Bernardine Monastery Ensemble

The Church of St. Francis and St. Bernard, along with the Church of St. Anne, forms the most impressive ensemble of gothic architecture in all current-day Lithuania. In 1469 the king Casimir IV Jagiellon invited Franciscans observants (called Bernardines) to settle them in Vilnius and donated a plot of land near the Vilnia River.

The first Bernardine church was built from wood, as the current one was built in 1516. According to the contemporaries of that time, the Bernardine and St. Anne churches stood out from the rest city’s churches. The place of the church automatically determined the church becoming an integral part of the defense, shielding the eastern part of the city from the potential enemy. Due to this reason, the church has shooting holes in its towers.

Bernardine Monastery in Vilnius, a fortified complex surrounded by walls fitted with shooting holes and towers, became a place where Helena of Moscow, the wife of King Alexander Jagiellon, kept her treasures.

Learn more about Helena of Moscow and her treasures by clicking this link.

Address: Maironio St. 8