of magnificent churches together with the plentitude of its
monasteries and convents earned the city a reputation of
“the Northern Rome” in the past. They have remained the
centers of spiritual life till now, attended throughout the
week and crowded on Sundays. As the number of Krakow
churches increases by the year nowadays, visitors take
interest mostly in the old temples. Some of them seem
noteworthy as architectural achievements, some are just
picturesque. The old Krakow churches often shelter unique
objects prized for their artistic or historical value.
Watch online videos of Krakow
churches and holy shrines
Wawel Cathedral on the Wawel Hill
Poland's impressive national shrine dates from the 14th
century and shelters plenty of superb church art. The Sigismund Chapel is a masterpiece of the
Renaissance art and architecture. Giant Zygmunt bell of 1520 ranks with the world's largest. Most Polish kings are buried here together with the greatest
Basilica of the Virgin Mary's at the Grand
Immense Gothic church, the city of Krakow's principal
temple since the 13th century, boasts the world's greatest Gothic sculpture among its many excellent works of art.
Huge stained-glass widows of the chancel date from the 14th
Basilica of St. Francis’
Franciszkanska street (Old Town, opposite the Archbishop
Stately Romanesque, built 1237-1269. ! Masterpiece stain-glass
windows by Krakow genius artist and playwright Stanislaw
Wyspianski from the turn of the 20th century, notably “The
Creation” above the church entrance. Stunning floral decor by
the same artist. Adjoining Franciscan monastery. ! 15th-century
admirable cloister with the 15th and 16th-century fine frescoes.
Basilica of the Holy Trinity’s
12 Stolarska street (Old Town, at Dominikanski Pl.)
13th-century imposing Gothic. Fine 15th-century portal. Upstairs
ornate Baroque chapel-mausoleum of St. Jacek (St. Hyacinthus) in
his former cell. 17th-century chapel with the miraculous
painting of the Rosary Mother of God. Many chapels of Krakow
aristocracy. ! 14th-century grand cloister of the adjoining
Church of St. Adalbert’s
Grand Square (Old Town)
Now modest Baroque, yet the church dates back to the 10th c.,
which shows. Archeological reserve and an exhibition about the
history of Krakow’s Grand Square in the basement /outdoor
Church of St. Andrew’s
56 Grodzka street (Old Town, by the Royal Road)
11th-century splendid Romanesque architecture, Baroque interior
of the 17th c. Adjoins Poor Clares’ convent. Adjacent the
spectacular Baroque church of St. St. Peter and Paul’s.
Church of St. Anna’s
11 Sw. Anny street (Old Town)
Admirable Baroque. University church built 1689-1705. Exquisite
stucco decor. St. John Kanty’s mausoleum in the right transept.
Church of St. Barbara’s
Mariacki Pl. (Old Town, by the basilica of the Virgin
14th-century Gothic structure with Baroque interior. Open outer
chapel by the entrance with valuable stone statues from the end
of the 15th c.: Christ with three Apostles on the Mount of
Church of St. Bernard’s
2 Bernardynski Pl. (by the Wawel Hill)
17th-century Baroque. Rich interior with plentiful paintings.
Noteworthy Gothic sculpture in the chapel of St. Anna’s.
Adjoining Bernardine monastery.
Church of St. Casimir’s
4 Reformacka street (Old Town)
The 17th-century picturesque Baroque complex with the adjacent
Franciscan monastery. Many 18th-century paintings. Church
catacombs with more than 1000 mummified bodies from 1667 to
Church of St. Catherine’s
Skaleczna street (Kazimierz Town, next to the Skalka Shrine)
High Gothic of 1363. Fine Gothic porch with traceries, grand
portal. Splendid 3-story Baroque altarpiece of 1634 in the
chancel. 16th-century Renaissance mausoleum of a Krakow
aristocrat in the south aisle. ! 14th-century monumental
cloister of the adjoining monastery with many outstanding
medieval and Renaissance frescoes.
Church of Corpus Christi
26 Bozego Ciala street (Kazimierz Town)
Mid-14th-century grand Gothic. Rich interior. The 1634 high
altar. Superb stalls of 1629. Mid-18th-century pulpit in the
form of a boat. Lucas Cranach’s Madonna of c. 1520 in an upper
chapel. Adjacent monastery of 1405.
Church of St. Florian’s
1 Warszawska street (downtown)
Now Baroque. Originally built in 1184 as a mausoleum for the
relics of St. Florian, the 3rd-century Roman soldier and martyr.
The church was a starting point for royal funeral processions to
the Wawel Cathedral. John Paul II, then Father Wojtylla, curate
Church of the Holiest Savior’s
Scenic Romanesque, rebuilt 1670-1673, dates from the 12th c.
Early 17th-century exterior chalice-shaped stone pulpit.
Outstanding 16th-century late Renaissance interior pulpit with
ornate sculptures. Archeological reserve in the basement.
Church of the Holy Cross
Sw. Ducha Pl. (Old Town)
Stylish Gothic of c. 1300. Fine palm ceiling supported by a
single column. Bronze baptismal font of 1423. 16th-century
Renaissance fresco decor. Ornate Baroque altarpieces.
Church of the Lord’s Transfiguration
2 Pijarska street (Old Town, end of Sw. Jana street)
Fine Baroque, built 1714-1727. Illusory ceiling fresco.
Church of St. Mark’s
at the corner of Slawkowska and Marka streets (Old Town)
Picturesque Gothic of the early 14th c. with a late Renaissance
interior. Miraculous Gothic crucifix in the altarpiece. Pulpit
in the shape of a heart. The Passion exterior statues are modern
copies of the c. 1500 originals transferred to museum.
Church of the Mother of God the Queen of Poland
Monumental modern, built 1967-1977 in the shape of a boat.
8-m-tall contemporary sculpture crucifix. In the tabernacle a
lunar stone brought from the moon by American astronauts.
Church of St. Nicholas’
9 Kopernika street (downtown)
Now modest Baroque, Gothic parts. Outstanding 15th-century
Gothic Krakow-school painted altarpiece in the south aisle.
14th-century tall medieval cemetery lantern of stone in the
Church of St. Norbert’s
11 Wislna street (Old Town)
Modest Baroque. Fine rococo altarpiece of mid 18th c. in
the apse. Big Gothic crucifix of c. 1520.
Church of St. Peter and St. Paul’s
Grodzka street (Old Town, by the Royal Road)
17th-century grandest Baroque after Rome’s del Gesu. Ornate
white stone facade with sculptures, mighty dome. Crypt with the
sarcophagus of Father Skarga, famous 17th-century Jesuit
preacher. Larger-than-life stone statues of 12 Apostles above
the front fence are replicas of the 18th-century late Baroque
originals moved to the side yard.
Church of St. Theresa’s
44 Kopernika street (downtown)
Good 18th-century Baroque. 14th-century Gothic statue of the
Madonna. 16th-century paintings. Marble column of 1668 at the
front yard. Adjacent Carmelite convent.
Church of the Virgin Mary’s Annunciation
19 Karmelicka street (close to the Old Town)
Now 17th-century stately Baroque, dates back to the 11th c.
Italian-Baroque interior of c. 1675. Miraculous Our Lady of
Piasek, the 15th-century fresco allegedly with features of
Poland’s Queen-Saint Jadwiga, in the east chapel. Adjacent
Poland’s second holiest shrine at the site of St.
Stanislav’s 1079 martyrdom. Splendid Baroque church and fine
monastery modeled on a Renaissance castle.
Hilltop monastery-fortress dates from the 11th c.
Magnificent 17th-century Baroque hermitage complex atop
the Silver Mountain hovers over Krakow.
St. Norbert's Convent
Vast fortified complex on the Vistula river is home to
Krakow’s once powerful Premonstratensian Sisters since the
Cistercian Abbey of Mogila
in 1225, the Mogila Abbey is one of Krakow's most
Sanctuary of the Lord's Mercy
Humble nun’s visions in the 1930s gave rise to a
world-wide spiritual movement inside the Catholic Church, ever
stronger nowadays, with the center in her Krakow convent.
Jasna Gora Sanctuary in Czestochowa is the holiest
place of Poland and one of the world’s most important
destinations for pilgrims.
With its 42 Baroque churches and chapels of all shapes
and sizes in addition to the central basilica and the Franciscan
monastery, the Kalwaria Zebrzydowska sanctuary is Europe's
biggest Calvary shrine.
footsteps of Pope John Paul II
Paul II sanctuary
Roman Catholic Church