Monasteries in Croatia

Franciscan Monastery

The large complex of the Franciscan monastery is situated at the very beginning of Placa, to the left of the inner Pile Gate, next to the Holy Savior Church. The Franciscan order arrived in Dubrovnik around 1234. The first Franciscan monastery was built in the 13th century in the Pile area on the spot what is today Hotel Hilton Imperial. However as the City was threatened with war, in 1317, decision was made to demolis ...
Founded: 1317 | Location: Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dominican Monastery

Dominican monastery is located at the eastern part of The City, close to the inner Ploce gate where it merges with the City walls. Dominican monastery is one of the most important architectural parts of Dubrovnik and major treasury of cultural and art heritage in Dubrovnik as the museum of the monastery exhibits many paintings, artifacts, jewellery and other items from the rich history of Dubrovnik. The Dominicans establ ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Dubrovnik, Croatia

Monastery of St. Francis Assisi

The Monastery of St. Francis Assisi in Zadar, along with a church of the same name, was built around 1221. It was consecrated on October 12, 1282 by bishop Lovro Periandar. Throughout the centuries of its history the monastery was the focal point of religious life in the city of Zadar. It was also home to the Franciscan school, precursor to today"s University of Zadar. It had rich picture gallery as well as a coll ...
Founded: 1221 | Location: Zadar, Croatia

St. Francis Monastery

On the slope of the hill between the Forum Square and the upper circular street, lies the monastic complex dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, built in the 14th century at the site of a previous cultic edifice. The Franciscan community was first recorded in Pula in the 13th century. The church was built in 1314 in the late Romanesque style with Gothic ornaments, as a firm and simple building of the preaching Franciscan or ...
Founded: 1314 | Location: Pula, Croatia

Franciscan monastery

On the cape to the south of the Hvar lies the Franciscan Monastery with a church of Our Lady of Mercy, built in the late 15th century. Hanibal Lucić's grave is under the main altar in the church. The cloister, with its monumental rounded arches with a well in the middle, dominates the whole of the Renaissance monastery. The bell tower, in Renaissance style, is the work of an artist from Korčula. Within the peace and qu ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Hvar, Croatia

Kosljun Monastery

Košljun is a tiny island in Puntarska Draga bay off the coast of Krk, facing Punat. It is approximately 300 meters in diameter and covers an area of 6.5 hectares, but is rich in vegetation. The only inhabitants are a group of Franciscan friars living in St. Mary's Monastery. The earliest known settlement on Košljun was a Roman villa rustica belonging to a landowner of the Roman settlement on Krk. The next solid evidenc ...
Founded: 1480 | Location: Punat, Croatia

Visovac Monastery

The Visovac Monastery was established in the 14th century by Augustinian monks, who erected a small monastery and church on the island dedicated to the Apostle Paul. In 1445, it was enlarged and adapted by Franciscans, who settled on the island having withdrawn from parts of Bosnia when invading Turks had taken over. A new monastery was constructed in the 18th century. The oldest preserved part of the current complex dat ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Drniš, Croatia

Dominican Monastery

In at the place in Bol where once was a bishop"s palace today is the Dominican Monastery. It was built in 1475 and very close to it is a small church of Our Lady of Mercy. The most precious heritage of both monastery and church is the renaissance painting of Madonna and Child with Saints.
Founded: 1475 | Location: Bol, Croatia

Capuchin Monastery

Construction of the Capuchin Church began in 1701, completed in 1705 and dedicated to the Blessed Trinity. The Capuchin Church and Monastery were built in a stern and simple style, typical for Capuchin Monasteries. A small wooden turret has also been preserved. The Franciscans, interestingly enough, who lived on alms that were collected during the harvest, found the arrival of the Capuchins troubling, because they were af ...
Founded: 1701 | Location: Varaždin, Croatia

Monastery of the Holy Trinity

The Franciscan monastery in star dates from the 18th century, and is also Baroque in style, with exceptional architecture, especially of the church yard, and monastery church interior, with its beautiful altar and paintings. In 1720, a faculty of philosophy was opened here.
Founded: 18th century | Location: Slavonski Brod, Croatia

Franciscan Monastery & Church of St. John the Baptist

Church of St. John the Baptist in Kloštar Ivanić is a late Gothic (stone) structure built in 1508 and it belongs to the largest of the Gothic churches in northern Croatia. The single nave church hall, with its extended sanctuary ends in a polygonal apse, with ornaments of fauna. The massive bell tower rises at the southern end of the sanctuary and is the junction between the church and the monastery. The tower is constr ...
Founded: 1508 | Location: Kloštar Ivanić, Croatia

Gomirje Monastery

Gomirje is the westernmost Serb Orthodox monastery in Croatia. It was built in the period of the first larger Serb settling in the villages of Gomirje, Vrbovsko and Moravice at the end of 16th and the beginning of the 17th century. The monastery is thought to have been founded in 1600. The monastery includes the church of Roždenije saint John the Baptist, built in 1719. In 1789, the monastery was devastated by fires and ...
Founded: c. 1600 | Location: Vrbovsko, Croatia

Krupa Monastery

Krupa monastery is the oldest Orthodox monastery in Croatia. It is located on the southern slopes of the Velebit mountain, halfway between the towns of Obrovac and Knin. The monastery was built in 1317 by monks from Bosnia, with the financial support from the Serbian king Milutin. During their reigns, King Stefan Dečanski and Emperor Dušan renovated the monastery. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the monastery was endow ...
Founded: 1317 | Location: Obrovac, Croatia

Krka monastery

Krka Monastery is the best known monastery of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Croatia and it is officially protected as part of the Krka National Park. The oldest extant mention of the monastery was in 1345, when it is listed as an endowment of princess Jelena Nemanjić Šubić, half-sister of the Serbian emperor Dušan and wife of Mladen III Šubić Bribirski, Croatian duke of Skradin and Bribir. The Catholic monastery w ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Kistanje, Croatia

Kutjevo Abbey

The Cistercian Kutjevo monastery was founded in 1232 as a daughter-house of Zirc Abbey in Hungary, of the filiation of Clairvaux. The Cistercians planted the vineyards, which are still cultivated today. After the Turkish attack of 1521 (or 1529) the monastery was dissolved and subsequently destroyed. In 1689 the monastery estate was granted by Emperor Leopold I to Ivan Babić, a canon of Zagreb, who was named titula ...
Founded: 1232 | Location: Kutjevo, Croatia

Lepavina Monastery

Lepavina Monastery is a Serbian Orthodox monastery dedicated to the Presentation of Mary. According to an old local chronicle, the Lepavina monastery was founded around 1550, very soon after the emergence of the first Serbian settlements in this region. A monk from the Hilandar Monastery (on the Athos peninsula, Greece), Jefrem (Ephraim) Vukodabović, together with two monks from Bosnia, built a wooden church here. Howeve ...
Founded: 1550 | Location: Sokolovac, Croatia

Orahovica Monastery

The Orahovica Monastery is a Serbian Orthodox monastery mentioned in 1583 when it was a seat of the Požega metropolitanate. It is thought to have been built before the end of the 15th century.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Orahovica, Croatia

Jastrebarsko Monastery

The original monastery in Jastrebarsko was Dominican in the 16th century., but by 1575, the last Dominican had left Jastrebarsko. In 1602, the Franciscans take over the Dominican Monastery. In 1704, the construction of the monastery begins. The entire structure was built in the form of early Baroque architecture, building the old Dominican structure into the new church and monastery, and the original Gothic structures are ...
Founded: 1704 | Location: Jastrebarsko, Croatia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Klis Fortress

From its origin as a small stronghold built by the ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatae, becoming a royal castle that was the seat of many Croatian kings, to its final development as a large fortress during the Ottoman wars in Europe, Klis Fortress has guarded the frontier, being lost and re-conquered several times. Due to its location on a pass that separates the mountains Mosor and Kozjak, the fortress served as a major source of defense in Dalmatia, especially against the Ottoman advance, and has been a key crossroad between the Mediterranean belt and the Balkan rear.

Since Duke Mislav of the Duchy of Croatia made Klis Fortress the seat of his throne in the middle of the 9th century, the fortress served as the seat of many Croatia"s rulers. The reign of his successor, Duke Trpimir I, the founder of the Croatian royal House of Trpimirović, is significant for spreading Christianity in the Duchy of Croatia. He largely expanded the Klis Fortress, and in Rižinice, in the valley under the fortress, he built a church and the first Benedictine monastery in Croatia. During the reign of the first Croatian king, Tomislav, Klis and Biograd na Moru were his chief residences.

In March 1242 at Klis Fortress, Tatars who were a constituent segment of the Mongol army under the leadership of Kadan suffered a major defeat while in pursuit of the Hungarian army led by King Béla IV. After their defeat by Croatian forces, the Mongols retreated, and Béla IV rewarded many Croatian towns and nobles with 'substantial riches'. During the Late Middle Ages, the fortress was governed by Croatian nobility, amongst whom Paul I Šubić of Bribir was the most significant. During his reign, the House of Šubić controlled most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia. Excluding the brief possession by the forces of Bosnian King, Tvrtko I, the fortress remained in Hungaro-Croatian hands for the next several hundred years, until the 16th century.

Klis Fortress is probably best known for its defense against the Ottoman invasion of Europe in the early 16th century. Croatian captain Petar Kružić led the defense of the fortress against a Turkish invasion and siege that lasted for more than two and a half decades. During this defense, as Kružić and his soldiers fought without allies against the Turks, the military faction of Uskoks was formed, which later became famous as an elite Croatian militant sect. Ultimately, the defenders were defeated and the fortress was occupied by the Ottomans in 1537. After more than a century under Ottoman rule, in 1669, Klis Fortress was besieged and seized by the Republic of Venice, thus moving the border between Christian and Muslim Europe further east and helping to contribute to the decline of the Ottoman Empire. The Venetians restored and enlarged the fortress, but it was taken by the Austrians after Napoleon extinguished the republic itself in 1797. Today, Klis Fortress contains a museum where visitors to this historic military structure can see an array of arms, armor, and traditional uniforms.