We visited Dubrovnik in 2009 an found the city very interesting. There was us, and literally thousands of other visitors walking the streets. Best to get up very early in the morning before the tours arrive.
But step off the busy streets into the Francisan Monastery to walk through the cloisers, and you enter another world.
The Franciscan Monastery is built in the transitional Romanesque-Gothic style. Construction started in 1337.
In 1667 the Monastery was completely destroyed in the Great Earthquake. The impressive door, with sculpture Pieta at Stradun over it, is the only part remaining from the original church after it has been rebuilt.
The cloisters of the Franciscan Monastery is considered to be a masterpiece of architecture in Dubrovnik. It was built in Romanesque-Gothic style by the famous Mihoje Brajkov from Bara. The capitals are a true example of Romanesque style, with bestiary motives bringing the spirit of Gothic as well. The cloister and a part of the atrium of the monastery, called "Friars Minor", was built by Mihoje Brajkov of Bar in the second quarter of the 14th century.
The cloisters feature double columns topped with human, animal, and plant carvings and a tranquil open garden with a 15th-century fountain in the center. The upper level of the cloisters was built after the 1667 earthquake and is open only to Franciscans.
The cloister's colonnade with its pairs of elegant, eight-sided columns and each capital on these columns is different, portraying human heads, animals, grotesques, floral motifs etc.
The local sculptor Mihoje Brajkov executed this masterpiece and his tombstone is in the south part of the cloister. Supposedly, the second capital straight ahead of you as you enter shows Brajkov himself. He has a swollen cheek as he was suffering from a toothache at the time!
The monastry has another cloister built in the Gothic style, but it is for private use only and not accessible to the public.