St. Bernard's Church

  ul. Bernardyńska 2 ,   Old Town          (+48) 12 422 16 50     13 Nov 2023
With most eyes and cameras pointing towards Wawel it’s easy to miss St. Bernard’s, a church and monastery founded by St. John of Capistrano (1386-1456), a Franciscan priest who made a name for himself by, amongst other things, encouraging anti-Jewish pogroms. But we weren't supposed to mention that. Anywho...constructed in the second half of the 15th century, St. Bernard’s was meant as a refuge for those wishing to atone for their sins and live in accordance to the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi. Fearing it would be commandeered as a strategic base by the invading Swedish troops the Poles burnt the church to the ground in 1655, later rebuilding it in its current Baroque style.

These days it draws its biggest crowds during the holiday period when its elaborate nativity scene is on display from December 24 to February 2; featuring dozens of figurines, electric lights and moving parts, it's one of the most famous such church nativities in Kraków and absolutely worth dropping in to see if you're in town during that time.
Crowd gathered around St. Bernard's enormous nativity scene.


Currently closed for restoration work.


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