The Francisian monastery and the votive church of Saint Antonio from Padua are situated in a part of a city once named Latinluk, on the left side of the Miljacka river. The name itself reveals that many Catholics of a Latin order lived here, in fact, in 1652 approximately 200 families lived here. Today, the name of this city quarter is Bistrik, where only a few Catholic families currently live.
The first church in Bistrik
From 1881-1882 an older, smaller church was built in the place where the current church of Saint Antiono is today. It was a modest church, with dimensions of 18 X 9 m. It was built very simply and only its base was of stone, the rest of the building was made of wooden frame filled by unbaked bricks. On the eastern side there was a small sacristy in a shape of semicircle and above the main portal there was a small wooden tower with two bells.
At the time it was the only Catholic Church in Sarajevo, and it was at the same time also a parish church. By the establishment of oridinary church hieararchy, it assumed the function of a cathedral, where the archbishop of Bosna Srebrena served. It lost this function after seven years because, in 1889 the Sarajevo cathedral was built.
After only ten years it became evident that the church was not architecturally stable enough to fight with weather conditions and necessary repairs; not another step to stabilize the interior materials could not prevent the gradual decay.
In 1905 it was decided to close the church, and soon after the Francisians ahd the idea to build a new one.
The church of today
The Committee of the religios society was founded in 1903 with a purpose to build a new church of Saint Antonio. It worked diligently to raise founds and bring people together to facilitate the building of a church.
By the middle of 1912 it was decided to demolish the old church and by the 13th of June of that year a cornerstone was laid and the construction site was consecrated; the ceremony led by Archbishop Dr.Ivan Šarić. The new church was finished by the end of Septemeber of the same year, but the tower took some more time to complete. The consecration of the new church occured on the 20th of September, 1914.
The architect Josip Vancaš designed the church in a new gothic style. It is 30.20 m long and 18.5 m large. The tover is 50 m high and has five bells (the heaviest is 4.015 kg). The church’s choir has an organ from 1925.
The 60ies of the 20th century were the years of reconstruction and the current appearance is from that era. During the twenty years of the reconstruction, the church was enriched by number of valuable works of Ivo Dulčić; they form an artistic axis of a church presenting two main subjects; the Genesis and Life of Jesus.
The church of Saint Antionio is one of the most riches Francisian churches in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Beside Dulčić, we find workd by Zdenko Grgić, Seder, Kršinić, Michielli, Keser, Vulas and Lovrenčić.
The sculptor Zdenko Grgić was controlling the last phase of the restoration works of the church.
Today we can admire his masterpiece of the Way of the Cross (wood-carving) which four main parts are situated niches of the church. There are some works of Grgić like Saint Antonio (marble) two mosaics. Mission of Saint Antonio and The song of a brother Sun, and his bronze Sermon on a mount.
The capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, has many churches, but this is the only church in the whole city of Sarajevo that can satisfy all the religious groups. Here Catholics, Orthodox and Moslems come and for their own special prayers, especially on Tuesdays and Fridays.
The Francisians decided in 1894 to build a monastery near by the church of St.Antonio. Karl Panek controlled this project. From 1909 until 1968 there was a Francisian seminary (with exception of years between 1942 and 1947 when it was situated at Kovačići). Between 1896 and 1963 there was also a provincialty from the Bosnian Francisian province and the novicitate from 1985 until 1992.
In the monastery is situated the main archive of Bosna Srebrena and a very rich pinacothec with more then a hundred works of fine, modern arts, most of which are by well known Croatian artists.
Every Tuesday evening Catholic students of Sarajevo come here to pray together, have lectures and wide their catholic community.
The Francisian Monastery and the church of which Saint Antonio took a special role during the recent war. They marked a Francisian presence in Sarjaevo with their spiritual and humanitarian initiatives, economical and inter religious understanding and cooperation.
|Sunday:||8:00, 9.30, 11:00, 12:00 and 18:00|
|Every Tuesday:||Dedicated to St.Antonius, and Mass at 8:00 and 18:00|
|Working day:||7:30 and 18:00|