Świdnica – St Stanislaus and Wenceslas cathedral

History

   The church was erected around 1330 at the request of prince Boko II of Świdnica, after the fire of an earlier timber temple on this site. In the years 1400-1410 the church was expanded, and in 1546 the reconstruction was completed after a fire from 1532. In 1561-1629 the church was used by Evangelicals. In 1662 the Jesuit patronized the temple, who at the turn of the seventeenth and eighteenth century made the baroque interior. After the secularization of the Jesuit Order, the church was converted into a grain store in 1757-1772, with the permission of the Prussian authorities. Restored in 1893-1895, lost many original architectural elements.

Architecture

   The church is a late gothic, orientated, three-nave basilica. The western facade is dominated by a five-storey tower with a height of 103 meters. At the last one floor, which goes into the octagon, the columns of the saints stand on the corners. The structure is very large: the main nave is 71 meters long, 10 meters wide and 25 meters high. The church has lancet windows, of which the special attention is worthy a large, lancet window filled with tracery from the middle of the 16th century, located on the western façade. Four chapels were added to aisles at different times.
  
Under the chancel there is an interesting, twelve-sided crypt similar to chapel. This leads to a clear elevation of the chancel and main altar over the level of the church. Its stellar vault supports the circular pillar in which all ribs are concentric. Main nave has net vault from 1535, and aisles have rib vaults. Among the survived medieval equipment is the most valuable gothic polyptych from 1492 made by the students of Wit Stwosz.

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bibliography:
Pilch J., Leksykon zabytków architektury Dolnego Śląska, Warszawa 2005.
Website wikipedia.org, Katedra św. Stanisława i św. Wacława w Świdnicy.