Bell tower

A Renaissance bell tower, completed in 1536, which is attested to by a Glagolitic inscription above the entrance door.

The bell tower was constructed over three years, from 1533 to 1536, and the financial means were provided by all the commoners and fraternities of Omišalj. These latter were religious associations engaged in charity work but were also the key drivers of construction activity when it came to sacral buildings in the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Era. Two master builders were in charge of construction: Pjero of Omišalj and Andrij from the village of Kotor near Crikvenica. At that time, the priest of Omišalj was Matija Vlčijić, and the castellan was Nikola Antončić. Detailed information can be obtained from the Glagolitic inscription which the proud builders made above the bell tower portal. In the bifora (mullioned window) of the bell tower, the master builders integrated parts of the pre-Romanesque church fittings.

In these troubled times, when both the danger of Ottoman attacks and Austro-Venetian conflict was a threat, this bell tower, just like elsewhere along the eastern Adriatic coast, did not have only a sacral purpose but also served as an observation point over the surrounding waters. For this reason, it was built like a fortification.

The inscription on the bell tower reads: 1533, in the month of March, by the will of God and the Blessed Virgin Mary, and by the command of the priest Matija Vlčijić and the castellan Mikula Antončić, and the judges who were there at the time. All the commoners and fraternities helped build this bell tower. And it was done by the master builders: Master Pjero of Omišalj and Master Andrij of Kotor. And it was completed in May of 1536.