The Franciscan Monastery in Caldaro with its St. Anthony fresco cycle in the cloister dates back to the 17th century.
Image gallery: Franciscan Church and Monastery
Already during the lifetime of Francis of Assisi, that's to say in the 13th century, the first Franciscan monks came to Bolzano. The construction of the monastery in Caldaro (Kaltern) dates back to a donation made by Claudia de' Medici, Regent of the Austrian County of Tyrol. She assigned the ruins of Rottenburg Castle to the Franciscan Order in 1630, on request by the brothers Sigismund and Christoph Greiff. In 1640 the Franciscan Monastery - "Franziskanerkloster" in German, "Convento dei Francescani" in Italian - was built, followed by the church three years later. In honour of Claudia de' Medici, the church was consecrated to the martyr Claudia.
Absolutely worth seeing - besides the St. Anthony fresco cycle in the cloister of the monastery, an artwork of 1721 by Matthias Pussjäger - is the miraculous image of St. Anthony of Padua at the right side altar of the church. It was realised in the 17th century by an unknown artist who disappeared without being paid. That's why the legend tells that an angel painted the image. In 1974 the patrocinium of the church was passed over from St. Claudia to St. Anthony of Padua. Nowadays, the facility is also a popular venue for cultural events such as Advent concerts.
Another artistic jewel is the Aigner Organ, a two-fingerboard slider-chest organ with 18 registers and pedal. It was realised in 1865 by the Tyrolean organ builder Josef Aigner and enlarged in 1998 by Francesco Zanin from Udine in Italy. Also Ferdinand Charles, Archduke of Austria, was buried in the church after his death during a hunting trip in 1662. At times the facility housed also a theological school. And how to reach the Franciscan Church and Monastery? The buildings are located in the historical centre of Caldaro village, on the Piazza dei Rottenburg square, parking spaces and bus stops can be found in the immediate vicinity.
Church service (in German language) daily at 7 am, Sundays at 8 am and at 10.30 am. Sunday prayer at 4 pm (November to April) resp. 5 pm (May to October).