The Church and Monastery of Conventual Franciscans

Plac Wszystkich Świętych, Kraków

This model presents an extensive complex of the Franciscan Order, who arrived in this place in the first half of the 13th century and built the church of St Francis of Assisi with the adjacent monastery. And here they have stayed to this day.

On the slanted frieze surrounding the model, we find Braille descriptions separated by the coat-of-arms of Kraków. Over the description in Polish, we find the place where the model is situated, to the right of the main entrance to the church. Built on the plan of the Latin Cross, the church is crowned with a smallish steeple (an ave-bell tower) situated where the nave meets the transept (the transverse aisle). In the Middle Ages, churches were frequently built in cruciform, as it reminds the Body of the crucified Christ, who – following Catholic theology – is the true Temple of the Lord. The nave of the church corresponds to the body of the Crucified, the transept to the hands stretched out on the cross, and the chancel – frequently surrounded with a ring of chapels – the head in the crown of thorns.

Situated of over the decorative portal providing the main entrance to the Basilica is a huge Gothic window filled with the famous stained-glass decoration known as God the Father – Let There Be! made in 1905 to the design of Stanisław Wyspiański. A visualisation of the stained-glass decoration is available in the Wyspiański Pavilion, which we will visit later.

Adjacent from the right (southern) side of the church is the quadrangle of the two-storey high monastery, whose wings surround the internal courtyard. One of the wings of the cloister was turned into the Chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows, the Mournful Lady of Kraków. Situated since the end of the 16th century on the other side of the nave, parallel to Franciszkańska Street, is the Chapel of the Passion of Christ, transformed from an aisle of the church for the Brotherhood of Good Death. One of the most ancient religious brotherhoods, it has survived to this day. In the arm of the transept behind the chapel, there is an exit towards Franciszkańska and Bracka Streets.

The eastern parts of the chancel, from the side of Wszystkich Świętych Square, are adorned with imposing neo-Gothic stained-glass windows decorations by Stanisław Wyspiański, separated by powerful buttresses. To the left-hand side of the chancel is the 15th-century chapel of the Blessed Salomea: the final resting place of her brother – Bolesław Wstydliwy (Boleslaus the Modest), who, in his capacity as Prince of Kraków, had the city chartered on the Law of Magdeburg in 1257, and his mother Grzymisława. The 15th-century sacristy is situated on the other side of the chancel.


The Church and Monastery of Conventual Franciscans (mp3)

Date: 2013-06-17 Show ticket
News author: Weronika Dulowska
News Publisher: Portal główny EN
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