About St. Francis Church and Friary

The Church

The present St. Francis church was built in the 15th century in Franciscan gothic style, subsequently having gone through many changes. The present “style” dates back to the year 1854. The Island of Cres noble family De Petris (Petrić) expanded the church in 1520, adding to it a Renaissance chapel.  The chapel is opened towards the church through three semi-circular arches, while the chapel itself is divided by arches into three separate spaces. In the middle of the chapel, there are organs dating back to year 1904, with 18 registers. On the opposite side of the chapel, there are two marble altars from the 18th century. The main altar was altered in 1980 according to the new liturgical rules, while it was built from the marble parts of the old main altar from the 18th century. Over the altar hangs a wooden crucifix from the 17th-18th century.  In the apse there are 15th century carved choir seats in gothic style. In the middle of the apse is the tarsia seat from the 17th century for priests, while over it is a large canvas painting of St. Francis, made in 1857 by the Paduan painter Ferdinand Schuman. In 1695, a very beautiful church tower was added.

St. Francis Church and Friary

The Friary

The friary consists of two cloisters: large and small. The large cloister was built towards the beginning of the 16th century.  One among its many purposes was the burial site of illustrious citizens. Between the years 1554 and 1560, a large reservoir was built right in the middle of the cloister, keeping water for the local population during droughts. The cloister was in 1985 enriched by bronze busts of the four top superiors of the Order of Franciscan Conventuals. All four of them were born in Cres and have attained their first Franciscan ideals in this very friary.

The large cloister also hosts a most valuable sacral museum, enabling a short introduction not only into the valuable objects and souvenirs owned by the friary, but also into the spiritual and mental achievements of the city of Cres and the friars living and working here. The museum owns valuable paintings, sculptures, church vessels, liturgical attire, codices, incunabulae, valuable books on science and liturgy, chorals decorated by miniatures, documents from the archival records, various utility objects and tools, etc.

The door on the eastern side of the large cloister lead to the small cloister, built in the 15th c. It also has a water tank, for the friars. On the southern side of the small cloister is a door leading to the garden. Right next to the exit, to the left hand side, is a small location “observatorium” from different European cities, while the friary hall hosts a most impressive and interesting library.

St. Francis Friary and Church – view from the garden

Adress:Samostan sv. Frane
Trg sv. Frane 6
51557 Cres

Phone no:tel. (051) 571-217


Priests:Fr. Vitomir Glavaš, Guardian
Fr. Ferdinand Ćavar
Fr. Josip Petonjić, Magister of the Postulants



Your E-mail Adress:

Your Message: