MOST IMPORTANT TEMPLES IN CRACOW

A lot of people come to Cracow in the purpose of religion and this article is dedicated for
them. You will be shortly introduced to the most important temples in our city.
The first one is St. Mary’s Basilica. It was built before Cracow received town rights and since
1222, it has been a parish church. It was built when the Main Square did not exist yet and
that is why the church is located across. The romanesque remnants of the temple are 2.6
metres under the main building. While sightseeing this basilica from the outside, it is worth to
pay attention to its walls, where you can see the epitaphs of cracovian burgher – memorabilia
of parish cemetery, that was surrounding the church until the end of the 18th century.
From the outside, you can also see towers, the longer one is called Hejnalica or Strażnica
(Watchtower). Until the end of Middle Ages, there was a guardian who ensured it and played
a “hejnał”- bugle call with a trumpet. Hejnał is still a symbol of Cracow. The shorter tower has
five bells.
Inside the Basilica, you can find the most precious monument – an altar made by Veit Stoss.
Church polychromy is also interesting and created by Jan Matejko. Crucifix of Slacker’s
author is also Veit Stoss.
Undoubtedly, the most important temple in Poland is the Wawel Cathedral. This is the final
resting place of polish kings, poets, the patron of Poland – St. Stanisław and national heroes.
Over the centuries, this Cathedral served as a coronation temple.
The present version of Wawel Cathedral is the third and gothic version of it. It’s surrounded
with chapels that were built over the centuries. Inside, you can find the chapel of St.
Stanisław. There is also a chapel where its place has a black crucifix that Queen Jadwiga
used to pray to.
There are nineteen chapels that surround this Cathedral. The most famous one is the
Zygmunt’s Chapel that is said to be the most beautiful masterpiece of Renaissance in
Poland.
The crypts that were built in the 16th century are place of the royal tombs.
What we also can recommend, is going to Zygmunt’s Tower, from where you can see the
entire city of Cracow. Inside of it, there is the famous Zygmunt’s Bell. In the past, using it
meant births of the royal babies or also the death of the royals. In the present you can hear it
during holidays, important church or national ceremonies.
A lot of pilgrims come to Poland every year to pray on St. Faustina’s grave that is located in
Shrine of Divine Mercy.
In 1931, St. Faustina saw Jesus in a white coat and two rays coming out of his pierced heart,
he told her to establish the Divine Mercy Week that is supposed to be on Sunday after the
Easter. She described the Risen Jesus very precisely so there is painted his image with the
words “Jesus, I trust in you”.
During the World War II, the pilgrims were coming to this painting and prayed. One of them
was Karol Wojtyła. In 2000, him as John Paul II canonized Sister Faustina as a saint.
If you find this interesting, we encourage you to go with us to the Divine Mercy Shrine as one
of our tours. You can also add to it visiting Częstochowa, Wadowice or the Salt Mine in
Wieliczka. Do not hesitate to contact us!

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