Meet Hercegovina

Franciscan Monastery and Church in Široki Brijeg

Franciscan Monastery and Church in Široki Brijeg

The Franciscan monastery fatally affected the fate of the people in the region, but the educational and cultural aspects of life, too. The old church was the first church in western Herzegovina since the mid-sixteenth century, after the Turks destroyed all the churches and monasteries on the west side of the Neretva.

There are also High School, Franciscan Gallery and Academy of Fine Arts near the monastery. The first idea for building the new church in Široki Brijeg dates back from 1863. This should have been a three-nave building (48, 2 x 21, 8 m) in Italian Baroque style, with a dome above the main altar and two towers. 

However, there was not enough money and it was hard to find the builders for this exceptional work. After fifty years, the old church was demolished, and the cornerstone for a new one was set in the same place in June 20, 1905. The new building (50 x 26 m), which was made of white and gray limestone in late Romanesque-style, was designed by the architect M. David. The central aisle is separated with the lateral massive stone pillars, while the columns are of the Romanesque style. The vaults of the central nave were modified in 1938 by the architect Stephen Podhorski, so they were made of stone instead of wood. There are two 32-meters-high towers on each sides of the church, which was finally completed in 1969. Unfortunately, the church was severely damaged in the Second World War. It was hit 296 times by the grenades. After that, the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary became a special symbol of faith, hope, patriotism and Herzegovina.


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Cultural sights