St. Florian's Cathedral

Warsaw, Poland

St. Florian's Cathedral with its 75-meter towers dominates eastern Warsaw's Praga district and highlight the cathedral’s role as a form of protest against the erstwhile Russian domination of Poland.

There has been a Catholic church presence in or around the site of the future church since 1583, but the impetus for creating a lasting and substantial church did not arrive until the late 19th century. The map of Europe was redrawn during the Congress of Vienna and the resulting territorial maneuvers placed the Duchy of Warsaw under the control of the Russian Empire, transforming it into the Congress Poland. Among other intrusions, over twenty Russian Orthodox churches were built in Poland. To protest against the perceived imposition of a foreign church, and in direct reaction to the monumental Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene built down the street, St Florian’s was built with two commanding 75-meter towers between 1897-1904. The church is named after St. Florian, the patron saint of professions associated with fire, such as firefighters, steelworkers, chimney sweeps, potters and bakers.

During and after the Siege of Warsaw, churches were used as a hiding place for Jews, the Warsaw Army and as a general refuge for civilians. St. Florian's was destroyed by the Germans as they withdrew from Poland in 1944 after the Warsaw Uprising. The church remained in ruins for several years, but by the 1950s a reconstruction effort slowly began with support from Praga residents. The rebuilt church was reopened in 1972.

St Florian's is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Warszawa-Praga and by order of the Holy See was raised to the rank of minor basilica in 1992. Over four hundred priests form the ministry in this diocese covering 1,274 square miles, divided into 160 parishes and serving approximately one million Polish Catholics.

St Florian's is built in a Gothic Revival style distinguished by two twenty-story towers facing Al. Solidarności, capped with bronze spires. Most of its exterior is made of red brick. Over the entrances are mosaic depictions of Jesus Christ and the emblem of the first bishop of Warsaw-Praga, Kazimierz Romaniuk, while the interior is decorated in red or white plaster and brick.

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Details

Founded: 1897
Category: Religious sites in Poland

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Sean Goldsmith (20 months ago)
Beautiful well worth the visit.
Andy Danz (20 months ago)
Historically stand still place considering other places in Warsaw!
RoseRose Rod (2 years ago)
Impressing building. Worth visiting!
Darren Smith (2 years ago)
A true gem of a cathedral in Warsaw. Outside it looks impressive with the twin towers and the Gothic architecture but inside, it's fantastic, it is such a magnificent and simple design with not many artifacts on display. Just simple, clean and elegant. Highly recommended
Marc Albert (2 years ago)
This impressive spires of this church can be seen from quite a distance. The Catholic church was built in response to the Eastern Orthodox Church (Mary Magdalene) that the Russians built down the street. It's is constructed of less expensive brick rather than stone but it has a nice appearance. If you're going to Praga it's probably the first structure you'll come to.
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