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Cloister in the Monastery of the Friars Minor

The monastery of the Friars Minor is famous for its cloister (the inner courtyard) as much as it is for its pharmacy. It is situated between the church and the monastery and paved the way for their building. Not much is known about the building of the cloister itself. The south eastern corner column which like the others columns supports the arches of the hexaphoras and the arcade of the cloister, has and epitaph inscribed in the stone which uncovers the name of its builder and sculptor: Mihoje (Brajkov) of Bar. The epitaph when dated by the style used in its writing dates back to the first half of the 14th century.

 

The cloister is in the shape of a rhombus. The surrounding colonnade form a quadrate area which is in itself divided into four parts. The arched ceilings of the 16 traveja hold up the four-winged terrace which is also supported by twelve philastros (half columns that have half their circumference built into the wall) and sixty slender double columns which are decorated with leaves, figurative heads and feet. These are connected with semicircular arches. The surfaces between the half columns and the arches are opened by round windows (three on each side). On each side there are three hexaphores. In the middle we have two areas which have been planted with an array of vegetation. This area is divided by a hallway.

 

Because of the diversity of decorative motives the cloister of the Friars Minor is according to some the most interesting medieval monument left in Dubrovnik as well as the most important work from the transitional period from the Romanesque to Gothic style.

Chiseled or inlaid into the walls from which the hexaphoras rise are epitaphs which bear witness to the ones buried within the cloister. The monastery has another, smaller, upper cloister with an outlet of fresh water, which dates back to the 16th century.  

 

Source: Franjevački samostan Male braće

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