Mother of God of the Stone Gate
Watercolour, crayon and marker
©2014 Charlene Brown
Fearing yet another Mongol invasion in the middle of the 13th century, citizens built defensive walls and towers around the highest part of present-day
Of the four original gates, only the Stone Gate, consisting of a vaulted corridor
that makes a right-angle turn through a gatehouse, has been preserved. Zagreb
According to legend, a great fire in 1731 destroyed most of the gatehouse and all of its contents, except for a painting of the Virgin and Child. When it was reconstructed in 1760, the painting, believed by then to possess supernatural powers, was given a place of honour, with an inscription, ‘Aid in all distress and against fires.’ The altar was opened to the public, and the painting could even be touched – until 1778 when an artistically-forged Baroque iron enclosure was built to protect it from the steady stream of grateful citizens.