Religious sites in Poland

Swidnica Church of Peace

The Churches of Peace in Jawor and Świdnica, the largest timber-framed religious buildings in Europe, were built in the former Silesia in the mid-17th century, amid the religious strife that followed the Peace of Westphalia. Constrained by the physical and political conditions, the Churches of Peace bear testimony to the quest for religious freedom and are a rare expression of Lutheran ideology in an idiom generally asso ...
Founded: 1656-1657 | Location: Świdnica, Poland

Basilica of St. James and St. Agnes

The Basilica of St. James and St. Agnes is a basilica minor in Nysa. It is the largest sacramental building in the town, and historically cultural site of the town. The basilica was built on the turning point of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, in the area known as the New Town. It was the first parish church, raised in between 1195 and 1198, consecrated by Wrocław"s Jarosław Bishop in 1198. The cur ...
Founded: 1195/1392 | Location: Nysa, Poland

Lubiaz Abbey

Lubiąż Abbey, also commonly known as Leubus Abbey, is a former Cistercian monastery. The abbey, established in 1175, is one of the largest Christian architectural complexes in the world and is considered a masterpiece of Baroque Silesian architecture. The abbey is situated near a ford across the Oder river, where a Benedictine monastery and church of Saint James may have been established about 1150, but had alr ...
Founded: 1175 | Location: Lubiąż, Poland

Church of the Poor Clares

Church of the Poor Clares is a red brick Gothic church with a few Renaissance touches built between 1582 and 1602 on the site of a previous wooden church and hospital. Officially named the Church of the Ascension of the Virgin Mary, it is known locally as the Church of the Poor Clares as it was the home of the Order of the Poor Clares from 1619 until 1835. The building was turned into a warehouse and later a fire station ...
Founded: 1582-1602 | Location: Bydgoszcz, Poland

The Assumption of Mary Church

The Assumption of Mary parish church is one of East Pomerania’s oldest and biggest churches. Built along the east-west axis, the construction work lasted from 1280 to 1320: a hall church consisting of three naves and two towers, each of a different height, emerged. In the 13th century the church opened a town school and a library. 1473 saw the opening of a 'studium particulare' (a secondary school), which ...
Founded: 1280 | Location: Chełmno, 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

Wambierzyce Basilica

Basilica of the Visitation was built between 1715 and 1723. The basilica was given the status of a basilica minor by Pope Pius XI in 1936. The present basilica is located on a hill, where in the twelfth-century, stood a wooden figure of Mary, the Mother of God. According to a chronicle from 1218, the blind Jan from Raszewo regained his sight there. After the event, many pilgrims began visiting the area. Shortly ...
Founded: 1715-1723 | Location: Wambierzyce, Poland

Vang Stave Church

Vang stave church was bought by King Frederick William IV of Prussia and transferred from Vang in the Valdres region of Norway and re-erected in 1842 in Brückenberg near Krummhübel in Silesia, now Karpacz in Poland. It was originally used by a congregation belonging to the Church of Norway, then the Evangelical Church of Prussia, and now serves the Evangelical-Augsburg Church in Poland. The church is ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Karpacz, Poland

St. Florian's Cathedral

St. Florian"s Cathedral with its 75-meter towers dominates eastern Warsaw"s Praga district and highlight the cathedral’s role as a form of protest against the erstwhile Russian domination of Poland. There has been a Catholic church presence in or around the site of the future church since 1583, but the impetus for creating a lasting and substantial church did not arrive until the late 19th century. The ma ...
Founded: 1897 | Location: Warsaw, Poland

Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Krzeszów is a Roman Catholic church and abbey of the Order of Saint Benedict in Krzeszów, Lower Silesian Voivodeship. Built around 1728-1735, it is a notable baroque church in Silesia, with the art of Ferdinand Brokoff (sculptor) and Michael Willmann (painter). It is also one of the shrines to the Virgin Mary, with a 13th old painting. In one of the ...
Founded: 1728-1735 | Location: Krzeszów, Poland

St. Nicholas Cathedral

St. Nicholas Cathedral is a Gothic church established in circa 1247. When the burghers of Elbing (Elbląg) first attempted to adopt the Protestant Reformation in 1525, the provost of St. Nicholas Church maintained Catholic practice. Since 1539 the city council tacitly tolerated and gradually openly promoted Lutheranism, so that St. Nicholas Church had become a Lutheran church by 1573. Following King Sigismund III&quo ...
Founded: 1247 | Location: Elbląg, Poland

Holy Trinity Church

The imposing Church of the Holy Trinity was built by Franciscan monks in 1420-1514. In 1480, the Chapel of St Anne was constructed alongside the church. This towering Gothic building, adjoining a former Franciscan monastery (now the National Museum), is among the best preserved buildings in the city.The altar is offset by a lofty whitewashed interior and the wide expanse of floor is cobbled with tombstones, including an e ...
Founded: 1420-1514 | Location: Gdańsk, Poland

Jawor Church of Peace

The Churches of Peace in Jawor and Świdnica, the largest timber-framed religious buildings in Europe, were built in the former Silesia in the mid-17th century, amid the religious strife that followed the Peace of Westphalia. Constrained by the physical and political conditions, the Churches of Peace bear testimony to the quest for religious freedom and are a rare expression of Lutheran ideology in an idiom generally asso ...
Founded: 1655 | Location: Jawor, Poland

Mogila Abbey

Mogiła Abbey is a Cistercian monastery founded in 1222 by the Bishop of Kraków, Iwo Odrowąż. It was the largest and most impressive church in medieval Poland after Wawel Cathedral, and served as the Odrowąż family"s burial place until the 16th century. The monastic community, consisting of the 13 professed monks mandatory for an independent monastery, moved in around 1225, although th ...
Founded: 1222 | Location: Kraków, Poland

Plock Cathedral

Płock Cathedral, or the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Masovia, is an example of Romanesque architecture. The bishopric in Płock was founded about 1075. The first definite reference to the cathedral is in 1102, when Władysław I Herman was buried there. The present Romanesque cathedral was built after 1129 by prince Bolesław III and Bishop Aleksander of Malonne. This was a rebuilding following a fire and took ...
Founded: c. 1129 | Location: Płock, Poland

Saints Peter and Paul Basilica

Saints Peter and Paul Church is a historic brick, Gothic minor basilica. Formerly, the basilica belonged to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Since 2002, the church serves as a minor basilica. It is the most prized heritage site of the town and is one of the largest churches in Lower Silesia (with a length of the nave at 76 metres, height of 26 m and a main building width of 26 m). An example of Lower Sile ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Strzegom, Poland

Cathedral Basilica of the Holy Cross

The Cathedral Basilica of the Holy Cross (Bazylika Katedralna Podwyższenia Krzyża Świętego) was built in the 15th century on the site where before there was a structure of the 11th and 13th centuries. It was rebuilt several times. With towers with a height of 73 meters is the tallest structure in the city. In the temple there is a painting of the Virgin of Opole, brought there permanently in 1702.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Opole, Poland

Archangel Michael Church

The wooden church of the Archangel Michael in Debno is first mentioned in 1335. The present building, the second on the site, dates from the late 15th century. This church has a unique example of medieval decorations. The ceiling and the interior walls are painted using stencils from the 15th and 16th centuries. The decoration contains more than 77 motifs: architectural recalling Gothic forms, animal, human and religious. ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Dębno, 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

Camaldolese Hermit Monastery

The Camaldolese monastery in Bielany was established there in the first half of the 17th century, damaged in 1655 during the Polish-Swedish war and rebuilt after a fire in 1814. It consists of hermitages and the Assumption of Mary Church.
Founded: 17th century | Location: Bielany, 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.