Kraków – Corpus Christi Basilica


   The church, at the beginning still wooden, was founded around 1340 by king Casimir the Great. From 1370, the patronage over its construction was taken over by the town, and work on the bricked church again began in 1385. The chancel was finishing then and work continued on the nave, changing the original plan from basilica to hall. In 1405, the Canons Regular were brought to the temple by the king Władysław Jagiełło. The work lasted and until 1401 the chancel was fully completed and then consecrated. It took much longer to build an impressive nave corpus, tower, roof and vaults. The work on the nave was financed by king Kazimierz Jagiellończyk, who just before his death, obliged his successor to complete the church building. That’s what happened, because in 1500 the gable of the facade was finished and the temple was consecrated.
In 1556, as a result of a great fire, the tower burned down. Shortly after its rebuilding, in 1594, the fire consumed the whole roof of the church. In 1655 temple was robbed by Swedish soldiers who arranged magazines and stables in it. The partitions of Poland, as well as the confiscation of religious property, stopped all serious work at the church and monastery for a long time. Renovation began only in 1897.


   The church of Corpus Christi is a three-nave basilica built of brick on a stone pedestal, devoid of transept. The five-span chancel is ended by five walls of an octagon. The four-span corpus is built in a pillar-buttresses system. At the western facade, on the north side, there is a seventy meter high tower. From the south a gothic chapel of St. Anna was added to the southern aisle, and to the north wall of the chancel in the 14th century, the sacristy. The monastery is connected with church through an external gallery, based on arcades. Like the church of St. Catherine, Corpus Christi creates a slender, harmonious, gothic structure, decorated with stone details. In addition, it is enriched from the west by the gable of the façade from the fifteenth century, bristling with pinnacles and separated by vertical, narrow niches in which the stone shields of the coat of arms are stuck.
   The interior of the church is covered with rib vaults. The nave is open to the side aisles with ogival arcades supported on polygonal pillars. The church has also preserved several pointed, gothic portals from the beginning of the 15th century.

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Krasnowolski B., Leksykon zabytków architektury Małopolski, Warszawa 2013.
Walczak M., Kościoły gotyckie w Polsce, Kraków 2015.

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