Kraków – St Barbara’s Church

History

In 1338, Mikołaj Wierzynek funded a cemetery chapel on the site of today’s church. In the years 1394-1402 it was, probably from the foundation of queen Jadwiga, enlarged by two bays. The sermon was preached in Polish in the church. In 1536, during the session of the parliament in Kraków, at the request of the deputies and with the consent of the senators, king Zygmunt I ordered the transfer of Polish sermons to the large St. Mary’s church, and the German ones to the smaller St. Barbara. This act was a testimony to the awakening of national consciousness and pride of Poles and the effect of the process of Polonization of the German burgher families. In 1583, the church was handed over to the Jesuits. At that time Fr. Piotr Skarga delivered his sermon here. In 1687, the church was rebuilt by a Jesuit architect, Stanisław Solski, who added an apse from the eastern side, raised the interior and made a new barrel vault. After the dissolution of the Jesuit Order in 1773, the building had various owners, until in 1874 the order regained the church.

Architecture

The church of St. Barbara is a gothic, brick, aisleless building with a later apse from the east. The façade of the church is towerless, with a buttress on the axis and closed by a triangular gable. It is preceded by a cemetery chapel combined with a porch, so-called Ogrójec, erected between 1488 and 1516. The chapel consists of two bays, covered with a rib vault. Richly sculptural decorated, the interior contains an altar made probably by Veit Stoss or his workshop in the fifteenth century. The interior of the church has been baroquesated, but there is, among others, gothic Pietà from the 14th century and late gothic paintings.

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bibliography:
Krasnowolski B., Leksykon zabytków architektury Małopolski, Warszawa 2013.
Website swietabarbara.jezuici.pl, Historia kościoła.
Website wikipedia.org, Kościół św. Barbary w Krakowie.