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The Virgin Mary's Great Altar in Krakow

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Veit Stoss' altarpiece in Krakow

Krakow's Gothic Masterpiece by Veit Stoss 

Krakow is blessed with masterworks by the greatest sculptor of the Gothic art, Veit Stoss (or Wit Stwosz, circa 1440 to 1533). He lived and worked here for 19 years, and he sacrificed twelve of them (1477 to 1489) to carve in wood his best work ever: three-story-high altarpiece in the basilica of the Virgin Mary's at Krakow’s central Grand Square

The 42-foot-high and 36-foot-wide Veit Stoss' magnum opus is the largest Gothic sculpture in the world. It consists of 200 fine limewood sculptures treated with color and gold foil. The central part, with huge lifelike statues of the saints, depicts dramatically the Virgin Mary's Quietus among the Apostles. Looking upwards one sees the Ascension of Our Lady and Lord. And at the top there is the Madonna’s Heavenly Coronation by the Trinity. The wings are covered with relief scenes from the life of the Holy Family. At the base of the altarpiece one finds the family tree of the Virgin Mary's.

Tip: visit the basilica on a workday just before noon to see the opening of the Great Altar (St. Mary's Altar or 'Oltarz Mariacki' in Polish).

Basilica of the Virgin Mary's
The immense Gothic church, Krakow's principal temple since the 13th century, shelters many world-class works of art.

Interior of St. Mary’s church in Krakow

The Crown
Royal giant headdress tops the city of Krakow since 1666

Signal Trump
Hourly musical show in the sky dates from the Middle Ages

Krakow churches
Krakow numerous churches are architectural gems, art hoards, and spiritual hubs


Other Krakow Curios:
Prettiest Leonardo da Vinci
Window of awe
Subterranean wonder world
Renaissance pearl
Giant bell
Miraculous images
8-foot golden crown
Signal trump
Nativity beauties
Krakow mummies
Ice-age rhino



   


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