The Dominican Monastery museum in Bol is one of the largest and wealthiest museums on the island of Brac. The Dominican Monastery is located on the east side of Bol, on the Glavica peninsula. It was reopened to the public in 2021, harmoniously blending modern design and cultural and historical treasures.
What can you see in the Dominican Monastery museum?
The museum spreads over three floors with different topics. The lowest floor holds a rich collection of underwater archaeological artifacts from the Adriatic sea. The number of amphorae is impressive. After hundreds of years of lying under the sea, they found their final resting place in the monastery museum in an almost perfectly preserved condition. There are also various reliefs from the time of the Roman Empire, as there was a Roman fortress in the area of today’s monastery.
The museum’s main floor contains a collection of artworks, primarily by Venetian masters, of which the works of the baroque painter Bartolomeo Litterini particularly stand out. However, the one thing that attracts the attention of every visitor is the window with a rich collection of gold jewelry behind it. The jewelry is primarily of Italian origin, and it was votive gifts of the island of Brac nobility and wealthy Bol families.
On the same floor is one rarity, one of only twelve preserved in the world, the ‘Missal by the Law of the Roman Court.’ It is the first Croatian printed book, dated 1483, shortly after the invention of the printing press. Along with it, there are various relics of saints, of which the reliquary of the face of Christ particularly stands out.
The top, main floor of the Dominican Monastery museum, where you enter, exhibits provide insights into the liturgical life of Bol. For example, here we can find lambskin parchments from which the Dominicans prayed throughout history. We can also see richly decorated mass vestments and silverware from the historical and liturgical life of the Dominican monastery.
The same floor hosts another precious rarity, the only known one, a closet for liturgical vestments used by priests from the nearby Draceva Luka monastery. Apart from having Glagolitic inscriptions, it is also notable in that, although it was used daily, it is still well preserved.
Dominican Monastery Church
Next to the Dominican monastery is a church of St. Mary of Mercy, built and rebuilt at various stages throughout the 16th century. It received its present-day Baroque form in 1641. The main altar, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, is the work of the world-famous Venetian painter Jacopo Tintoretto. The authenticity of the painting is confirmed by records of the monastery archives, which describe the acquisition of this precious painting in detail.