The Maskeron

Gargoyle-like faces on fountains and monuments

Maskeron is a stone ornament that was very popular during the Renaissance period. It looks like a human-shaped facemask with grotesque animal details e.g. goat’s ears, and that is where the name comes from. In Italian, mascherone means a big mask.

You will find maskeron on almost every fountain in Dubrovnik Old City. The best known ones are on the Great Onofrio’s fountain where water pours out through the mouths of sixteen different maskerons.

Besides fountains, these decorative elements can be found on capitals and consoles, like on the columns of the Franciscan Monastery atrium.

The legend of maskeron on the Franciscan Monastery

However, some maskerons are also gargoyles. They are downspouts for rainwater from the roof, which divert water from building foundations or walls.

One of these gargoyles is well known to most visitors. It is the one by the entrance to the Franciscan Monastery. It looks like the head of a man with a mustache. The top side of it is now flat, worn out by many feet of locals and tourists trying to jump on it. Whenever you walk over the central street, you’ll find someone trying to jump on it.

The legend says that the one who jumps on it and stays there with hands spread to the sides would find the love of his/her life. According to another legend that will be proof that his/her soul is without any sins.

Many visitors do not know anything about these legends, they see others trying and just jump for fun. Not many were able to stay still there. Although, there were those who stood there, took off their T-shirt, and wore it again, still standing.

Usually, people prefer to jump at night, maybe because of fewer spectators laughing at them. Feel free to try, and don’t be ashamed, there were a lot of those who did the same.

Join me on a city tour Welcome to Dubrovnik and we’ll discover some of the most beautiful maskerons in the City.

Maskeron

The Maskeron

Gargoyle-like faces on fountains and monuments

Maskeron is a stone ornament that was very popular during the Renaissance period. It looks like a human-shaped facemask with grotesque animal details e.g. goat’s ears, and that is where the name comes from. In Italian, mascherone means a big mask.

You will find maskeron on almost every fountain in Dubrovnik Old City. The best known ones are on the Great Onofrio’s fountain where water pours out through the mouths of sixteen different maskerons.

Besides fountains, these decorative elements can be found on capitals and consoles, like on the columns of the Franciscan Monastery atrium.

Maskeron

The legend of maskeron on the Franciscan Monastery

However, some maskerons are also gargoyles. They are downspouts for rainwater from the roof, which divert water from building foundations or walls.

One of these gargoyles is well known to most visitors. It is the one by the entrance to the Franciscan Monastery. It looks like the head of a man with a mustache. The top side of it is now flat, worn out by many feet of locals and tourists trying to jump on it. Whenever you walk over the central street, you’ll find someone trying to jump on it.

The legend says that the one who jumps on it and stays there with hands spread to the sides would find the love of his/her life. According to another legend that will be proof that his/her soul is without any sins.

Many visitors do not know anything about these legends, they see others trying and just jump for fun. Not many were able to stay still there. Although, there were those who stood there, took off their T-shirt, and wore it again, still standing.

Usually, people prefer to jump at night, maybe because of fewer spectators laughing at them. Feel free to try, and don’t be ashamed, there were a lot of those who did the same.

Join me on a city tour Welcome to Dubrovnik and we’ll discover some of the most beautiful maskerons in the City.

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