Roman Catholic Church and Franciscan Monastery


Roman Catholic Church and Franciscan Monastery of Cluj-Napoca is one of the oldest and most significant buildings in the city. Initially on this place existed an old Roman Catholic church, the first in Cluj, built in XI-XII centuries, but destroyed during the first invasion of the Tartars (1241). After its destruction, the place was built in the period 1260-1290 in late Romanesque style church,  andrebuilt in the fifteenth century in Gothic style.

The church was enlarged (Gothic works) and a monastery was built next to it, with the support of Prince John Hunyadi, being returned to the Dominican Order. With the expulsion of Catholic religious orders by Protestants in March 1556, the monastery building was no longer used for religious purposes. Until 1557 in the building lived Queen of Hungary, Izabella, then abode was transformed in school (Unitarian in 1558). Since 1609, from the desire of Prince Gabriel Bathory, the building was donated to reformed-Calvinist cult. With 1728 Franciscans return to the city and initiated a campaign to restore the church and build the tower, which is the main component in baroque style.

Abbey-church assembly is arranged on three sides around a inner courtyard that opens to the broken arches of belvedere. Monastic rooms housed cells, library facilities, dormitories, administrative areas etc. Here was a famous school, where learned Nicolaus the Mirabilibus, later became a professor at the University of Florence.

Inside the monastery was a famous library of the Franciscans, in excess of a thousand volumes. During 1906-1948, the monastery of St. Bonaventure printing function, which printed religious magazines (“Catholic”, “Holy Cross” etc.).

Since 1898, the church is located near the Carolina Obelisk.

The latest restoration of the building was conducted during 1976-1978, followed by others in 1980-1986. On these occasions were rediscovered several elements of the Gothic church.

In 1949 Franciscan sanctuary was confiscated after the communist authorities decided to dissolve the Franciscan order in Romania and the monastery building housed the “School of Music”, later “School of Music Sigismund Toduţă” that exists today. In 1990 the church returned to the Roman Catholic Franciscan order property, together with a part of the old monastery. (Source:

Church localization

Franciscan Monastery and Church are located in the Museum Square at number 2 and is easily identified by the tower that rises above the market.

Monastery can be reached using any of the 4 inputs to Museum Square: either from I.L. Caragiale Park, from the house of Matthias Corvinus, from Emile Zola street or from Daicoviciu Constantin street.

In the area of the Franciscan Church there are the following historical sights and attractions:

  • Karolina Obelisk
  • Museum of History
  • Matthias Corvinus House
  • I.L.Caragiale Park
  • Pedestrian spaces and terraces in the area Museum Square


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