Other pages you may find of interest

Diocletian's Palace

Cathedral of St Domnius Split


Date of Visit




Church of St Francis



The Church of St Francis was built by the Franciscan friars when they arrived in Split in the 13th Century at the site of the grave of St Felix, whose remains are held in the main altar of the church.  Having been demolished a couple of times over the years the current church was built in the early 20th century.


Dating back to 304 the Church of St Francis stands on an early Christian site.

When the Franciscan friars arrived in Split in the 13th Century they built a church and a monastery over the grave and the chapel of St. Felix, a martyr from the time of the Diocletian persecutions. A small Romanesque-style cloister was added in the 13th century. 

In the 15th century, the monastery was demolished in order that the building materials could be used in the construction of the defensive tower to defend against the Turks. Following the conflict, the friary was rebuilt using the same foundations.  It was demolished again at the end of the 19th century and then once again rebuilt at the beginning of the 20th century. Its present appearance dates from that time.    

The church underwent reconstruction and restoration during the 19th Century and again in 1995. Which gives it its current appearance with the narrow width and the bell tower.


On entry, at the far end of the church, is the main altar, which holds the remains of St. Felix, this was built at the beginning of the 20th century.


The statue of St. Francis under the canopy is a copy of the work of the famous sculptor Dupre. 


Paintings and statues are displayed around the church. 

Along the sides are additional altars, with two on the right side.


On the left side of the church on entry is the altar of the Holy Cross with the painted Crucifix above it, this was painted during the 16th Century and is the most valuable work in the church.


Between the Altar of the Holy Cross and the altar with the painting of the Immaculate Virgin Mary is a door leading to the cloister.  The cloister incorporates a simple style of architecture, with a covered porch and Gothic columns, each of which is different. 


Locally, the church is known under the title of "The Small Pantheon of the Croatian people", because of numerous great men buried there. 


These include Toma Archdeacon (1200-1268), the author of "Historia Salonitana". Marko Marulić (1450-1524), the writer and the founder of Croatian literature. Ivan Marko Lukačić (1585-1648), the father of Croatian baroque music and the author of the collection of "Sacre Cantiones". Jeronim Kavanjin (1643-1714), a Croatian poet. Ante Trumbić (1864-1938), the Croatian politician; and Bernardin Splićanin, who lived in this friary; his "Lectionary by Bernardin Splićanin" is the first book in the Croatian language written in the Latin alphabet and printed in Venice in 1495.




              All  Photographs were taken by and are copyright of Ron Gatepain

  Site Map