"Warsaw basilica and cathedral" Top 5 Page for this destination Warsaw Things to Do Tip by matcrazy1

Warsaw Things to Do: 1,447 reviews and 3,028 photos

  ST. JOHN'S BASILICA, THE FRONT FACADE
by matcrazy1
 
  • ST. JOHN'S BASILICA, THE FRONT FACADE - Warsaw
      ST. JOHN'S BASILICA, THE FRONT FACADE
    by matcrazy1
  • ST. JOHN'S BASILICA, THE PORTAL - Warsaw
      ST. JOHN'S BASILICA, THE PORTAL
    by matcrazy1
  • ST. JOHN'S BASILICA, TOP OF THE FRONT FACADE - Warsaw
      ST. JOHN'S BASILICA, TOP OF THE FRONT FACADE
    by matcrazy1
  • ST. JOHN'S BASILICA, SWIETOJANSKA STREET - Warsaw
      ST. JOHN'S BASILICA, SWIETOJANSKA STREET
    by matcrazy1
  • ST. JOHN'S BASILICA, POLISH NAME - Warsaw
      ST. JOHN'S BASILICA, POLISH NAME
    by matcrazy1
 

The red brick Gothic, squeezed among adjacent buildings St. John's church, has been proudly called cathedral since 1798 and has been given the title of basilica by the Pope. It's open for visitors Mon - Sat 10 am - 6 pm, Sun: 2 pm - 6 pm.

I got to know (info table in the porch) that it's the oldest church in Warsaw dated 14th century. Kings used to walk outdoors on foot from the nearby Royal Castle to this church until 1620, when the covered walkway linked both buildings after the assassination attempt on King Sigismundus III Vasa. It seems that the Polish archaic idiom "when (even) a king used to go on foot" to name a toilet/restroom is not at all correct.

In 1764 the last king of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1764-1795), Stanislaw August Poniatowski, was crowned here. The church ruined during WWII has been completely restored with a new facade in Masovian Gothic style.

The interior is a bit dark (tripod needed) and contains:

1. In the right aisle: the miraculous, famous for the catholics Baryczkowski Crucifix from Nuremberg, Germany, dated the beginning of the 16th century; I was told that real hair grows on the head of Jesus Christ (I didn't check it) and once a year a virgin cut it with golden scissors in hope to get married.

2. In the presbytery: impressive and beautiful choir stalls, a copy of the original ones funded by King Jan III Sobieski as his thanksgiving for the victory over the Turks in the Battle of Vienna in 1683.

3. Above the entrance: a large gallery with organs of a great historical value. International Organ Music Festival regularly held in the cathedral numbers among the best organ music festivals in Europe.

The underground crypt and graves of famous Poles deserve a seperate tip.



Address: Ul. Swietojanska 8; 00-288 Warszawa; Poland
Directions: In the Old Town, walk Swietojanska St. from the Castle Square, on the left. Map here. Look for Bazylika Archukatedrakna sw. Jana Chrzciciela.
othercontact: http://www.katedra.mkw.pl
Phone: +48 (22) 831 02 89
Website: http://www.warsaw-hotels.net/eng/guide/sights/johncathedral.html

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 3, 2006
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matcrazy1

“Keep smiling, take it easy :-)”

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