The Franciscans arrived in Makarska from Bosnia building their monastery in 1502. Although their efforts were frustrated by frequent invasions, a big earthquake and political opposition, through the centuries the rather lovely monastery you see today came into being. The old monastery complex has a rustic cloistered courtyard with a stone wellhead, a church and a bell tower. The monastery served as a school for religious studies, in 1971 becoming part of the Zagreb Theological Seminary. The monks studied natural sciences and humanities, founding a library which today contains over 5,000 volumes as well as journals, manuscripts and incunabula. One friar in particular, Dr. Jure Radić, was a keen biologist who led the creation of the Institute of the Sea and Mountains which is still active today and is based in the monastery. Its Malacological Museum, one of Makarska’s top attractions, is a respected institution with good links with similar museums around the world. The Institute also has a herbarium of plant species of the Biokovo and Adriatic regions.