World’s First Underwater Stations of the Cross Opening in Trogir!

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We like to introduce our readers to the wonders of the Croatian coast on a daily basis – magical beaches, little charming bays, marinas, restaurants and bars with a gorgeous view of the sea… but there are some treasures hiding under the surface that are more than worth taking a look at.

Underwater archaeological sites, underwater parks, underwater wine cellars… there’s plenty to choose from, but this time, we present you with a unique art project currently taking shape: underwater Stations of the Cross.

Two enthusiasts with entirely different backgrounds have united to devise a project that’s sure to grab the attention of many future visitors. Joško Kandija, the owner of the Blue Nautica diving centre in Trogir, is collaborating with Valentino Valent, the owner of the Lončarstvo Val company from Petrinja that specialises in ceramics. Two partners from two different worlds, one a professional diver, the other an artist, united in a noble goal of bringing a fantastic idea to life: creating the first underwater Way of the Cross in the world.

One of the most featured themed series in the history of art, Stations of the Cross appear as a motif in dozens of forms in visual arts, music and literature, but no one has thought to create one under the water surface until now. The initiators are planning to install the whole series – all 14 stations, composed of 50 life-sized sculptures.

The Jelinak bay near Trogir was selected for the location of the underwater story, as its depth of 10 metres provides perfect conditions for the project. “The Jelinak bay belongs to Marina municipality that promptly agreed to our idea that will enrich their tourist offer in the process. We’re certain our project is of great importance for the whole region and that it will contribute to the tourism industry”, said Joško Kandija.

The first station titled ‘Pilat condemns Jesus to die’ is already finished. It will be on display on the waterfront in Trogir for a while, and diving trips around the site will be available as soon as the sculptures are installed at the seabed.

“We’re planning to complete the project in September. All the stations will be installed at various depths from 4 to 9 metres, to make diving accessible for everyone, both the experienced divers and beginners who haven’t yet experienced the stunning underwater scenery”, stated Kandija, adding the project has an estimated worth of around 800.000 kuna.

The Catholic Church granted them official approval, just as the Municipality and the Split-Dalmatia County. The opening ceremony for the first station is planned for this Sunday, August 27 at 11:00.

“To mark the 15th station of the Cross, we’re planning to install a 9-metre statue of Jesus at a depth of 18 metres in March 2018, just before Easter. We’re also planning to install a lighting system around the entire site to enable people to dive and see the Stations of the Cross in night hours as well; we’re counting on it to be one more attractive element of the underwater park”, Kandija concluded.

Translation of excerpts from hrturizam.


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