Among its principal buildings are the castle, several Roman Catholic (from the 13th and 14th centuries) and Lutheran churches, a Franciscan monastery (founded 1634), the town-hall, and the mint where the celebrated Kremnitz gold ducats were formerly struck.
Besides many mosques and churches there are three monasteries (Syrian, Franciscan and Capuchin), and an important American Mission station, with church, schools and a medical officer.
The Franciscan establishment gives its name to the Graabradretor y or Grey Friars' market; and St Clara's Monastery, the largest of all, which was founded by Queen Christina, is still commemorated by the Klareboder or Clara buildings, near the present post-office.
In 1322 some prisoners declared to the inquisitor Bernard Gui at Toulouse that the Franciscan order was divided into three sections - the Conventuals, who were allowed to retain their real and personal property; the Spirituals or Beguines, who were at that time the objects of persecution; and the Fraticelli of Sicily, whose leader was Henry of Ceva (see Gui's Practica Inquisitionis, v.).
It was already an epis copal see, and, in the 13th century, Dominican and Franciscan monasteries were established to check the spread of Bogomilism.
The Franciscan mission of San Gabriel - still a famous landmark - had been established ten years earlier a few miles eastward.
And, when the Franciscan declared that he would enter the fire with Savonarola alone, Fra Domenico protested his willingness to enter it with any one in defence of his master's cause.
The old (1678) and new (1873) episcopal palaces, the hospital, the university and the barracks (formerly a Franciscan monastery) are noteworthy examples of Spanish colonial architecture.
The Franciscan monastery (1130 ft.) occupies the site of the acropolis, once encircled by a triple wall, of which no traces are now visible.
According to the ecclesiastical biographers, in early years he took the vows of the Franciscan order and joined their convent at Udine, the capital of Friuli.