The Church of the Visitation of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, otherwise known as St. Mary's Church, is a church, is one of oldest buildings in Warsaw and one of the few surviving examples of Gothic architecture in the city.
St. Mary's Church stands on the site of an ancient pagan place of worship. The church's foundation stone was laid by Janusz I the Old, Duke of Masovia and his wife, Danutė of Lithuania, in 1409. The church was consecrated in 1411. It has been modified, demolished and rebuilt several times. Originally it had one nave, was made of bricks, had a ceiling and an arch presbytery, before the end of the 15th century it was transformed into a three nave basilica.
The church's most striking characteristic is the tower, built in 1518. It is recognizable from a great distance and is depicted in the oldest images of Warsaw.
During World War II, the church was severely damaged by German forces - the roof of the nave collapsed and the upper portion of the tower was blown up. It was reconstructed in 1947-1966 to the design by Beata Trylińska.
Behind the church is small park with a set of steps that lead down to the Vistula and the so named Kościuszko banks of the river. In the square there are outdoor theatre performances and concerts which are organized locally.References:
The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, including Ragusa, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 1693 Ragusa was devastated by a huge earthquake, which killed some 5,000 inhabitants. Following this catastrophe the city was largely rebuilt, and many Baroque buildings from this time remain in the city. Most of the population moved to a new settlement in the former district of Patro, calling this new municipality 'Ragusa Superiore' (Upper Ragusa) and the ancient city 'Ragusa Inferiore' (Lower Ragusa). The two cities remained separated until 1926, when they were fused together to become a provincial capital in 1927.