The Franciscan monastery in Graz was founded by the Franciscan order, who still own it, and is first mentioned in 1239. In the church, a high but narrow 14th-century chancel contrasts with the comparatively low and wide nave. The chancel was gutted by a bomb in World War II, and subsequently rebuilt with a new contemporary interior. The stained glass windows bathe the church in light, whilst the chancel is dominated by a grey cast iron crucifix that seems to hover.
The original Gothic cloisters of the monastery enclose a monastery garden, and are open to the public. The walls of the cloister are lined with the names, professions and life data of the distinguished burghers and noblemen who were buried in this place between the 15th and the 18th centuries. On the first floor of the monastery, with windows looking into the chancel of the church, is the oratory, where the friars meet for their holy offices.
The high tower, one of the more prominent Graz landmarks, is unusual for a Franciscan establishment. It owes its existence to the church's strategic location next to the city walls, and was built as a fortified tower by the city authorities in the 17th century.References:
The Church of St Donatus name refers to Donatus of Zadar, who began construction on this church in the 9th century and ended it on the northeastern part of the Roman forum. It is the largest Pre-Romanesque building in Croatia.
The beginning of the building of the church was placed to the second half of the 8th century, and it is supposed to have been completed in the 9th century. The Zadar bishop and diplomat Donat (8th and 9th centuries) is credited with the building of the church. He led the representations of the Dalmatian cities to Constantinople and Charles the Great, which is why this church bears slight resemblance to Charlemagne"s court chapels, especially the one in Aachen, and also to the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. It belongs to the Pre-Romanesque architectural period.
The circular church, formerly domed, is 27 m high and is characterised by simplicity and technical primitivism.