The Church of the Holy Trinity and the Franciscan Monastery
With its Baroque belfry, the Holy Trinity Church stands in the centre of the Star, the Karlovac old town, as a landmark, a beacon, both in the actual space and on one’s spiritual journey. It was built at the same time as the fort itself, with various parts added through the centuries, and is the very heart of the town’s spiritual life. It is also a part of the town’s religious heritage, and an unavoidable point for meeting history, people and one’s own self.
The Franciscan monastery and the church are a part of the same complex, and since the 17th century the Franciscans have been taking care of it. Having arrived to Karlovac, the Franciscans started to run the local schools and to teach reading, writing, arithmetic and religious education. They also studied the Karlovac flora and wrote natural history and geography textbooks. Through the centuries, they have accumulated an impressive collection consisting of ten thousand rare books and religious objects, which can be seen at the monastery museum.
The Holy Trinity Church is a nationally recognised cultural monument. It is connected to the monastery and has an impeccable walled garden. If you’re lucky, you might take a peek into the walled courtyard and taste the Franciscan craft beer in this quiet heaven, away from the everyday hustle and bustle. The Franciscans keep invaluable treasures, not only rare works of art, stained glass and unique altarpieces, but they also protect the town’s cultural and spiritual identity.
All the tourist guides and brochures list the religious heritage among the top 10 ‘must see’ locations. Karlovac is no exception in that regard. Centuries of Franciscan activity and cultural endeavours in the town’s old centre have turned this complex into a memorial and a real cultural heritage treasury. You just have to visit it.