St. Michael the Archangel's Church

Gdynia, Poland

St. Michael Archangel church is the oldest building in Gdynia. Originally built by nuns of the Norbertine Order, it replaced a pagan temple in 1224. The church was reduced to a pile of rubble during the war with Sweden in 17th century. After its restoration it served the Catholics until the last days of World War II when the tower was hit by a Soviet cannon ball, fired for fun. Yet again did the Kashubians have to rebuild their temple. It towers the Kępa Oksywska up to over 40 m above the water table, surrounded by a cemetery. Very many honourable people from Gdynia and Pomerania rest there; it also makes a Pantheon of the Navy: the walls of this historic church are lined with commemorating plates honouring the II World War Polish warships, graves of the outstanding navy commanders and the September 1939 defenders of the Polish Coast, holders of the Virtuti Militari crosses.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Address

Arciszewskich 2, Gdynia, Poland
See all sites in Gdynia

Details

Founded: 1224
Category: Religious sites in Poland

User Reviews

Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Lübeck Cathedral

Lübeck Cathedral is a large brick-built Lutheran cathedral in Lübeck, Germany and part of the Lübeck UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1173 Henry the Lion founded the cathedral to serve the Diocese of Lübeck, after the transfer in 1160 of the bishop's seat from Oldenburg in Holstein under bishop Gerold. The then Romanesque cathedral was completed around 1230, but between 1266 and 1335 it was converted into a Gothic-style building with side-aisles raised to the same height as the main aisle.

On the night of Palm Sunday (28–29 March) 1942 a Royal Air Force bombing raid destroyed a fifth of the town centre. Several bombs fell in the area around the church, causing the eastern vault of the quire to collapse and destroying the altar which dated from 1696. A fire from the neighbouring cathedral museum spread to the truss of the cathedral, and around noon on Palm Sunday the towers collapsed. An Arp Schnitger organ was lost in the flames. Nevertheless, a relatively large portion of the internal fittings was saved, including the cross and almost all of the medieval polyptychs. In 1946 a further collapse, of the gable of the north transept, destroyed the vestibule almost completely.

Reconstruction of the cathedral took several decades, as greater priority was given to the rebuilding of the Marienkirche. Work was completed only in 1982.

The cathedral is unique in that at 105 m, it is shorter than the tallest church in the city. This is the consequence of a power struggle between the church and the guilds.

The 17 m crucifix is the work of the Lübeck artist Bernt Notke. It was commissioned by the bishop of Lübeck, Albert II. Krummendiek, and erected in 1477. The carvings which decorate the rood screen are also by Notke.

Since the war, the famous altar of Hans Memling has been in the medieval collection of the St. Annen Museum, but notable polyptychs remain in the cathedral.

In the funeral chapels of the southern aisle are Baroque-era memorials by the Flemish sculptor Thomas Quellinus.