St. Nicholas Rotunda

Cieszyn, Poland

Saint Nicolas and Saint Wenceslas Church in Cieszyn is a Romanesque rotunda to serve the role of a castle chapel and a stronghold church.

The rotunda was erected within the walls of the castellan stronghold at the top of Castle Mount (built in the 10th century and the first half of the 11th century). The first reference to the rotunda comes from 1223, where it was described as St. Nicolas Chapel, obliged to pay a tithe to Norbertine’s sisters in Rybnik. The end of the 13th century and the entire 14th century was related to a reconstruction of the castle and replacement of wood by bricks. The Romanesque rotunda was adapted to the Gothic castle: the level of the floor was raised by two meters, Romanesque windows in the apse were walled up and bigger, Gothic ones were created.

At the time of the conversion of the lower castle in 1838-40, the Romanesque walls of the temple were ringed by a brick wall. New and bigger windows were walled out and a new, tin helmet was put up. The level of the interior nave and the exterior area was raised (the building was almost halfway up rimmed by soil). The Romanesque chapel received a classical division of the façade adjusted to the style of the castle. The design of a romantic pavilion was created by Joseph Koernhausel. The interior of the Rotunda was decorated by a neo-gothic wooden altar and a picture of Saint Wenceslas.

The Rotunda of Cieszyn as one of the oldest monuments of Polish architecture is depicted on the current Polish 20 PLN banknote.



Your name

Website (optional)


Zamkowa 3B, Cieszyn, Poland
See all sites in Cieszyn


Founded: c. 1180
Category: Religious sites in Poland

More Information


4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jan Cermak (20 days ago)
Nice place to visit. Small Chapel inside that you can visit as well. Not far from Tower View Point. Entry fee into Tower is 7zł(£1,5) and you can see whole city plus river that is a border between Czech Republic and Poland.
Tomasz Dawid “Pgw_SzaJba” Szyrocki (31 days ago)
Quest - #Awake
Adam Michael Szuscik (15 months ago)
One of most important places in Poland
Jeffrey Jones (2 years ago)
Quiet leafy park to relax, enjoy the views and the castle tower and famous rotunda church.
Agata Grajdek (3 years ago)
It is one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had in my life. When we opened the door with the key we felt as if we opened the gates to another world - because of THIS SOUND. It was magnificent, astounding. W o w!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Easter Aquhorthies Stone Circle

Easter Aquhorthies stone circle, located near Inverurie, is one of the best-preserved examples of a recumbent stone circle, and one of the few that still have their full complement of stones. It consists of a ring of nine stones, eight of which are grey granite and one red jasper. Two more grey granite stones flank a recumbent of red granite flecked with crystals and lines of quartz. The circle is particularly notable for its builders' use of polychromy in the stones, with the reddish ones situated on the SSW side and the grey ones opposite.

The placename Aquhorthies derives from a Scottish Gaelic word meaning 'field of prayer', and may indicate a 'long continuity of sanctity' between the Stone or Bronze Age circle builders and their much later Gaelic successors millennia later. The circle's surroundings were landscaped in the late 19th century, and it sits within a small fenced and walled enclosure. A stone dyke, known as a roundel, was built around the circle some time between 1847 and 1866–7.