Church of St. Andrew (Kosciol Swietogo Andrzeja), Krakow

4.6
#15 of 35 in Historic Sites in Krakow
Architectural Building Religious Site
The Church of St. Andrew in the Old Town district of Kraków, Poland (Kościół św. Andrzeja) located at Grodzka Street, is a historical Romanesque church built between 1079 and 1098 by a medieval Polish statesman Palatine Sieciech. It is a rare surviving example of the European fortress church used for defensive purposes.Built in Romanesque style, it is one of the oldest buildings in Kraków and one of the best-preserved Romanesque buildings in Poland. It was the only church in Kraków to withstand the Mongol attack of 1241. Along the lower part of the broader section of its façade are small openings that served as defensive windows at a time when the church was a place of refuge from military assaults.From 1320 it was used by the Religious Order of Poor Clares. The building has been renovated many times. The present Baroque interiors have decorations by Baltazar Fontana, paintings by Karol Dankwart and gilded altars. The Baroque domes atop the octagonal towers were added in 1639.HistoryThe church is possibly the best preserved example of early Romanesque architecture in the city of Kraków and in Poland. The massive building was constructed from stone blocks towards the end of the 11th century, and also fulfilled important defensive functions. The two octagonal looking towers, with the doubled arcade windows are perfect examples and characteristic of Romanesque architecture. They extend high over the body of the church. The apse decorated with a modest arcade freeze and numerous details (including stairs and window frames) maintain the same character.
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Where to stay in Krakow

Krakow ranks among one of Europe's increasingly popular tourist destinations, which is reflected in the rising costs of comfortable lodgings. The best hotels are concentrated in and around the historical old town, where five-star luxury comes at a very steep price. Old town hotels place you just steps from fine shops and restaurants, as well as the city's main museums and galleries. However, if your trip involves a tight budget, avoid the central district and check out mid-range hotels and economical hostels in one of the outlying neighborhoods.
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4.6
  • This church is located in Old Town along the Royal Mile. Used by the Poor Clare nuns. Very old but beautiful interior  more »
  • We visited many churches in the city but by far the most spectacular was the small Church of St Andrew, which we visited twice. On the first visit the internal gates were closed but we could hear the ...  more »
  • It was thrilling to see for the first time the double towers with their arcade-like topmost windows. Its purpose as a defensive construct is revealed by the narrow slit windows on its facade. It wonde...  more »
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  • Interesting and beautiful, the best is to get a guide who could tell you the history!
  • Beautiful old church full of history.
  • 1000 years old church is the diamond at the Royal Route in Cracow.
  • Night view...
  • Unique church in Kraków.