St Mary’ Church

Rynek Główny, Kraków

The church, founded by Krakow's burghers in the13thc., is one of the. nest Gothic parish churches in Poland. Its interior captivates the viewer with its outstanding polychromes by Jan Matejko, as well as by its stained-glass windows (from the14thc.) and those designed by S. Wyspianski and J .Mehoffer. One should take a glance at the epitaphs of prominent families and take a seat in the wooden Baroque stalls, reserved centuries ago for Krakow city councillors and magnates. But the real jewel of the basilica is its high-altar, which took the master craftsman Wit Stwosz (Veit Stoss) 12years to complete.


It is 13metres high and11 metres wide and is the largest medieval wooden altar in Europe. The altar consists of 200 figures, from several centimeters to 3metres high, carved with great precision revealing all anatomical details. The central scene depicts the Dormition of Our Lady; bas-reliefs on the side-wings illustrate scenes from the New Testament. From the higher of the two towers of the church (81m), a bugle is played every hour. Behind the basilica is the smaller Mariacki Square (on the site of a former parish graveyard that was in use until the19thc.), and the charming St Barbara's Church which dates from the14th c. (and was once a funeral chapel). In the evenings, the Main Market Square has an atmosphere all of its own.

Date: 2013-06-06 Show ticket
News author: Weronika Dulowska
News Publisher: Portal główny EN
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