Church of Saints Peter & Paul

  ul. Grodzka 52A ,   Old Town          (+48) 12 350 63 65     12 Apr 2024

With large sculptures of the twelve disciples on the church gate, plus the six saints set in the facade itself, there always seems to be a crowd in front of this early 17th century former Jesuit church. Not only is the Church of Saints Peter & Paul the largest of Kraków historical churches, but it's also the first Baroque building in present-day Poland. Lacking the decorative excess of later Baroque works, enter the grand but austere interior on a Thursday morning and you might catch a demonstration of the church’s 46.5m Foucault Pendulum - a device invented by French physicist Leon Foucault in 1851 which proves the earth's rotation.

The church’s crypt holds the tomb of Jesuit priest Piotr Skarga (1536-1612), famous for his oratory skills and author of Lives of the Saints (1577) - the most popularly read Polish language book until the 1900s (no comment). [That’s Skarga’s stern countenance looking down upon the square opposite the church, seemingly ready to yell ‘get off my lawn!’ at any skateboarders.] Since 2010 it has been the new home of the National Pantheon of Poles Distinguished in the Arts, Science and Culture, after burials in the Skałka crypt became maxed out. Author Sławomir Mrożek was the first to be interred in the new pantheon in 2013, and composer Krzysztof Penderecki was the most recent (2022).


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Open 09:00-17:00; Sun 13:30-18:00.


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