Church and monastery of St. Francis Pula

Top Highlights

  • A masterpiece of religious architecture nestled within the heart of Pula.
  • A timeless testament to Pula’s rich historical tapestry.
  • A serene oasis amid the hustle and bustle of the city.
  • Holds artifacts that date back to Pula’s Ancient Roman era.
  • Events and masses that are steeped in centuries of tradition.
  • An ideal spot for both spiritual reflection and historical exploration.

Where History Meets Spirituality: Uncover the Secrets of St. Francis Monastery in Pula.


Let me take you on a journey. Nestled within Pula, known for the famous “Pula Arch of the Sergii” and its “Ancient Roman triumphal arch”, there’s another gem that often doesn’t get the attention it deserves: the Church and Monastery of St. Francis.

During my visit, I felt a deep connection to Pula’s rich history. The Church and Monastery of St. Francis isn’t just a religious edifice; it’s a place where history, architecture, and spirituality intertwine in the most enchanting way. Walking through its doors feels like stepping into another era, and the sense of tranquility that engulfs you is palpable.

Church and monastery of St. Francis inside view

Historical Summary: Walking Through the Pages of Time

Founded in the 14th century, the Church and Monastery of St. Francis was built to honor Saint Francis of Assisi. This spiritual haven has witnessed numerous transformations, both within Pula and throughout Europe.

Constructed by dedicated Franciscan monks, the Church and Monastery served as a spiritual center, providing solace and guidance to the local community. The intention was to create a space where people could find spiritual refuge amidst life’s tumult.

As you walk through the halls, you’re not just exploring a building; you’re traversing the annals of Pula’s history. With links to Pula’s famed “Ancient Roman triumphal arch” and artifacts reminiscent of the era, the monastery provides a vivid snapshot of the city’s illustrious past.

Historical facts

The Church and Monastery of St. Francis in Pula are integral parts of the city’s rich history. Here are some historical facts about this significant site:

  • Early Foundations: The Church and Monastery of St. Francis in Pula date back to the early 14th century, with some sources suggesting it was founded in 1314.
  • Romanesque-Gothic Architecture: The church showcases a blend of Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles, which is evident in its construction and design features.
  • Important Frescoes: Inside the church, one can find well-preserved frescoes from the 15th century, depicting scenes from the life of St. Francis of Assisi.
  • Historic Cloister: The monastery’s cloister, built in the Gothic style, remains a peaceful and contemplative space, serving as a reminder of the monastic life that has continued here for centuries.
  • World War Damage: During World War II, parts of the church and monastery were damaged. However, they have since been restored, preserving their historical and architectural significance.
  • Ancient Roman Sarcophagi: In the church’s garden, visitors can find two ancient Roman sarcophagi. They are a testament to Pula’s Roman past and the layered histories of the city.
  • Dedication to St. Francis: The church is dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, the founder of the Franciscan order. The values of simplicity, humility, and devotion associated with St. Francis are reflected in the church’s design and interior.
  • Central Location: Located in the heart of Pula’s historic center, the Church and Monastery of St. Francis are easily accessible to visitors and are often included in walking tours of the city.
  • Historic Organ: The church houses a historic organ that is still functional and occasionally used during religious ceremonies and concerts.
  • Cultural Events: Apart from being a religious site, the church and its premises have often been used for cultural events, concerts, and exhibitions, highlighting its importance not only as a place of worship but also as a cultural landmark in Pula.

Visiting the Church and Monastery of St. Francis offers a deeper dive into the spiritual and cultural life of Pula, allowing visitors to understand the city’s history and the legacy of the Franciscan order in this region.

When to Visit the Church and Monastery of St. Francis

The best time to visit is during spring or fall when the weather is mild, and the crowds are fewer.

What is There to See at the Church and Monastery of St. Francis

Beyond the majestic architecture, the Church houses an impressive collection of ancient Roman artifacts, a testament to Pula’s historical significance. The frescoes, chapels, and cloisters each tell a story of Pula’s past and the dedication of the Franciscan monks.

How Long Does a Visit Take

Typically, a visit lasts about 1.5 to 2 hours. However, if you’re a history buff or someone looking for spiritual reflection, you might find yourself immersed for longer.

Church and monastery of St. Francis garden view

Local Tips & Tricks

Visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon for fewer crowds. Also, don’t forget to explore the nearby attractions like the Pula Arch of the Sergii.

Service & Mass Times

Services are held daily at 9 am, with special masses on Sundays at 11 am.

When Are the Opening Hours

The Church and Monastery are open from 8 am to 7 pm daily.

Contact Info

How to Get Here

  • Location: The church is situated near the center of Pula, specifically on Kaštel Hill.
  • Walking Direction: From Piazza Foro, head in the direction of the Arch of the Sergii. Take the main street, Sergijevaca, and make a left turn onto Uspon Svetog Franje Asiškog. As you ascend the hill, you’ll find yourself standing right in front of the church.

Where to park

  • Considering the church’s central location in Pula, several parking options are available.
  • For the best parking spots, please check the “where-to-park” section. This guide contains all the recommended parking locations detailed for your convenience.


Where is the Church and Monastery of St. Francis located?
The Church and Monastery of St. Francis are situated in the historical center of Pula, close to many other significant landmarks.
Is there an entrance fee to visit the church and monastery?
As of my last update, there wasn’t a standard entrance fee, but donations are often encouraged to support the maintenance and restoration of the site.
Can visitors join religious services at the church?
Yes, visitors are welcome to join regular religious services. It’s always respectful to dress modestly and maintain silence during services.
Are guided tours available for the church and monastery?
Guided tours may not be consistently available, but information about the church’s history and art can usually be found inside. For group visits, it’s recommended to contact the church administration in advance.
Is photography allowed inside?
Typically, personal photography (without flash) is allowed. However, commercial photography or videography might require permission. Always look for signs or ask a staff member if you’re unsure.
How much time should I allocate for a visit?
A visit to the Church and Monastery of St. Francis can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on your interest level and if you participate in a service.
What are the significant features to look out for?
Visitors should take note of the church’s Romanesque-Gothic architecture, the 15th-century frescoes, the historic organ, and the Roman sarcophagi in the garden.
Is the church accessible for people with mobility issues?
While the church is generally accessible, some areas, especially older sections of the monastery or the garden, might pose challenges. It’s advisable to contact the church in advance if you have specific concerns.
Are there any cultural events or concerts held at the church?
Yes, the church occasionally hosts cultural events, concerts, and exhibitions. You can check the church’s notice board or local event listings for details.
Is the Church and Monastery of St. Francis active in the community?
Yes, the Church and Monastery of St. Francis play a significant role in the community, often organizing charitable events, educational programs, and outreach activities to support the locals and enrich the spiritual life of the community.