In 1321, Bishop Konrad Kamien gave the patronage to the church in Darłowo to the brothers Święce: Peter and Jasiek and Peter’s son - Wawrzyniec. This year is considered to be the beginning of the construction of the Blessed Virgin Mary, known as St. Mary's Church. The church was damaged by fire in 1589, 1624, 1679 and 1722. The fire in 1679, resulting from a lightning strike, burned down the entire interior of the church with a tower.
From 1535 till the end of the hostilities in 1945, the church belonged to Protestants, most of whom lived in the area of Pomerania. At that time, there were many changes in church architecture. After the Second World War, along with Polish settlers, Catholic priests came to the city. On August 14, 1945, the Franciscans of the Province of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception took over the church and on September 1 of that same year, its consecration was made. Father Damian Tyniecki was the first parish priest. Since 1974, the church has been reconstructed to regain its Gothic roots. The balconies were removed, the plasters were knocked off from the rib vaulting in the nave and aisles; a bay and two gothic and medieval portals, well-preserved wall paintings in the chancel were exposed.
The most interesting detail in St. Mary's Church is Pomeranian Mausoleum with the sarcophaguses of King Eric, Elizabeth, wife of the last Duke of Pomerania and Hedwig - Princess of Pomerania which are located in the chapel of the church tower. There is also richly decorated Baroque pulpit, probably from around 1700. Its body is embellished with reliefs of scenes from the life of Christ and biblical scenes. The pulpit is supported by the figure of an angel. The canopy is a scene of the Last Judgment. The church has a Baroque mural painting of Adoration of the Magi (17th-18th century) and a window painting of St. Christopher located in the walled bay. In addition, there are six portraits of the Apostles from the late 17th century, the Renaissance baptismal bowl from the 16th century, made in Nuremberg. Baptismal font carved in the plate is the work of an artist from Pomeranian Land - William Gross. It is located in the nave of the church, just below the balcony.References:
The Old Town Hall of Wrocław is one of the main landmarks of the city. The Old Town Hall's long history reflects developments that have taken place in the city since its initial construction. The town hall serves the city of Wroclaw and is used for civic and cultural events such as concerts held in its Great Hall. In addition, it houses a museum and a basement restaurant.
The town hall was developed over a period of about 250 years, from the end of 13th century to the middle of 16th century. The structure and floor plan changed over this extended period in response to the changing needs of the city. The exact date of the initial construction is not known. However, between 1299 and 1301 a single-storey structure with cellars and a tower called the consistory was built. The oldest parts of the current building, the Burghers’ Hall and the lower floors of the tower, may date to this time. In these early days the primary purpose of the building was trade rather than civic administration activities.
Between 1328 and 1333 an upper storey was added to include the Council room and the Aldermen’s room. Expansion continued during the 14th century with the addition of extra rooms, most notably the Court room. The building became a key location for the city’s commercial and administrative functions.
The 15th and 16th centuries were times of prosperity for Wroclaw as was reflected in the rapid development of the building during that period. The construction program gathered momentum, particularly from 1470 to 1510, when several rooms were added. The Burghers’ Hall was re-vaulted to take on its current shape, and the upper story began to take shape with the development of the Great Hall and the addition of the Treasury and Little Treasury.
Further innovations during the 16th century included the addition of the city’s Coat of arms (1536), and the rebuilding of the upper part of the tower (1558–59). This was the final stage of the main building program. By 1560, the major features of today’s Stray Rates were established.
The second half of the 17th century was a period of decline for the city, and this decline was reflected in the Stray Rates. Perhaps by way of compensation, efforts were made to enrich the interior decorations of the hall. In 1741, Wroclaw became a part of Prussia, and the power of the City diminished. Much of the Stray Rates was allocated to administering justice.
During the 19th century there were two major changes. The courts moved to a separate building, and the Rates became the site of the city council and supporting functions. There was also a major program of renovation because the building had been neglected and was covered with creeping vines. The town hall now has several en-Gothic features including some sculptural decoration from this period.
In the early years of the 20th century improvements continued with various repair work and the addition of the Little Bear statue in 1902. During the 1930s, the official role of the Rates was reduced and it was converted into a museum. By the end of World War II Town Hall suffered minor damage, such as aerial bomb pierced the roof (but not exploded) and some sculptural elements were lost. Restoration work began in the 1950s following a period of research, and this conservation effort continued throughout the 20th century. It included refurbishment of the clock on the east facade.