Cres culture evenings

The Franciscan monastery in Cres was founded in the 13th century. In the 15th century its importance became more pronounced as it assumed a central role among the neighbouring Franciscan provinces. The monastery and its church are surrounded by trees and gardens and represent an oasis of peace and rest for its visitors. Its graceful architecture, warm interior, and a historical atmosphere make it a wonderful venue for events and programs, creating unforgettable memories for participants and visitors.

For the past ten years, the small community of Franciscan friars in Cres has been organizing Cres Cultural Evenings, a classical music festival which takes place in the summer months and presents the audience with top performances by Croatian and foreign musicians: mostly smaller chamber ensembles and soloists, but on occasion also bigger orchestras and choirs.

The opening evening takes place in the square in front of Saint Francis’s church, accompanied by symbolically lighting a fire on a burning bush (a symbol of contact between God and man - Moses). Four flags are hoisted for the duration of Cres Cultural Evenings: the Croatian flag, the Papal flag, the flag of Cres, and the festival flag whose logo is filled with symbolism: a ship sailing on a turbulent sea represents the Church bringing the Gospel to the people and shaping the culture of a community and its individuals. At the same time, the ship is a lamp with a flame shaped like the treble clef, and the sea is a musical stave, symbolizing the invaluable 16th- and 17th-century graduals which are kept at the monastery. The Glagolitic letter “S” recalls the Senj Missal (1494) which is also kept at the monastery, and the logo is completed by the Franciscan motto: Pax et bonum (Eng. Peace and Goodness). Concerts are usually held at the major cloister, a space which is open and closed at the same time, making it the perfect setting for warm summer evenings.

Visitors are free to take a look around the rest of the monastery, the monastery museum with its exquisite artwork, and the souvenir shop with local products. The City of Cres and the Cres Tourist Board are proud to be the main patrons of the festival, alongside other sponsors and contributors.