St Florian's Gate

The institution is a department:
Address:
Pijarska , 31-000 Kraków

Description

The name comes from the nearby Church of St Florian.

The name comes from the nearby Church of St Florian. It was the main gate of the seven leading into the city situated in the line of defence walls. Its other name was Porta Gloriae, that is “the gate of glory”, as it opened the royal route (Via Regia). It was through this gate that kings would enter the city after victorious battles, it was also used for ceremonial reasons by diplomats, and famous personages visiting Kraków. Similarly, the route of royal coronation and funerary processions, led through the gate.

The gate was built around 1300, and received its brick storey with projecting machicolated battlements (shooting galleries) supported on stone consoles in the 15th century. Its care was entrusted to furriers. It defended the city from the north, where Kraków could make use of no natural obstacles in the form of marshes and boggy flood plains. It was connected by a fortified passageway – the so-called “neck” – to the Barbican completed in 1499. After the damage following the Swedish invasion, in 1657 the gate received a new baroque spire which survives to this day. There has always been an eagle over the entrance, today it is the eagle of the House of Piast as designed by Jan Matejko in 1882. From the city side, the gate is decorated with a baroque bas relief, portraying St Florian. It is worth noting the vertical grooves in the stonework for guiding the portcullis, a latticed grille dropped down on chains from the window over the entrance. These grooves are visible on both sides of the gate on the Barbican side.

During the 19th-century restoration, an altar to Our Lady of Piasek was moved from the passageway demolished earlier to the passage under the gate. During the conservation works of 1889, a small chapel was arranged on the first floor of the Gate. It was founded by Prince Władysław Czartoryski, who earlier adapted the neighbouring Arsenal and buildings in ul. Św. Jana for a museum.

St Florian’s gate stands 34.5 m (113 ft) high and today provides a beautiful feature in the townscape of ul. Floriańska and the royal route. It may be hard to imagine that in the years 1901-1953 there was a narrow gauge tramway going through the gateway, and trams folded down their pantographs for each passage...

More www.krakow.travel

Date: 2012-04-02 Show ticket
News author: ANNA WAŚKOWSKA
News Publisher: Redakcja MPI
  • Send to a friend
  • Add to favourites