The Croatian Prince Višeslav’s Baptistry (Krstionica)



The Baptismal Font of Duke Višeslav

The Baptismal Font of Prince Višeslav the first Croatian Prince, who reigned around 800 is one of the most important monuments of church furnishing. This hexagonal stone vessel is witness to the time when Croats were Christianized, and during the Christianization worshippers were baptized in it.

The replica can be found in the Museum of Nin Antiquities while the original is kept in the Museum of Croatian Archeological Monuments in Split. The Baptismal Font was stolen by the Venetians in 1746 and taken to Venice. It was returned to Croatia during World War II.

Around the edge of the six-sided Baptismal Font, there is an inscription which reads: “This font receives the weak to enlighten them. Here they are purged of their sins which they received from their first parents, in order to become Christians, salutary confessing the Eternal Trinity. This work was skillfully made by priest John at the time of Prince Višeslav, out of piety but to honor Saint John the Baptist, to mediate for him and his protégé”.

On the font there is a carved cross with a three strand plait which suggests the symbolism of the Resurrection.



 — By Croatian Cultural Garden Committee on September 27th, 2013