Saint Blaise or Vlaho in Croatian is the patron saint of Dubrovnik and a church bearing his name dominates the centre of the historic centre of the city.
According to legend from the year 971, Venetian ships anchored in Dubrovnik on the night of the 2nd to the 3rd of February under the pretence of taking up water and provision before proceeding further east. It is recounted that a man named “Vlaho” warned a priest named Stojko that Venetians were planning to attack the city. Later the priest alarmed the City and stopped the attack.
In the honour of the patron saint, the Church of St. Blaise was constructed. The Venetian architect Marino Gropelli constructed the present day church in 1715 and it was built on the place of an old Romanesque church from 1368 that was damaged in the Great earthquake of 1667 and finally destroyed in a fire that struck it in 1706.
The new church was built in a Baroque style. Through the centuries St Blaise presented an inspiration to a large number of artists who painted and sculptured his image and you can see his statues all over the town.