St Andrew's Church

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Grodzka 54, 31-000 Kraków

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The best preserved example of Romanesque architecture in Kraków, this massive church was built from stone blocks towards the end of the 11th century, and also fulfilled important defence functions.

The best preserved example of Romanesque architecture in Kraków, this massive church was built from stone blocks towards the end of the 11th century, and also fulfilled important defence functions. Two octagonal towers, with the doubled arcaded windows (the so-called biforia) characteristic of Romanesque architecture, extend high over the body of the church. The apse decorated with a modest arcaded freeze and numerous details (including stairs and window frames) maintains the same character.

Most probably expanded and strengthened up until the mid-12th century, the church successfully withstood the Tartar raid of 1241, providing shelter for residents of the city. At that time, it was – quite rightly – called “the lower castle” to be distinguished from the nearby “upper” standing on top of Wawel Hill. In 1320, the church was entrusted to the Order of Poor Clares, whose convent was built south of the church. Also the brick, Gothic oratorio that today plays the role of the sacristy dates back to that period.

The baroque decoration of the interior, with rich stucco decoration by Baldassare Fontana, comes from the refurbishment that took place after 1700, while the high altar, attributed to Francesco Placidi, is somewhat newer. Attention is drawn to the pulpit in the shape of a boat, and the musical choir with 18th-century organ in the chancel, decorated in the rococo manner. The baroque steeples added in 1639 contrast with the severity of the Romanesque form of the church.

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