St. Joseph by the Road

architect Nikola Bašić
project St. Joseph's Church, Ražine, Croatia
written by Ivan Oštrić


If, when travelling through Dalmatia, you decide to cut across the Adriatic tourist road by taking the by-pass  mountain road via Vrpolje – somewhere on the edges of the [ibenik suburbian, instant,working-class settlement Ražine you will pass right by the foot of the newly erected building, identified without any doubt as a church. Perceptively sedimented experience according to which modern sacral creations are distinguished from the coexistent huge family houses only by the bell-tower and the sign of the cross, is this time suppressed by a completely different impression. The church is, namely, really a church! As it is rarely a case: unambiguous, convincing and real. Although regarding location, its south boundary clutches unfortunately to an unarticu­lated group of the previously existing individual houses – the building opens up fascinatingly through its northern shell towards the free landscape establishing on a semantic-symbolic level exciting messages about its (spiritual) origin and its (physical) architectural being.