St Giles' Church
ul. Grodzka 67
It is said that this is one the oldest churches in Kraków, although this claim has found no confirmation in archaeological studies. It is also referred to as among the city’s smallest churches, which you yourself can assess!
Tradition associates this small church with the ruler of Poland, Duke Ladislaus (Władysław) Herman and his wife, Judyta. The 11th-century royal couple was having no luck begetting an heir. Only when gifts had been sent to Saint-Gilles in France, where the relics of St Giles are deposited, with a request for intercession in the matters of infertility, did the duchess become pregnant. The thankful parents founded the Church of St Giles in Kraków as a votive offer for the birth of their son Boleslaus (later known as Krzywousty, i.e. the Wry-Mouthed) in 1086. As yet, archaeological research has not upheld this version of events, and the Gothic church was most probably built in the early 14th century.
In 1990 the Katyń Cross was set up in the square in front of the church to commemorate the Polish victims of Soviet repressions, especially the officers murdered by the Soviet secret police (the NKVD) in Katyń in 1940. In recent years, the place became the site of numerous manifestations and gatherings.
A mass in English is celebrated in the church at 10:30am on every Sunday.
Be sure to see:
- late-Gothic crucifix and figures of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St John (in the rood arch)
- renaissance monks’ stalls from various marbles of various colours (in the chancel)
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