Church and Convent of St. Francis of Asisi

Church and Convent of St. Francis of Asisi, Havana

Church and Convent of St. Francis of Asisi
4.5
Speciality Museums • Religious Sites
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9:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 6:30 PM
About
The Latin inscription over the main door of this church and convent dedicated to St. Francis reads: non est in toto sanctior orbe locus (there is no holier place on earth). As it's now a museum and concert hall, it may no longer be earth's holiest place, but it certainly is one of the loveliest. Built in the 16th century, in 1730 it was restored in a baroque style, resulting in a richly adorned facade with fluted conchlike tympanums over the doors and windows. Just inside the door you'll see tombs beneath a glass floor panel. (Churches were used as cemeteries until Bishop Espada founded what is now the Necrópolis Cristóbal Colón in 1868, a detail all Cubans seem to know and cherish). Note also the 19th-century grandfather clock made by Tiffany. The rooms to the right of the nave house archaeological finds and art exhibits.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
557 reviews
Excellent
254
Very good
247
Average
51
Poor
5
Terrible
0

Phuong T
Perth23 contributions
Beautiful old square with nicely preserved old church and convent. Can but quite busy with tourists during the day. But if you get there early evening and have a drink at the bar across the square from the church, it is actually quite amazing.
Written February 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

moineauQc
Quebec City, Canada3,557 contributions
Couples
bring some bread with you its full of birds there ,its a nice church in good condition if you are in old Havana you gonna pass in front of it so just dont miss it!
Written December 4, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Michael B
Bellflower, CA21,992 contributions
Business
Walk through the old town to catch the Ferry to Casa Blanca we came across the stone paved square of saint Frances of Assisi and the basilica and the monastery of San Francisco de Assis. Originally built at the end of sixteenth century and was home of the Franciscan community, it was altered to its baroque style in 1730. During the English Occupation is was used by them as their Sunday church. On the top of the138 ft. bell tower next door was a statue of St. Francis of Assisi, but he was lost in the storm of 1846. With the return of the Spanish they chose not to use the building as a church, it is now used for concerts.
Contrary to popular belief the Bronze Statue standing outside the Church is not Saint Frances os Assisi, but that of Fray Jose Villa Soberon of José María López Lledín known as El Caballero de Paris (1899–1985) with an Indian boy who is buried inside.
If you are arriving by cruise ship this is just across the street from the Port of Havana and a great place to walk around. Check out the other sculptures around the plaza, such as that of music composer Chopin and "Street Person”. You can also arrange for yourself a Horse drawn carriage to ride around Havana or a tour in an old American convertible.
Tip: The church is now a museum and is worth the small fee to walk through
Written December 13, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Russ Lacuata
Long Beach, CA8,491 contributions
Friends
Initiated in 1716, the religious edifice was the most important symbol of the presence of the Franciscan order in Havana. Its 42 meter high tower was then the tallest in Havana. Named by the Pope as a basilica, the church was completed in 1739 extended to the south to a Franciscan convent and was considered Havana's premier house of worship.

In 1762, during the year of the British control over Havana, the basilica was used for Anglican services. Thereafter it was considered by the Catholic Church to have been desecrated by Protestants and never again served as a house of worship, although the monks continued to occupy the convent.

Today it is one of Havana's finest concert hall with its excellent acoustics and venue for a regular series of classical, choral, and contemporary concerts. Although it is no longer used by the monks it is still off limits to visitors.
Written March 20, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lolly’s Look
New York City, NY12,815 contributions
Family
This is the first square you see when you come out of the Terminal Sierra Maestra San Francisco cruise ship terminal. We walked across the street and met our tour guide here in the plaza. This church was used for their worship by the English during the year in which they ruled Havana. When it returned to Spanish rule, they chose not to use it as a church. It is now used for concerts.
Written May 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lisa K
Toronto, Canada154 contributions
Couples
The light changes dramatically in this square, depending upon the time of day you visit - so go more than once. The church is lovely, and worth going in to see and explore.
Written December 4, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ana_LIS_PT
Lisbon, Portugal50 contributions
Family
The convent is now being used for music concerts. It is possible to visit several rooms and you can go climb up to the roof, where you have a nice view over the harbour and the square below.
Written August 20, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

maxmpk
Port Ewen, NY64 contributions
Couples
We didn't go inside the church. What a peaceful, cool sanctuary in the middle of a busy plaza, which is right across the street from the Port. We walked among the ancient trees and admired the sculptures of Mother Theresa and La Mesa del Silencio, among others. Also in the garden, there is a large mural of The Resurrection.
Written March 26, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

LiljaSvedmyra
Svedmyra38 contributions
Couples
Apart from the beautiful interior, you might be lucky to stumble upon a concert rehearsal. The real thrill is ascending the creaky steps up the tower. Don't miss it!
Written January 6, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

mctavish2016
London, UK20 contributions
We enjoyed our visit to this Convent and church Interesting to see a convent still in use today. Well worth a stop to visit.
Written February 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Church and Convent of St. Francis of Asisi is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 6:30 PM

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