Church of Ss. Catherine and Magdalene

Address:
ul. Augustiańska 7, Kraków

About

The church was founded by King Casimir III the Great.

He was the one who entrusted it to the care of the Order of Saint Augustine, which resides there to this day. The construction of the Gothic basilica began around 1343. Unfortunately, it was never finished. It was even believed that the church was under the curse imposed on the king by Bishop Bodzant for a supposedly promiscuous lifestyle of the monarch. At first, the construction was fast and smooth. However, in 1443, following an earthquake, the vaulting of the chancel collapsed. Since the disaster did not cause any damage to the remaining parts of the structure, there is suspicion as to the quality of the bricklayer's work.

The disaster sparked a series of unfortunate events in the subsequent years. At the turn of the 16th century, it was already rebuilt, but it succumbed to other disasters: flood (1534) and fire (1556). During the Swedish Deluge, the church and monastery housed a field hospital, ammunition depot and stables.

In December 1786, there was another earthquake in Kraków and once again only St. Catherine's church was damaged. After the third partition (1796) the Austrians closed it down for good, allocating the building to hold a military warehouse. When the weakened vault of the nave finally collapsed in 1826, the church faced a risk of demolition. However, the Order of Saint Augustine managed to raise money for its renovation, which began in mid-19th century and lasts until this day, with minor breaks.

Despite these vicissitudes, the church retained its refined Gothic character. Its modest interior is enriched with a late-Renaissance tombstone of Spytek Jordan and a Baroque altarpiece. Adjoining the church in the south is a church-porch with portals featuring crow-stepped gables, rich tracery decoration and stone bar tracery.

St. Monica Chapel with its vault supported by an octagonal pillar serves as an oratory for Augustinian nuns from a religious house on the other side of Skałeczna Street. The covered gallery that connects the buildings is a picturesque element of the area. On the south, the church is adjoined by a large monastery. Its cloisters contain well-preserved Gothic frescos (a rarity!), a chapel with the image of Our Lady of Consolation painted on the wall, and a Baroque chapel to Isaiah Boner, also known as Blessed Isaiah Boner.

Source: krakow.travel

Translation: Summa Linguae

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