Franciscan Friary, Dubrovnik

The Franciscan Friary(Franjevacki Samostan) in Dubrovnik was founded in 1317 and rebuilt after the 1667 earthquake. It contains some fine examples of Romanesque and Gothic architecture.


History of Franciscan Friary

Construction on a Franciscan friary in Dubrovnik began in 1317 and was completed in the 1400s.

It was badly damaged in the 1667 earthquake and almost entirely rebuilt, but the cloister and other elements still survive from the original building.

The library, cloisters, and bell tower were damaged in the attacks on Dubrovnik during the 1991 war.

What to See at Franciscan Friary

The Franciscan friary is accessed via a narrow passage from St. Savior's Church. Among the earliest surviving features is the south door, designed in 1499 in a Venetian Gothic style and featuring a beautifully carved Pieta in the lunette.

The friary also includes the single-nave St. Francis Church, a 15th-century marble pulpit, and a bell tower. The fine 15th-century cloisters entirely escaped the earthquake and are the most interesting part of the monastery.

The cloisters are late Romanesque with some Gothic elements, and feature double columns topped with human, animal, and plant carvings and a tranquil open garden with a 15th-century fountain in the center. The upper level of the cloisters was built after the 1667 earthquake and is open only to Franciscans.

Accessed via one side of the cloisters is the Pharmacy (Stara Ljekarna), which has been in use since 1317 and claims to be the oldest working pharmacy in Europe. Ancient laboratory instruments, mortars, measuring tools and beautifully decorated jars are displayed on old shelves.

A Franciscan Museum (Muzej Franjevackog Samostana) is housed in another room within the monastery, displaying a collection of religious art and artifacts belonging to the Franciscan order. There is also a valuable library.

Quick Facts on Franciscan Friary

Site Information
Names:Franciscan Friary
Faiths:Franciscan order
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:42.641812° N, 18.107604° E
Address:Dubrovnik, Croatia
Lodging:View hotels near Franciscan Friary
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.


  1. Frommer's Croatia, 1st ed. (Frommer's, 2006).
  2. Eyewitness Travel Guide to Croatia (London: Dorling Kindersley Limited, 2005).

More Information

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© Br Lawrence Lew, OP
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