Treasures from Eastern Europe: Franciscan Monastery Fojnica

12 June 2020

The Franciscan monastery of the Holy Spirit in Fojnica is well situated in the Bosnian mountains. It is a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina, famous for its rich collections.

The monastery was founded in 1668 and includes a library of ca. 12,500 volumes, including 13 incunabula and 156 works written in Bosnian Cyrillic.


The monastery’s museum collections hold the Ahd-Namah (the Order) of Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror guaranteeing security and freedom to the Franciscans. This document allowed the Franciscans of the day to preach freely among the Catholics in BiH, which in turn enabled the preservation of Bosnian Catholicism through the centuries. The museum also houses the Book of Coats of Arms, dating from 1304 probably one of the oldest books in the region with historical coats of arms of some Balkan countries and of then-prominent Bosnian families. A rare numismatic collection is also on exhibit. Most of the works are philosophical and theological, printed from the 16th to the 19th centuries.

The library’s archive preserves more than 3,000 documents from the Ottoman Empire, with 13 of them dating back to 1481.


More info (in Croatian) can be found here.

– Pavle Mijovic, University of Sarajevo