St. Andrew's Church

ul. Grodzka 54, Kraków

The church is the best preserved example of Romanesque architecture in Kraków. This massive ashlar church erected at the end of the 11th century was supposed to fulfil important defensive functions. Springing from its body are two octagonal towers with double, arched windows (called biforia), characteristic of Romanesque art. The same character was preserved in the apse, adorned with a modest arcade frieze and numerous small elements (such as stairs and window frames). The temple, probably expanded and fortified until mid-12th century, successfully resisted the Tatar invasion of 1241, providing shelter to city dwellers. It was also dubbed the lower castle (as opposed to the nearby upper Wawel Castle), and quite rightly so. In 1320, it was handed over to the Sisters of St. Clara, for whom an adjoining convent was raised to the south. That was when the brick Gothic oratory was created; presently, it serves as a sacristy.

The Baroque interior of the place, richly adorned with Baldassare Fontana's stuccos, comes from the reconstruction that took place after 1700. The high altar, assigned to Francesco Placidi, comes from a later date. A visitor is bound to notice the pulpit in the shape of a boat and a matroneum and pipe organ in the chancel (18th century), decorated in the style of late-Baroque. The crudeness of the Romanesque façade is contrasted by Baroque tented roofs of the towers, added in 1639.

Date: 2013-06-07 Show ticket
News author: Weronika Dulowska
News Publisher: Portal główny EN
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