St. Mary’s Basilica, Krakow, Poland

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The blue ceiling really makes St. Mary's Basilica of Krakow, if you ask me. Blue is Mary's color. You see it in her churches all over the world.

Every so often, you walk into a church, expecting nothing special. And then you get something like this. St. Mary's Basilica on the Main Square of Krakow is simply, one of the most beautifully decorated churches in the world. This is just the overall view when you enter. As you explore, there is a wealth of detail in the altar piece, the wall paintings, and the side chapels. Absolutely beautiful, and lucky. It was spared by the Russians after they retook Krakow from the Nazis in World War II. The Nazis had stolen the altarpiece, but it was recovered by the Allied “Monuments Men” and returned to Krakow.

Here are some more details.

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Angel above the altar.
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Detail of the altar. The Germans stole the altar during World War II, but it was returned after the war.
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The altar windows of St. Mary's Basilica are extraordinary.
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Detail of the wall paintings. Hail Queen of the Heavens.

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6 thoughts on “St. Mary’s Basilica, Krakow, Poland”

  1. Wow! I am so delighted to get these incredible photographs, Tom, I will be in Poland in October. I have been forwarding them to my travel companions.
    Thank you

  2. As always, stellar post. So….I think Krakow is our next destination. We’re trying to pull together a trip for October, so will definitely add St. Mary’s to the list!

  3. I wonder if you can answer a question for me. I was in Krakow at the start of November, and we visited many sights, including St Mary’s Basilica. I’ve read it was left untouched by the Nazis and subsequently the Russians, (apart from the alter piece), but I noticed around each of the stained glass windows, on the exterior, what looked like bullet holes/shrapnel marks all up and down either side of the windows? It looked as through a machine gun or similar weapon had been used to take out the windows? I’m just curious as to what these markings were. I wonder if anyone can shed any light?

    • Sorry, can’t help you, but if Krakow survived completely untouched, I’d be very surprised. Especially given that the Germans and the Russians have never been noted for their good will against the Poles.


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