Franciscan Church

The institution is a department:
Address:
Franciszkańska 2, 31-000 Kraków

Description

The original, early Gothic church designed for the Franciscan Order was most probably designed in the form of a Greek (isosceles) cross.

The original, early Gothic church designed for the Franciscan Order was most probably designed in the form of a Greek (isosceles) cross. It was built in the latter half of the 13th century, mostly thanks to the support of Prince Boleslaus the Modest (Bolesław Wstydliwy), who at that time might have wanted to be buried in the church. His wish was fulfilled after his death in 1279. In the mid-15th century, the church was expanded by extending the nave and the chancel, the latter now ending in a three sided apse. The Chapel of the Passion of Christ was added; it is closely connected with the Archbrotherhood of the Passion of Christ instituted in 1595 and functioning to this day.

Having been burnt during the Swedish invasion of 1655, the church was completely rebuilt. Another catastrophe in its history was the great fire of Kraków in July 1850: the entire interior yielded to the flames. Reconstruction and conservation work continued until 1912 by which time the interior had received its new décor. The polychrome murals of the chancel and transept were painted by Stanisław Wyspiański, and those in the nave – by Tadeusz Popiel. Moreover, Wyspiański also produced a set of eight unique stained-glass windows (1897-1905). The most beautiful of these is situated in the window in the church’s western façade, and portrays God the Father in the act of creating the world.

The wall of the early-Gothic transept in Franciszkańska Street with a characteristic brick arcaded frieze was also saved from the fire. The cross-ribbed vaulting of the chancel, transept and the Chapel of Our Lady of Dolours, and the barrel vaulting with lunettes in the nave and the Chapel of the Passion of Christ are all preserved inside the church.

Adjacent to the church is the monastery built in the first half of the 15th century around two garths. Preserved in the Gothic cloister – entered from the Wszystkich Świętych Square – are fragments of 15th-century polychrome murals, and sculpted stone elements. There is gallery worth viewing consisting of 30 portraits of Kraków bishops from the mid-15th to late 18th century together with tombs and epitaphs in the walls.

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Date: 2012-04-02 Show ticket
News author: ANNA WAŚKOWSKA
News Publisher: Redakcja MPI
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