Photo du Jour: The Red Balloon – Šibenik, Croatia

A young girl, carrying a cherry-colored balloon, explores the entrance to the Cathedral of Saint James in Šibenik, Croatia, as lion statues seemingly look on. During our café break, across the square from the cathedral, we actually saw a steady stream of local little ones climbing atop the lions and playing hide & seek.

This Gothic and Renaissance cathedral was built completely out of stone between 1431-1535. Its history and architectural style was influenced by 15th and 16th century art movements of northern Italy, Dalmatia, and Tuscany.

The cathedral roof sustained considerable damage during the six-day shelling of Šibenik in 1991, following the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. The structure has since been repaired and in 2000, it was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Where in the World?

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

Published by Tricia A. Mitchell

Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and photographer. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta; Heidelberg, Germany; and Split, Croatia. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene. A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia. Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.

18 thoughts on “Photo du Jour: The Red Balloon – Šibenik, Croatia

    1. Very true. The fact that the cathedral is still so intact speaks to the skilled artisans who built it. I wonder if children growing up (and playing in) such ancient places take all the nooks and crannies for granted?

    1. Tina, I agree. Seeing the city largely restored now, it’s hard to imagine that it was once the scene of intense shelling. Did you make it inside the cathedral? It was closed during our visit and I’m curious what it was like. Seeing all the brilliantly-carved faces on the outside certainly kept us occupied for a while, though.

  1. Love the image Tricia !!!! Red balloons have been always something very intriguing for me, don’t know exactly why, a childhood thing I guess! Have you ever seen that famous old movie, “The Red Balloon”, it is French I believe and it is so .

    1. Cornelia, thank you for your comment and for reminding me of the French film. I’ve seen snippets of it – it’s a classic shot in Paris, right? Ever since we went on a hot air balloon ride over France’s Loire Valley balloons have taken on new symbolism. :)

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