Szczecin Cathedral

Szczecin, Poland

The Cathedral Basilica of St. James the Apostle was built by the citizens of the Szczecin city and modeled after the Church of St. Mary in Lübeck. It is the largest church in Pomerania and for many years after the reformation was part of the Pomeranian Evangelical Church, but since World War II and the handing over of Stettin to Poland it has been rebuilt as a Roman Catholic cathedral.

The church was established in 1187 and the Romanesque-style building was completed in the 14th century. One of its two towers collapsed during a storm in 1456 and destroyed part of the church. Reconstruction lasted until 1503 and the entire church was remodeled based on a single-tower hall church design.

The church was destroyed again in 1677 during the Scanian War and rebuilt between 1690 and 1693 in the Baroque style. In 1893, the church was remodeled again however, the west tower collapsed during a storm in 1894 and had to be rebuilt. This remodeling was completed in 1901 leaving the church with a spire of 119 meters.

Air raids on the night of 16 August 1944 during World War II resulted in collapse of the spire added in 1901 and extensive damage to other parts of the building. The north wall, all altars and artworks inside were destroyed by the bombs and ensuing fire. Following the war, government officials were reluctant to allow reconstruction of the church however, a heritage conservator pointed out that demolition of the remaining structure would be more costly than rebuilding it. In 1971, work began on the church and continued for three years. The north wall was reconstructed in a modern style which did not harmonize with the rest of the building and the tower was stabilized, but the spire was not rebuilt. Instead, the tower was capped with a short hip roof or pyramid roof resulting in a height of 60 meters.

In 2006, another renovation commenced which saw new heating systems and flooring installed. Organs, to replace those removed before the World War II bombing and never recovered, were constructed and the tower was strengthened so it could support a redesigned spire. In 2010, a new, neo-baroque Flèche has been constructed. Today, the church serves as the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Szczecin.



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Cathedral makes a big impression, and certainly this is one of the monuments of Szczecin, which necessarily must see. At the same time, without a doubt, it is worth to taste the local dishes, like the delicious goose, reported in the aforementioned Dana Hotel :)

Certainly in Szczecin we can find much more so monumental buildings, like the Castle of the Pomeranian Dukes. I love the city for such monuments and places like the Dana Hotel, where you can perfectly relax and taste the unique cuisine of autumn menu.


Founded: 1187
Category: Religious sites in Poland

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Marty Zoerner (6 months ago)
We went to mass there on Sunday at noon. The building is incredible and the treatment we recieved from the English speaking church manager after I told him we were from the USA and were visiting the church where my great, great grandfather was baptized in 1846 was outstanding. I'd give it 10 stars if I could!
Honorata (7 months ago)
Stunning example of gothic architecture. You can come for the Holy Mass or just come and admire the beauty of the place. Located on a hill, parking available around, short walking distance to the Pomeranian Dukes' castle. You can also see the views from the tower.
George (10 months ago)
Very beautiful church, you pay to go to the top of the tower for a nice view but it is worth it. Had an elevator too. The church is free to view at the other entrance.
Sc. U (12 months ago)
The view from the tower is, for me, a must do when being in Stettin. Great overview to three sides of the tower. Ascent is done using two elevators. Unfortunately it is only possible to watch through glass windows which are not very clean. This is not optimal for taking photos. Prices are with 16 Zl for adults and 8 Zl for kids, and students are in a decent range.
Amar Chauhan (2 years ago)
The cathedral is an iconic landmark in Szczecin's skyline giving beautiful view of the town and nearby port. The cathedral is of historical importance during world war 2. A nominal fee of 3$ is charged for the top skyline view of city from where you can also observe world war 2 era tanks placed at distance strategically by hitler to counter air strikes.
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