Dating with some certainty to the late 13th century are the ruins of the Franciscan Church, one of the earliest of the Latin ecclesiastical buildings in Famagusta. The site, immediately north of the Venetian Palace, was once a substantial complex of buildings which together comprised a monastery covering a generous area within the city. The Franciscans formed one of the oldest and most important Latin religious orders in Cyprus. It is believed that they were already established in Nicosia by about 1230, and it is very possible that St Francis himself visited Cyprus on his voyage to the Holy Land during the Fifth Crusade (1217-1221). It is also evident that the Franciscans received substantial patronage from Henry II (1285-1324), quite possibly the principal donor responsible for the construction of the present church. Indeed, due to its proximity, the royal palace was once connected to it by a covered passage that led to a private entrance.

In plan, it resembles the slightly later Carmelite church, with its three-sided apse and later added side chapels that extend north and south from the central bay of the nave. Note the medieval stonework piled up outside the west door.