Church Of Saints Peter And Paul in Krakow
The area around Grodzka Street has been delighting architecture and art lovers with its unforgettable sights for centuries. One of the most interesting spots on this street, which is part of the Royal Route leading to Wawel Castle, is the imposing building of the Church of Saints Peter and Paul.
About Church Of Saints Peter And Paul in Krakow
The church, the first Baroque building in Krakow, stands in St Mary Magdalene Square, right next to the Romanesque St Andrew’s Church from the 11th century. Construction of the church, based on a design by Giovanni de Rossi, began in 1597 and was completed in 1619. Ceremonially consecrated in 1635, the church has belonged over the years to the Jesuit order, the Krakow Academy and later the Cistercian Order based in Mogiła.
Since 1the middle of the 19th century it has belonged to the All Saints parish.
The church stands out for its size and highly ornate architecture. On the outside, it has a wide, two-storey facade that is reminiscent of the churches of Santa Susanna and Il Gesù in Rome, with statues of Jesuit saints in the niches of the facade. The railings running around the grounds of the church are decorated with plinths bearing copies of sculptures of the 12 apostles made by Kazimierz Jęczmyk. The original 18th-century sculptures were damaged by acid rain in the 1950s and 1960s and therefore replaced.
Inside the church, the interiors boast impressive stucco decoration made by several workshops, including those of artists such as Giovanni Battista Falconi and Kazimierz Kaliski. The late-Baroque altar designed by Kacper Bażanka hides the painting Giving Keys to Saint Peter from 1820 by Józef Brodowski.
In 2010, work began on making the church one of Poland’s National Pantheons (a burial place for the most distinguished Poles in the fields of culture, art and science), with the official opening taking place two years later. Besides the remains of priest Piotr Skarga, the pantheon in the catacombs of the church also houses the remains of writer Sławomir
Mrożek, Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek and physicist Zygmunt Wróblewski.
Another interesting feature of the Church of Saints Peter and Paul is the Foucault pendulum – the longest in Poland at 46.5 metres long – that hangs from under the dome. Demonstrations of the pendulum, providing proof of the Earth’s rotation, are held every Thursday.
Ways to experience
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