Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Saint Mary’s Church)

Plac Mariacki 5, 31-042 Kraków

Situated by the eastern corner of the Main Market Square. The current, Gothic church is the fourth to stand on the site since the earliest, Romanesque one was built in the 13th century. The construction involved a number of stages in the 14th century, and the side chapels were only added in the first half of the 15th century. The three-aisled basilica is crowned by two towers, with the taller bearing an intricate Gothic spire from the 15th century, with a Baroque crown. It has played the role of the city’s watchtower, and nowadays the bugle call, the musical symbol of Kraków, is played from there every hour to the four sides of the world.

The most precious element among the church furnishing is the high Altar chiselled by Veit Stoss (Wit Stwosz) in the 1480s from the funds of the Kraków patriciate and burghers. This is the most perfect late Gothic altarpiece preserved in Europe. The central panel and the six panels placed on the wings depict scenes from the lives of Mary and Christ. It is altogether graced by 200 figures, all carved in lime wood, covered with polychrome paint, and gilded.

The windows of the chancel have retained unique 14th-century stained glass. The walls inside the church are decorated with late-19th-century frescos, the work of among others Józef Mehoffer and Stanisław Wyspiański to the design of Jan Matejko. Our attention is also grabbed by the imposing 17th-century stalls with sculpted scenes from the New Testament, and lavishly decorated altars, mostly Baroque, in the nave and side chapels. Standing next to the Veit Stoss (Wit Stwosz) crucifix is a Renaissance ciborium (altar for the Holiest Sacrament), the work of an Italian, Giovanni Maria Padovano. Conspicuous among the wealth of monuments and epitaphs of Kraków burghers are the Renaissance memorial plaques of the Solomon and Boner families, and the Mannerist tombs of the Montelupis and Cellaris.

Date: 2017-05-19 Show ticket
News Publisher: Portal główny EN
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