Cathedral of St John the Baptist - Katedra sw Jana Chrzciela, Wroclaw

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  • The Dome inside St. Elizabeth's Chapel
    The Dome inside St. Elizabeth's Chapel
    by EasyMalc
  • View from the top of the Tower
    View from the top of the Tower
    by EasyMalc
  • Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
    Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
    by HORSCHECK
  • EasyMalc's Profile Photo

    Wroclaw's Twin Towers

    by EasyMalc Updated Feb 12, 2013

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    The Cathedral's Twin Towers
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    The first thing that struck me about St. John the Baptist's Cathedral is how it seemed to stand defiantly at the end of Cathedral St. It's twin towers appeared to have seen better days - but they were still there, so there must be some history to this church - and there is.
    The first church on this site goes way back to the 10th cent. and was followed by others before the present structure - the first brick building in Poland - was started in 1244.
    The interior of the Cathedral, being somewhat austere, didn't really set me alight but that's exactly what happened to the towers when they were destroyed by fire back in 1759. They were subsequently re-built over the next 150 years - and then suffered more catastrophic damage during WW2. Interestingly, old photos from 1946 show the towers still intact but they obviously needed work done to them to make them safe and they weren't fully restored until 1991.
    Today, for 5zl (Nov 2012) an elevator will take you up one of the towers to a viewing platform for some great views of Wroclaw - if the weather's fine.
    In all honesty the towers aren't really twins anymore but something tells me that they'll still be together for a good many years to come.

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  • Mikebond's Profile Photo

    Katedra św. Jana Chrzciela - inside

    by Mikebond Updated Nov 13, 2011

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    inside the church

    This is the only pic of the interior of the church we could take because the Mass was on and tourists cannot visit churches during a celebration. Even if it was Saturday morning, there were quite a lot of people attending the mass. Churches are never empty in Poland!

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  • Airpunk's Profile Photo

    Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

    by Airpunk Written Jul 24, 2011
    Wroclaw Cathedral
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    The early Gothic Cathedral is the most monumental church in Wroclaw. With its two high towers it is a landmark which is visible from quite everywhere. Inside, it is a beautiful church, although it is kept in darker colours. The construction began in the 13th century and did not reach its completion until the 16th century. In the Second World War, the church was almost completely destroyed. Although reconstruction began almost immediately after the war, it was not finished until 1991. Even today, it is one of the largest churches in Poland. The Polish name for it is Archikatedra św. Jana Chrzciciela.
    Once inside the church, have a look at the stained glass windows. They do not show only biblical scenes, but also scenes from local saints.
    The left tower has a lift to the viewing platform from which you can a have good view on the old town. The cathedral itself has and admission fee of 4 zloty, to visit the tower, you'll have to pay additional 5 zloty (2010).

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  • AgnusRafferty's Profile Photo

    Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

    by AgnusRafferty Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
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    This cathedral, located in Ostrow Tumski, is a gothic church with neogothic additions. The first cathedral in this place was build in 10th century, however current standing one was raised in 14th century.

    Wroclaw's cathedral was almost entirely destroyed during the World War II. The initial reconstruction lasted until 1951. The original, conical shape of the 97 meter towers was restored in 1991.

    North tower is accessible for tourists, it is open Mon-Sat 10:00 AM till 5:00 PM, Sun (and national holidays) 2:00 PM till 4:00 PM. Tower ticket costs 4 PLN.

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  • german_eagle's Profile Photo

    Cathedral St. John

    by german_eagle Written Sep 6, 2009

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    Cathedral St. John
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    The huge cathedral dominates this part of Wroclaw - the steeples are almost 100 m tall. The current building is a work of the 13th/14th century and was reconstructed after severe demolition in WWII.

    Several side chapels were built over the centuries - the most beautiful ones are located at the eastern side, unfortunately they were not accessible when I visited. Too bad, I wanted to see the chapel that Bernhard Fischer von Erlach created and the other by Giacomo Scianzi in rememberance of Saint Elizabeth of Thuringia.

    The interior appearance of the cathedral is early gothic. Narrow main nave, tall pillars, high ceiling, stained glass windows, overall very dark. I didn't think it was one of the most beautiful churches in Wroclaw (and I missed the bright light I am used to from the late-Gothic Saxon churches).

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  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo

    Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

    by HORSCHECK Updated Jul 13, 2007

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    Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
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    The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist (Katedra p.w. sw. Jana Chrzciciela) dominates the silouette of the Ostrow Tumski district.

    Construction of this double-spired Gothic building started in the middle of the 13th century and continued until the 16th century. About 70 % of the church were destroyed during WWII.

    The left belfry includes a lift to a magnificient viewing platform. Unfortunately the right tower was scaffolded when I visited Wroclaw in May 2006.

    Directions:
    The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist can be found at the eastern end of the Cathedral Street
    (Katedralna) in the Ostrow Tumski district.

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  • ZiOOlek's Profile Photo

    St. John the Baptist Cathedral

    by ZiOOlek Written May 27, 2007

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    St. John the Baptist Cathedral
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    St. John the Baptist Cathedral is one of the most valuable monuments of Wroc³aw’s church architecture. At the end of World War II, the damage to the cathedral was estimated at 70 per cent, and it was uncertain whether the building could be restored to its former glory. The reconstruction proceeded in several stages, initially under the supervision of Marcin Bukowski, then, after 1968, under Edmund Malachowicz. Excavation works were simultaneously conducted, leading to the discovery of the relics of a Romanesque crypt that was part of Walter’s cathedral, as well as the tombs and remains of many bishops.

    Today the magnificently rebuilt Gothic cathedral is again open to the public. Since a lift was installed in the north tower in 1995, visitors can also enjoy a view from the terrace of the city and its surroundings.

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  • magor65's Profile Photo

    The Cathedral of St John the Baptist

    by magor65 Updated Feb 6, 2007

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    Cathedral

    The Cathedral is a magnificent example of gothic architecture. In summer it is possible to go up by lift to the view platform, from where you can admire the panorama of Wroclaw. Inside worth noticing is the Electoral Chapel - an impressive masterpiece of baroque.

    As with all historic buildings in this region the question one should ask here is how much destruction the cathedral suffered in WWII. The answer is over 70%. No wonder that there were discussions whether to rebuild it or rather build a completely new church to replace it. Luckily, the decision was made to reconstruct the cathedral and the works began in 1946. For many years, though, the towers were deprived of their helmets. The cathedral seemed incomplete, as if it had been mutilated. Only in 1991 the towers of the cathedral were crowned with copper helmets. They have become a landmark of Wroclaw skyline.

    Obviously, such an old and respectable place as the cathedral must have its legends. My favourite is about St Jan Kanty. One night while Jan Kanty was coming back to the monastery, he was attacked by a group of robbers who wanted money. The poor man said that he had no money on him. The robbers, seeing his habit full of darns, believed him and let him free. Having made a few steps, Jan Kanty put his hand into his pocket and to his surprise found a coin he had completely forgotten about. What did he do? He ran after the robbers, gave them the money and apologised for lying to them.
    The scene is shown in the fourth stain glass window of southern aisle of the cathedral.

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  • alancollins's Profile Photo

    The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

    by alancollins Written Nov 8, 2006

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    The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
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    The first church on this site was built approximately 1000 years ago and this is the fourth church to be built at this location. The last cathedral was almost completely destroyed at the end of WW2 and its still possible to see bullet holes. Work was started on the first part of its reconstruction which lasted until 1951. The 2 conical towers were only completed in 1991. One of the towers has a lift, which is open from Easter until the end of October and the view from the top gives panoramic views of Wroclaw. The Cathedral is open 10am-6pm (closed Sundays), admission 4zl, tower admission 5zl. The cathedral has one of the largest church organs in Poland. This is a popular tourist location with organised groups visible throughout the day.

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  • Mikebond's Profile Photo

    Katedra św. Jana Chrzciela - overview

    by Mikebond Updated Sep 6, 2006

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    cathedral
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    John the Baptist's cathedral is the most important monument of the whole city. Originally, there was a Romanesque building dating of the second half of the 12th century, which was partially destroyed by the Tatars in 1241 and rebuilt in Gothic style between the 13th and the 15th century.
    The cathedral was heavily damaged after the 1945 bombings; the reconstruction started in 1946 and ended already in 1951. It has two bell-towers on the façade and two low square towers near the apsis (see the fourth photo). As in every Gothic church, you see dragons and other awful creatures (last pic) aimed at giving people an idea of what would have happened if they hadn't respected God's laws.

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  • Mikebond's Profile Photo

    Katedra św. Jana Chrzciela - tower

    by Mikebond Updated Sep 6, 2006

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    The façade of the cathedral has two high bell-tower in Gothic style. They are decorated with statues of saints and dragons. Unfortunately, one of them was covered with scaffolding, as you can see, which didn't let us enjoy the façade very much.

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  • Leipzig's Profile Photo

    Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

    by Leipzig Updated Oct 7, 2004

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    Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

    Cathedral of St. John the Baptist marks the centre of the Ostrow Tumski (Cathedral Island). This Gothic building was erected between the 13th to the 15th century.
    The church became mostly destroyed in World War Second but it has been renovated since.

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    Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

    by Leipzig Written Oct 7, 2004

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    Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

    Admission to the cathedral is for free and you can admire the beauty of the richly decorated interior.
    Don't miss to go up the tower to have an excellent view over the city. Don't worry, you just have to climb about 40 stairs to get to the first level where yu find an exhibition of African culture. At the ticket box you can purchase a ticket for the lift that brings you to the topmost vantage point. Price is 4 Zloty (~1.00€).

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  • Mikebond's Profile Photo

    Katedra św. Jana Chrzciela - the portal

    by Mikebond Updated Sep 6, 2006

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    portal
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    Another beautiful part of the façade is the Gothic portal, decorated with sculptures and pinnacles. None of my guides says whom the statues represent.

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