, Sveti Juraj, in Croatia, is named after our patron saint or why indeed, with his international, rather than national, significance, George is our patron saint instead of the man he “displaced”, St Edmund!!

Time to consult the #Croatia Twittersphere!


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