Top Historic Sights in Brzeg, Poland

Explore the historic highlights of Brzeg

St. Jadwiga's Church

St. Jadwiga"s Church in Brzeg is a Gothic castle church. The Gothic brick-built chapel, adjoined to the south-western portion of Brzeg Castle was built in the former location of a collegiate church built between 1368 and 1369. In 1741, the chapel was destroyed due to Prussian bombardment, with only the presbytery having had survived. After its reconstruction in 1783-1784, the chapel served as the mausoleum for the Si ...
Founded: 1368 | Location: Brzeg, Poland

Brzeg Castle

Earliest records of the Brzeg castle"s existence describe a small fortress with a moat and fortified walls, built in 1235 during the reign of Henry I the Bearded. A square tower known as 'The Tower of Lions' was built adjoining the castle. The Piast family branch, which ruled over Duchy of Brzeg, lived in the castle between 1311 until 1675. In 1342, the castle was made the capital seat of the duchy aft ...
Founded: 1235 | Location: Brzeg, Poland

Saints Peter and Paul Church

Saints Peter and Paul Church was built in the thirteenth-century, subsequently expanded in 1338, and transformed after a fire in the sixteenth-century. In 1527, after Frederick II of Legnica introduced Lutheranism into Brzeg, the town"s Franciscans were expelled, with the basilica acquired by the town authorities. In 1582, the building was rebuilt into an arsenal. The fire service moved into the building the nineteen ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Brzeg, Poland

Holy Cross Church

The Holy Cross Church was built between 1734 and 1739 (the towers were built in between 1854 and 1856) in the location of the destroyed in 1545 monastery of the Dominicans - for the need of Jesuits which arrived to the town in 1677 (architect J. Frisch). The church has a single-aisle, with a number of side chapels and the tribunes. The ceiling stands out due to J.Kubena frescoes (1739-1745) presenting the glory of the ...
Founded: 1734-1739 | Location: Brzeg, Poland

Brzeg Town Hall

Brzeg Town Hall is a Renaissance building designed by Bernard Niuron built between 1569 and 1577. It is considered to be one of the most important Renaissance monuments in Poland. In addition to its role as the seat of the municipal government of Brzeg, the building houses several other institutions. The first building housing the municipal government in Brzeg already existed in the 14th century but was burned down ...
Founded: 1569-1577 | Location: Brzeg, Poland

St. Nicholas' Church

St. Nicholas" Church in Brzeg is a Gothic basilica built between 1370 and 1420 during the reign of Louis I of Brzeg. He built it on the site of a former brick building, mentioned in sources from 1279. In 1523, the town of Brzeg experienced a Reformation. Prince Frederick II introduced the Lutheran religion into the principality. In 1524, the former Franciscan monk Jan of Opava gave his first sermon in th ...
Founded: 1370-1420 | Location: Brzeg, Poland

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Abbey of Saint-Étienne

The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.

Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.

The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.

As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).