CITY OF SPLIT HISTORIC CORE - LEARN ABOUT WORLD'S CULTURAL HERITAGE

Matejuška (St. Francis)

An old photography showing construction works on Riva in the late 19th century

Matejuška (St. Francis)

An old postcard showing The Franciscan monastery and the church of St.Francis in the late 19th century (completely restored in 1907 and rehabilitated in 1995)

Matejuška (St. Francis)

A view of Marmontova's street in the late 19th century, before the left wing of the Arcades (Prokurative) was erected

Matejuška (St. Francis)

The crucifix at the altar of St.Francis' church , painted by Blaž Jurjev of Trogir in the early 15th century

Matejuška (St. Francis)

A photo of Riva in Split in the late 19th century

Matejuška (St. Francis)

The complex of Neo-Renaissance structures, called Prokurative, being constructed from 1864 to 1928

The Church of St. Francis, with its monastery, is the principal historical, sacral and architectural edifice in this part of the city. The whole complex was built above the Early Christian church, dating from 5th or 6th century, dedicated to St. Felix. According to the tradition, he was a Salona martyr from the 4th century. Thomas Archdeacon (1200-1268), a local chronicler, recorded that the church was reconstructed by Ivan, the Archbishop of Split, in 11th century.

Upon their arrival in this region (early 13th century), the Franciscans, following the custom of that time, erected their own monastery and the church at the city borders, However, the church has changed its original appearance by considerable reconstruction in the late 19th century. In the meantime, a small cloister was built in the early 14th century, bearing Romanesque characteristics, and it has been well conserved until the present day. Recently, both the church and the monastery have been completely restored.

Among the works of art found inside the church, the most valuable is the Crucifix painted by Blaž Jurjev of Trogir, from the early 15th century. Inside the church there are the tombs of some eminent citizens of Split, with the inscriptions carved on the tombstones, such as the tombs of Archdeacon Thomas (1200 - 1268), a chronicler; Marko Marulić (1450 - 1524), a writer; Ivan Lukačić (1587 - 1648), a composer; Jeronim Kavanjin (1643- 1714), a poet; and Ante Trumbić (1864 - 1938), a local politician.

Particularly valuable are the documents kept in the archive and some old books kept in the rich monastery library which tell us about the life of the city and about many eminent persons from Croatian history who lived there. Take for example friar Bernardin of Split (the author of " Lectionary" - the list of lections to be read in a church services, which was the first book printed in Croatian language and in Latin alphabet in 1495), or above mentioned composer-organist Ivan Lukačić.

Close to the cloister, there is a small sheltered port (so called "mandrač") for fishing boats of the fishermen from Veli Varoš, and it is still used today. There used to be a small shipyard on the same site until the end of the last century.