St. John's Archcathedral

Warsaw, Poland

St. John's Archcathedral in Warsaw stands immediately adjacent to Warsaw's Jesuit church, and is one of the oldest churches in the city. St. John's Archcathedral is one of Poland's national pantheons. Along with the city, the church has been listed by UNESCO as of cultural significance.

Originally built in the 14th century in Masovian Gothic style, the Cathedral served as a coronation and burial site for numerous Dukes of Masovia. The Archcathedral was connected with the Royal Castle by an elevated 80-meter-long corridor that had been built by Queen Anna Jagiellonka in the late 16th century and extended in the 1620s after Michał Piekarski's failed 1620 attempt to assassinate King of Poland Sigismund III in front of the Cathedral.

After the resolution of the Constitution of May 3, 1791, at the end of the session at the Royal Castle, King Stanisław August Poniatowski went to the Cathedral of St. John to repeat the Oath of the Constitution in front of the Altar, in the face of God. Also the Marshals of the Great Sejm were carried to the Archcathedral on the shoulders of the enthusiastic deputies of the Sejm.

The church was rebuilt several times, most notably in the 19th century, it was preserved until World War II as an example of English Gothic Revival.

In 1944, during the Warsaw Uprising the Cathedral was a place of struggle between insurgents and advancing German army. The Germans managed to induct a tank loaded with explosives into the Cathedral, a huge explosion destroyed large part of the building. After the collapse of the Uprising, German Vernichtungskommando (Destruction Detachment) drilled holes into the walls for explosives and blew up the Cathedral destroying 90% of its walls.

Leveled during the Warsaw Uprising (August–October 1944), it was rebuilt after the war. The exterior reconstruction is based on the 14th-century church's presumed appearance (according to an early-17th-century Hogenberg illustration and a 1627 Abraham Boot drawing), not on its prewar appearance.

The interior reconstruction design considerably differed from the pre-war Cathedral, taking it back in time to its raw Gothic look, because very little of the cathedral's original furnishings has been preserved. The Cathedral is a three-nave building, two aisles are the same height as the main nave. On the right side from the front a belfry is situated, a passage to Dziekania Street is situated underneath it. There is a pulpit from 1959, designed by Józef Trenarowski and stalls which are a replica of the destroyed baroque ones, founded by King John III Sobieski. Moreover, there are many chapels, gravestones and epitaphs in the Cathedral. By the left aisle are numerous chapels. They are, in turn, from the main altar:

The crypts beneath the main aisle hold the remains of notable persons, including Dukes of Masovia and King Stanisław August Poniatowski, the last Polish monarch.

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Address

Dziekania 1, Warsaw, Poland
See all sites in Warsaw

Details

Founded: 1390
Category: Religious sites in Poland

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Daniel G (6 months ago)
a beautiful church with interesting architecture outside and inside
Александр Alex (6 months ago)
Interesting Cathedral in the center of city. Unusual interior outside and simple but very wonderful inside. Atmosphere is very warm and quiet. It will be interesting for visiting as for just tourists and believers.
KONSTANTINOS MIX (6 months ago)
In old town worthy to see
Konstantin D. A. Scheller (8 months ago)
Small but impressive crypt that doesn't seem to see much traffic. (5sl)
Sai Mahesh VBSV (10 months ago)
This is one of the churches located in the old Town if Warsaw. It is St John's cathedral. It is a tall building and displays a towering presence in the skyline of old Town. It is peaceful to pray inside.
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