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Franciscan Temple

Church of Franciscan Monastery

The Church of Franciscan Monastery was built in the center of the old Cluj fortress, on the site of the city’s first church that was made in the 11th century. Starting with 1390, the location was offered to the Dominican order, which, with the support of the Transylvanian voivode Iancu de Hunedoara, began the construction of the current buildings inside the monastery. The year 1556 marks the beginning of the Reformation in Cluj, the Dominican monks are expelled from the city and the church in turn becomes a Lutheran, Calvinist, Unitarian church. In 1693, with the establishment of the Habsburg jurisdiction over Transylvania, the buildings became the property of the Jesuit order. The church was destroyed by fire in 1697, the Gothic vault being permanently destroyed, and the Jesuits began to build the church on University Street known today as the Piarists Church. Between 1728-1745 the Franciscan order begins and completes the construction of the current church in Baroque style. The history of the church’s location gives it a unique status, being the place of worship of all Christian denominations specific to Western Europe.

The most important religious artifacts in the church are a religious painting drawned in 1730 and the funeral chapel of the Korniș family. The religious painting depicting the Virgin Mary is a faithful copy of a famous painting found in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. The funerary chapel of the Korniș family was arranged at the initiative of Count Sigismund Korniș, one of the most important aristocrats in the Cluj area and governor of Transylvania between 1713 -1731. In this chapel there is a crucifix of impressive dimensions that can be considered one of the most important objects of art in Medieval Transylvania. The crucifix faithfully depicts the anatomical details of a man crucified on the cross.

In 1948 the Franciscan order was dissolved on the romanian territory, the buildings of the Franciscan monastery becoming up until 1990 the headquarters of the Sigismund Toduță Music High School. Starting with 1990, a process of restoring the properties to the Franciscan order began, currently the church and the buildings of the monastery are owned by this order.