Franciscan Monastery on Badija

At the end of the 14th century (1394), Franciscans from Bosnia arrived on the Badija island and constructed a monastery after taking over ownership from the Great Council in Korcula. The Franciscans owned Badija until 1950 when the island was expropriated from them and later used as a sport and tourism centre.

The large church consecrated to the Assumption of the Mother of God was constructed in the Gothic-Renaissance style by an artist from Korcula in the second half of the 15th century. Along with the Renaissance portal with statues of the Mother of God and the saints, there is a rich Gothic-Renaissance rose window on the tall facade, while the triangular gable is crowned with a twined leafy wreath.

The interior is a single nave, with quite a tall barrel-vaulted ceiling. The large main stone altar was created by the great artist Vilima Montina from Bassan in 1724, based on blueprints by Andrija Tirali, however, his inspiration was the altar from the Church of S. Giorgio Maggiore in Venice by sculptor Girolamo Campagne. In the apse behind the altar is a large wooden (badly damaged) Renaissance choir.

Artwork from the stone and wood Renaissance and Baroque altars were taken to the neighbouring Franciscan monastery in 1950, along with the monumentally large Gothic Crucifix from the 15th century, the work of Jurja Petrovic, which now resides in the Church of Our Lady of Angels above Orebic.

Above Photo: The Cloister of Franciscan Monastery on Badija (Detail)

This crucifix was considered to be miraculous for centuries, and they erected the large Chapel of the Holy Cross from 1762-69 on the northern side of the Church for the cross.

The Chapel has a marble altar based on the blueprints of Venetian sculptor and altar master Giorgio Massari. The exterior of this chapel has a similar shape to the fortress and it has gun hole loops under its eaves.

The original building was renovated several times and it received its current appearance at the beginning of the 20th century. The most beautiful of all is the large and well preserved Gothic-Renaissance square cloister, completed in 1477 (above photo).

The cloister is surrounded by a hallway with a cross-vaulted ceiling, opened towards the central area with a range of arcades made of trefoils. The arches and columns are decorated with masterfully carved leafy details. (see more photos of Cloister). This cloister is considered, besides a similar one in Dubrovnik, as one of the most beautiful on the Croatian Adriatic coast.