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Stained-glass Masterpiece in Krakow 

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Stanislaw Wyspianski's masterpiece widow in Krakow's basilica of St. Francis

Krakow's Greatest Window 

Krakow is well worth visiting just for its masterpiece stained-glass windows if nothing else. Splendid medieval examples of that ancient art, monumental and delicate at the same time, grace the chancel of the basilica of Virgin Mary’s that towers over the city’s central Grand Square. Yet the world’s arguably greatest modern stained-glass window can be admired barely a block away, where the powerful depiction of the Creation has shone above the entrance to the basilica of St. Francis’ opposite the Archbishops’ Palace at the Franciszkanska street since the turn of the last century. The design of Krakow’s artistic and literary genius Stanislaw Wyspianski (1869-1907), entitled ‘Become!’ but known also as ‘Our Father’, radiates creative energy. It topped his other outstanding works in the same imposing Romanesque temple dating back to the 13th century. In the years 1897-1902 he also designed six stained-glass widows in the chancel–the four elements plus saints Francis of Assisi and Salomea of Krakow–as well as the nave’s impressive fresco decor of giant wild flowers. 

Wyspianski’s last stained-glass masterpiece is the 1904 representation of ‘Apollo: the Copernican solar system’ in the Medical Society House at 4 Radziwillowska street. Yet his most stunning set of designs, commissioned for Krakow’s Wawel Cathedral in 1900 and left unrealized for over a century, graces the windows of the Wsypianski 2000 building, completed in 2007 at the corner of Plac Wszystkich Swietych square and Grodzka street, almost next door to the basilica of St. Francis. 

Stanislaw Wyspianski's original life-size pastel designs for stain-glass windows are exhibited in the Wyspianski Museum, 11 Plac Szczepanski square at Szczepanska street, alongside the rest of the artist’s momentous and diverse output.

Many Krakow churches as well as some secular buildings can boast stained-glass widows of excellent design. Although the art reached its pinnacle a century ago, contemporary Krakow artists, together with collaborating artisans, strive to breathe new life into it.


Other Krakow Curios:
Prettiest Leonardo da Vinci
World's greatest medieval sculpture
Subterranean wonder world
Renaissance pearl 
Giant bell
Miraculous images
8-foot golden crown
Signal trump 
Deity of prehistoric Slavs
Nativity beauties
Krakow mummies 
Kmita's chasuble
Ice-age rhino

Krakow
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