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Franciscan frescoes shed light on Convent past

Franciscan frescoes dating back hundreds of years will be restored as part of a project that will give historians deeper insight into Gibraltar’s role as a launchpad for medieval Christian evangelisation in North Africa.

The frescoes are in a room in the The Convent and most likely date back to the early 1500s, around four decades after the Franciscans first constructed a building on the site.

Until now, the frescoes had been painted and plastered over, effectively protecting them from deterioration.


Some of the images are heavily damaged, but sections show detailed religious iconography dating back to a period when the Franciscan order was trying to spread the Catholic faith.

Archaeologists have established that the frescoes depict the four major saints of the Franciscan Order, including its two founders St Francis of Assisi and St Anthony of Padua, and St Louis of Tolouse and St Bernard of Siena.

Also on the walls are images of St Berard of Morocco and St Daniele of Ceuta, both of whom were beheaded while attempting to spread Christianity in Morocco.


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