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Dominican Places of Interest



       Shrine of St Jude - Chicago, Il
         Parts of St Dominic's Tomb - Boston, MA


Santa Sabina - Rome, Italy

Vatican City - Rome, Italy
Basilica of San Domenico - Bologna, Italy



         The Dominican Monastery, Dubrovnik, Croatia



         St. Maria Rotunda's Church, Vienna, Austria













Dubrovnik - Dominican Monastery
Passing through the Street St. Dominic one can tour the large complex of the Dominican monastery and church. Aside from numerous paintings by the most important members of the Dubrovnik school of art from the 15th and 16th centuries, and Veneziano's great "Crucifixion" and Tizian's effigy of St. Magdalene and St. Blasius, in the Dominican church and sacristy there are a number of sarcophagi and tombs of archbishops, bishops and members of the nobility. The church walls are decorated with additional masterpieces Virgin Mary and St. John by Lorenzo di Marino Dobričević (15th C); two altarpieces by Francesco di Maria (17th C); Miracle of St. Dominic by Vlaho Bukovac (a local 19th C work in the Sicilian manner).


Union City, New Jersey - Dominican Nuns of the Perpetual Rosary
Echoing the quiet, mostly residential area of 14th Street in Tucked amid the brownstones that line the block are formidable stone walls encasing a Gothic-style building, which is commonly called the Blue Chapel and currently houses five cloistered Dominican nuns who have taken on St. Dominic’s strict practice of prayer.


Santa Sabina - Rome, Italy

The church and convent of Santa Sabina on the Aventine hill in Rome have been home to the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) since the 13th century. In the center of the church there is a black stone that, according to legend, was hurled at St. Dominic by the Devil. It didn't harm him, of course, but it put a dent in the floor.



Ark of St Dominic - Basilica of San Domenico - Bologna, Italy
The Arca di San Domenico (Ark of Saint Dominic) is a monument containing the remains of Saint Dominic. It is located in Dominic’s Chapel in the Basilica of San Domenico in Bologna, Italy. Saint Dominic died in the convent of the church of San Nicolò delle Vigne on 6 August 1221. He was buried behind the altar. The church of San Nicolò was expanded into the Basilica of San Domenico between 1228 and 1240. The remains of the saint were moved in 1233 from its place behind the altar into a simple marble sarcophagus, situated on the floor in the right aisle of the church for the faithful. Since most of the pilgrims, who came in great numbers to see the grave, were not able to see this shrine, hidden by so many people standing in front of it, the need was felt for a new shrine.

In 1264 the Dominicans then commissioned a new tomb for their founder to Nicola Pisano, the famous sculptor of the pulpit of the Pisa Baptistery. He was certainly responsible for the design of the new sarcophagus, but in 1265 he was already at work on another assignment, the pulpit for the Siena Cathedral. The front side was done in his workshop, partially by Nicola Pisano himself but mostly by his assistant Lapo di Ricevuto. The rectangular sarcophagus was originally borne on caryatid figures. When the Ark was later redesigned, these supports were dispersed and are now tentatively identified in several museums: the archangels "Michael" and "Gabriel" (in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London), the statue "Faith" (Louvre, Paris), a group of three deacons (in the Bargello, Florence) and a similar group in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Dominican Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus

Dominican Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus
1909 South Ashland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60608-2994
Phone 312.226.0020



A visit to the oldest building preserved in the Old Town of Tallinn is worthwhile.

One of the best-kept secrets of Tallinn is to be found in the very center of the city. Located near Viru Street, between Müürivahe and Vene Streets, is a medieval Dominican monastery which reveals a fascinating dimension of the city’s history.

The Dominican Order was founded by a Spaniard, Saint Dominic Gusman, in 1216. Up to that moment only bishops were permitted to preach, but their performance was inadequate beause of the time they had to devote to the administrstion of their dioceses. The result was that many Christians heard the Word of God rarely if at all . Dominic envisioned the creation of a body of trained theologians who would scatter throughout Europe and proclaim the gospel in the most remote areas. The nordic countries appear  very early on the Dominic anagenda.

To reach Tallinn the friars followed the trade route along the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, and reached Estonia some 750 years ago. The monastery in Tallinn was certainly in existence by1246.Constructed in the gothic style, it exhibits a number of Interesting architectural features,and contains the largest collection of carved stones in Estonia.

The site of the monastery in the Old City was carefully chosen in order to facilitate both the ministry of the friars and their business interests.They traded in fish in order to support themselves,but their reason for existing was preaching the word of God. The seal of the monastery bore the words ‘Order of Preachers”. The people, however, knew it as “Blackfriars Monastery’ because of the black cloak the friars wore in public over their white habit. Accoding to medieval documents the monastery was dedicated to Saint Catherine. A common symbol of the Dominican Order is a black and white dog holding in his mouth a burning torch. It derives from a pun on the Latin name of the friars, “Dominicanes”, which means ‘the followers of Dominic”. But the name could be split into two words “Domini canes” which means “the hounds of the Lord”. The torch represents the flame of truth. The monastery was celebrated for its scholarship Its best known prior was an Estonian from Tallinn named Mauritius. He studied theology in Cologne with one of the most eminent medieval scholars, Saint Albertus Magnus, and may have been a fellow-student of St Thomas Aquinas. Mauritius completed his studies at the University of Paris, which was then the best in Europe. On his return to his native land Mauritius kept in touch with colleagues in Germany. His intellectual stature is indicative of the quality of the monastery’s leadership. The offerings made on the occasion of such family festivals made a significant contribution to the monastery’s finances. The various guilds gave gifts when their feast days were celebrated. The Merchant Guild, for example, each year in December gave the friars a tun of meat, a tun of codfish, and a tun of peas. Rich burgers left legacies to the monastery for the privilege of having a family tomb in the church, But these did not suffice to sustain all those whom the monastery housed. The friars, in consequence, becaipe farmers and fish-mongers. In addition they ran a brewery, which produced four different kinds of beer. In northern Europe beer occupied the place enjoyed by wine in the south, and was a staple element of both the monastic and secular diet. The monastery also drew profit from the veneration of relics. Many documents mention twelve silver reliquaries containing the heads of saints. Some reposed on the high altar whereas others were enshrined on side altars. Each ‘head was reputed to cure a different set of diseases.

In 1517 the Reformation started in German and very quickly spread into the Baltic states. The loyalty of the friars to Rome made them immediate victims. In 1523 a Lutheran mob burnt down the Franciscan monastery in Kuramaa. The Dominican monastery in Tallinn was destroyed on ,1524.

In 1954 the former garden, cloister and refectory of the Dominican monastery were restored and opened to visitors. One of the most beautiful and peacefri pleaces in Talliun is the cloister garden whict is-bordered on one side by the church of Saints Peter and Paul and on the other by the original church of Saint Catherin. The .cloisxer and refectory contain a permanent exhibition of carved stone slabs.

Sea and limestone ( dolomaite) are two symbols of northern Estonia. Tallinn owes much of its distincitve flavour to the use of the beautiful stone in its walls and towers,and in its secular and religious architecure. Carved stone decorated public buildings and private houses. The designs employed belong to the Gothic renaissance and Baroque periods. Windows were emphasized by slender piers and graceful curves. Armorial sheilds bespoke the pride of their owners.

The monumental masons of Talliun were famous throughout northern Europe. Their carvings were in demand in Finland and other countries. The profession was highly organized. The masters constituted an exclusive guild. Boys served a three-year apprenticeship during which they were bound to a patricular master. If an apprentice ran away no other master could employ him. The next stage was that of journeyman. Its duration varied, but it came to an end when the candidate produced a master-work a small door, or window pillar, or circular wash-basin-which won the approval of 6-8 masters, Arent Passer a master mason from the Netherlands, exercised great influence on the local school of stone carving.


Florence, Italy - Museo di San Marco (Museum of Saint Marcus
The museum of San Marco in Florence comprises a church and an old Dominican monastery, restored and enlarged by Michelozzo under orders from Cosimo I de Medici. During the 15th century the monastery was home to two famous Dominicans, the painter Fra Angelico and the preacher, Girolamo Savonarola. A famous collection of manuscripts is housed in the monastery library built by Michelozzo. Each cell of the monks’ cloister (and many other walls of the halls and rooms) were decorated with frescoes by Fra Angelico in collaboration with others, including Benozzo Gozzoli.


Dominican Saints on the Colonnade of Bernini
Rome, Italy, Vatican City


On 31 July 1656 the architect Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini received the commission to build a colonnade around the piazza in front of the basilica of Saint Peter. A colonnade was a brilliant solution to the problem of providing a monumental entrance to the basilica. After the completion of the facade of the new church, the square in front was a sloping area irregularly surrounded by buildings. Bernini developed different plans, but between April 1659 and January 1660 he presented a wooden (scale-)model of his colonnade.  It is composed of four rows of columns which allow free passage in and out, but act as visual barrier to the outside except when viewed from two points in the square where the four rows of columns line up.

On his colonnade Bernini put 133 statues of martyrs, confessors and saints. He designed 96 statues of travertine, which were made by many sculptors. Lazzaro Morelli took the lion's share. Between 1661 and 1668 he sculptured 18 statues. Among the statues also 6 Dominican Saints. Standing before the basilica
at the right: statue 6: Albertus Magnus; 20: Dominic; 70: Thomas Aquinas.
At the left: statue 7: Ludovic Bertrandus; 21: Hyacinth of Poland; 24: Rose of Lima.



Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva
Preserves the majority of the remains of St. Catherine of Siena beneath the main altar in a sarcophagus covered with a marble statue of St. Catherine (Cruz 1984: 227).


St. Maria Rotunda's Church - This Dominican Church is an Early Baroque church in the historic center of Vienna, Austria. It is the third church built on the same site in the course of time
The first church on this site was built in 1237 by the newly arrived Dominicans on a piece of land allotted in 1225-1226 by the duke Leopold VI. The church was enlarged between 1240-1270 and a new choir was added in 1273. A series of fires caused the construction of a new Gothic church between 1283 and 1302. The nave was extended netween 1458 and 1474. This church consisted of a nave with five cross vaults, and two aisles

This church was heavily damaged during the first siege of Vienna by the Turkish army in 1529. The choir was demolished and the nave was partly taken down. The building became more and more dilapidated during the next period.

The new-found self-awareness of the Counter-Reformation didn’t allow any more such a sorry state for a church. In 1631 the Dominicans started to build a new oblong church with a dome, following the plan of Jacopo Tencala, architect of Prince Maximilian of Liechtenstein. The master builders were Jacopo Spacio, Cipriano Biasino and Antonio Canevale. They introduced to Vienna the Baroque style of Italy. The church was elevated to the status of basilica minor in 1927 under the name “Rosary Basilica ad S. Mariam Rotundam