The last wish of Marija Račić, a member of a well-known Cavtat family of shipowners, was to have a mausoleum built for her loved ones on the St. Roch cemetery. In 1921, a famous Croatian sculptor, Ivan Meštrović, brought the idea to life.
It took him two years to finish the dome-like structure using white stone from the island of Brač. There’s not a single piece of wood or any other material used in the construction except for bronze for the entrance door and bell.
The entire mausoleum, from the said door with two caryatids, to the dome covered with images of angels, and the floor depicting images from the Bible, that is, Four Evangelists, as well as the main altar and side aisles, is full of symbolism representing three main stages of human destiny – coming into the world, living and departing. The bell, which was also constructed according to the sculptor’s design, bears the following inscription: ”Know the mystery of love and thou shalt solve the mystery of death, and believe that life is eternal”.
The Cavtat mausoleum is the first architectural work by Meštrović, thought by many experts as a fascinating combination of architecture and sculpture. In 1925 he was awarded a Grand Prix for this particular creation at the International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts in Paris.
The Račić Mausoleum is unique in its beauty like that of a white swan of eternity, sailing the waters of sunny Cavtat, and avenues of pine trees, cypresses and palm trees.
Information by: Konavle Tourist Board