Religious sites in Poland

Church of St. John the Baptist

St. John the Baptist has been located around Malbork since at least the 13th century, having been destroyed and rebuilt on several occasions. The current building was like so many other old ones in the town rebuilt at the end of the Thirteen Year War in 1468, although the current wooden bell tower dates from the 1520s. Always a Catholic church, the interior, most of which dates from extensive conservation work between the ...
Founded: 1468 | Location: Malbork, Poland

Jasna Góra Monastery

The Jasna Góra Monastery is the most famous Polish shrine to the Virgin Mary and the country"s greatest place of pilgrimage – for many its spiritual capital. The image of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa, also known as Our Lady of Częstochowa, to which miraculous powers are attributed, is Jasna Góra"s most precious treasure. The site is one of Poland"s official national Histori ...
Founded: 1382 | Location: Częstochowa, Poland

St. Florian's Church

The Collegiate Church of St. Florian was built between 1185 and 1216. It was burnt down many times in the 12th, 16th and 17th centuries. Notably, during the Swedish siege of Kraków, General Stefan Czarniecki ordered the city"s suburbs burned down. However, during the city-wide fire which consumed a considerable part of Kraków in 1528, the church – containing St. Florian"s relics – survi ...
Founded: 1185-1216 | Location: Kraków, Poland

St. Dorothea's Church

The Church of Sts. Dorothea, Wenceslaus, and Stanislaus was founded to commemorate the signing of a treaty between Casimir III the Great of Poland and Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor. The patrons of the church represented Bohemia, Poland, and Silesia: the coat of arms of the three realms were placed under the windows on the outside of the apse. The church was built under the supervision of the Augustinian hermits on a plot ...
Founded: c. 1240 | Location: Wrocław, Poland

St Nicholas' Church

The Dominican Church of St. Nicholas is one of the oldest churches in Gdansk. Its history begins in the 12th century. It was built at the junction of two important trade routes: the ancient mercantile path (via mercatorum) and the route leading from the royal castle of Gdansk’s estate in Pomerania. On January 22, 1227, the Pomeranian prince Svatopluk entrusted the Church of St. Nicholas to the Dominicans, who had j ...
Founded: 1348-90 | Location: Gdańsk, Poland

St. Bridget's Church

St. Bridget's Church was built in the mid-1300s, initially as St. Magdalene’s Chapel, on the location of the legendary appearance of the Holiest Virgin. In 1374, the funeral procession carrying the remains of the founder of the Holiest Saviour Convent, Bridget of Sweden, which was travelling from Rome to Vadstena in Sweden, made a stop in Gda?sk. The residents of Gda?sk paid great homage to the deceased, whose sarco ...
Founded: c. 1350 | Location: Gdańsk, Poland

St. Lawrence's Chapel

St. Lawrence"s Chapel is located on the peak of Śnieżka, the highest peak of the Karkonosze Mountains, located around 5.3 kilometres west of the centre of Karpacz. The construction of the chapel was founded by Count Christof Leopold von Schaffgotsch, as a votive offering to the confiscated wealth of his father. The building of the chapel on Śnieżka was done so to enforce his right to the mountain, whi ...
Founded: 1665 | Location: Karpacz, Poland

Skalka

Church of St Michael the Archangel and St Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr and Pauline Fathers Monastery, Skałka, which means 'a small rock' in Polish, is a small outcrop in Kraków where the Bishop of Kraków saint Stanislaus of Szczepanów was slain by order of Polish king Bolesław II the Bold in 1079. This action resulted in the king"s exile and the eventual canonization of the sl ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Kraków, Poland

Oliwa Cathedral

Oliwa Cathedral is dedicated to The Holy Trinity, Blessed Virgin Mary and St Bernard. The first Cistercian monastery on the site was founded by Sambor I of Gdánsk, Duke of Pomerania, in 1186. The first Romanesque oratory was burnt down in 1224 during the pagan Prussians crusade. It was rebuilt in 1234-1236, but destroyed again by Prussian crusade. In 1350 fire that was caused by chimney soot excess completely cons ...
Founded: 1578-1594 | Location: Gdańsk, Poland

Church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the first Carmelite Church in Kraków, hence the name of the street on which it stands. According to legend, the earliest church on the same site was founded in the 11th century by Duke Władysław I Herman after a vision led him to this spot northwest of the city walls, where he found blooming violets in sand which cured him of a disfiguring case of scu ...
Founded: 1679 | Location: Kraków, Poland

Archcathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul

The Archcathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul in Poznań is one of the oldest churches in Poland and the oldest Polish cathedral, dating from the 10th century. It stands on the island of Ostrów Tumski north-east of the city centre. The cathedral was originally built in the second half of the 10th century within the fortified settlement of Poznań, which stood on what is now called Ostrów Tums ...
Founded: 968 AD | Location: Poznań, Poland

St. Martin & Nicholas Cathedral

Bydgoszcz"s oldest remaining church is a truly exquisite example of the so-called Vistulan Gothic style, and is, in a word, breathtaking. Parts of the building date back to middle of the 15th century, and the exterior is worthy of more plaudits than many comparable churches, but what really sets this church apart from the rest is its glorious interior. Those who"ve visited St. Mary"s Basilica in Krak&oacut ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Bydgoszcz, Poland

Tyniec Abbey

Tyniec Benedictine abbey was founded by King Casimir the Restorer probably around 1044. Casimir decided to rebuild the newly established Kingdom of Poland, after a Pagan rebellion and a disastrous Czech raid of Duke Bretislaus I (1039). The Benedictines, invited to Tyniec by the King, were tasked with restoring order as well as cementing the position of the State and the Church. First Tyniec Abbot was Aaron, who became th ...
Founded: c. 1044 | Location: Kraków, Poland

Szczecin Cathedral

The Cathedral Basilica of St. James the Apostle was built by the citizens of the Szczecin city and modeled after the Church of St. Mary in Lübeck. It is the largest church in Pomerania and for many years after the reformation was part of the Pomeranian Evangelical Church, but since World War II and the handing over of Stettin to Poland it has been rebuilt as a Roman Catholic cathedral. The church was established in ...
Founded: 1187 | Location: Szczecin, Poland

St. James's Church

St. James"s church (often mistakenly called St Jacob"s), a basilica from the 14th century, with monumental wall paintings and Gothic stalls. The unique character of the church is determined by a myriad of decorations, detail styles and multicolour glazed brick. In the New Market Square, the church can be entered through the Gothic gate with a pillar and the Baroque figure of St. James, the patron.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Toruń, Poland

St. James the Elder Church

The cathedral church of St. James the Elder is situated within the old quarter next to the city walls and in the past it could fulfil a defensive function. It was built in stages from 1380 until 1445 and finally completed in its present shape during the early 17th c. The building was erected on the rectangular plan of ceramic bricks, with nave and two aisles, hall type, without separate presbytery. Late Gothic vaulting is ...
Founded: 1380-1445 | Location: Olsztyn, Poland

Trzebnica Abbey

Sanctuary of St. Jadwiga, also Trzebnica Abbey, is a convent for Cistercian nuns founded in 1203. The abbey was established by the Silesian Piast duke Henry I the Bearded and his wife Saint Hedwig of Andechs, confirmed by Pope Innocent III. With Hedwig"s consent, her brother Ekbert of Andechs, then Bishop of Bamberg, chose the first nuns that occupied the convent. The first abbess was Petrussa from Kitzingen Abbey; s ...
Founded: 1203 | Location: Trzebnica, Poland

Frombork Cathedral

The Archcathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Andrew in Frombork was constructed during 1329-1388. The astronomer and mathematician Nicolaus Copernicus worked there as a canon (1512–16 and 1522–43). He wrote his epochal work, De revolutionibus orbium cœlestium in Frombork. Shortly after its 1543 publication, Copernicus died there and was buried in the cathedral where h ...
Founded: 1329-1388 | Location: Frombork, Poland

Pelplin Abbey

Pelplin Abbey is a former Cistercian abbey founded in 1258 by Sambor II, Duke of Pomerania. It was a daughter house of the Cistercian Doberan Abbey. It was first sited in Pogódki (Pogutken) near Kościerzyna (Berent) and re-located in 1276 to Pelplin. By decree of the Prussian government of 5 March 1823 it was dissolved. Since 1824 the church, as Pelpin Cathedral, has been the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of P ...
Founded: 1258 | Location: Pelplin, Poland

St. Mary's Cathedral

Koszalin’s most distinctive landmark is St. Mary"s Cathedral (Katedra Niepokalanego Poczecia N.M.P), a Gothic church erected between 1300-1333. Initially serving as a Catholic church, the building was from the 16th century till the end of World War II a temple for the Protestant faith. Since 1945 it again is a Catholic house of worship.
Founded: 1300-1333 | Location: Koszalin, Poland

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Augustusburg Palace

Augustusburg Palace represents one of the first examples of Rococo creations in Germany. For the Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach it was the favourite residence. In 1725 the Westphalian architect Johann Conrad Schlaun was commissioned by Clemens August to begin the construction of the palace on the ruins of a medieval moated castle.

In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and made the palace into one of the most glorious residences of its time. Until its completion in 1768, numerous outstanding artists of European renown contributed to its beauty. A prime example of the calibre of artists employed here is Balthasar Neumann, who created the design for the magnificent staircase, an enchanting creation full of dynamism and elegance. The magical interplay of architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design made the Brühl Palaces a masterpiece of German Rococo.

UNESCO honoured history and present of the Rococo Palaces by inscribing Augustusburg Palace – together with Falkenlust Palace and their extensive gardens – on the World Heritage List in 1984. From 1949 onwards, Augustusburg Palace was used for representative purposes by the German Federal President and the Federal Government for many decades.

In 1728, Dominique Girard designed the palace gardens according to French models. Owing to constant renovation and care, it is today one of the most authentic examples of 18th century garden design in Europe. Next to the Baroque gardens, Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned the forested areas based on English landscaping models. Today it is a wonderful place to have a walk.