Photo by Boris Kačan - Zadar Bridge

800 Years of the Franciscans in Zadar

St Francis of Assisi is well known for his deep respect for our animal friends and for nature, as well as his insistence that to follow God one must embrace humility and poverty. During his lifetime, in the 13th century, it is believed that St Francis travelled along the Dalmatian coast, founding a Franciscan monastery right here in Zadar in 1212.

What’s more, during his stay here, he cured a nun of a three-year-long sickness, and the Franciscan order received the gift of a monastery garden, while the Benedictine nuns undertook the Rule of St Clare, an order founded by St Francis and St Clare of Assisi.

The monastery is a terracotta and yellow building framed by palm trees with a peaceful courtyard at its centre. The monastery has a rich treasury and its archive has books dating back to the 13th century, as well as a 14th century volume describing how to make colours for decorating books. An exhibition of aerial photos called “The Monasteries of the Franciscan Province of St Jerome” is open this summer – see our What to See section for the address and opening times.


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