Wrocław – the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, pl. Katedralny 1
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Wrocław – the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, pl. Katedralny 1

The Catherdral of St. John the Baptist is a three-naved, Gothic, oriented basilica with a chancel surrounded by a bypass. It is 100 m long and 44.5 m wide. The façade is decorated with two, nearly 100 m high, towers. The main nave and the chancel are separated with a rood arch, but they are covered with a common pitched roof. The interior elevation of the nave is divided into two storeys by a wide cornice supported by brackets. The post-war vault is a copy of the frameless Renaissance cross vault, built on the site of former Gothic vaults. In the south severy bay, there is a matroneum and organ, built after the war. The bypass is covered with cross-ribbed vaults. The capitals and the keystones in the bypass are richly decorated with stonework. The original furnishings of the church were either damaged during fires or looted. After World War II, a pentaptych from 1522, was moved here from Lubin; it became the main altar. The Baroque stall was moved from the church of St. Vincent in Wrocław; part of the organ, which has survived, was moved from the Centennial Hall and the painting of the Virgin Mary (the so called ‘Madonna of Sobieski’) from Międzylesie.

The current Gothic church was built on the site of three former buildings. The first one was probably founded by Bolesław I Chrobry. Originally it was a pre-Romanesque, three-naved pillared basilica, with a vaulted crypt. It was damaged by Bretislaus I, Duke of Bohemia, between 1038 and 1039. In  the late 11th century, a three-naved building with a transept and a single-naved chancel closed with an apse, was built on this site, on the initiative of Duke Casimir I the Restorer. In 1158, Bishop Wauthier de Malonne, commissioned the construction of a Romanesque cathedral; the three-naved layout with the transept was preserved and two towers were added. The church was completed in 1180 and was consecrated by bishop Siroslaus II. In the 13th century, at the time of bishop Thomas I, the site was reconstructed in the Gothic style. The cathedral was extended on the east and two small towers were built. In the 14th century, at the time of Bishop Nankier and Bishop Preczlaw von Pagarell, Romanesque naves were demolished and the main nave was built, along with the sacrysty and the upper storey of the north tower with a cupola (1416). A four-storey south tower was also built. In the 16th century the building was repeatedly rebuilt. In 1556, after a fire of the roof and the south tower, the structure was rebuilt in the Renaissance style. A few storeys were then added to the south tower, and it was covered with an identical cupola. In 1633, during the Thirty Years’ War, the south tower and a large part of the cathedral burned down. However, the site was soon renovated in the Baroque style. Between 1671 and 1749 four Baroque chapels were built: the Chapel of the Eucharist, St. Elizabeth, Corpus Christi and the Dead. In 1759 another fire damaged the cupolas of the towers, the roof, the sacristy and the organ. It took about 150 years to rebuild the site after this catastrophe. The cupolas of the towers were not rebuilt, the towers were covered with low tented roofs. The west pitch was rebuilt in the plain, Classicist style. In the 19th century, Karl Lüdecke rebuilt the interior of the cathedral and the west elevation, in the neo-Gothic style. In the 20th century the stonework of the towers was completed. During World War II the cathedral was damaged by up to 70%. The shape of the church, the interior décor, the architectural elements and the furnishings were damaged. The first stage of the reconstruction was made by the architect Marcin Bukowski, and was completed in 1951. Then the church was consecrated once again by the Polish Primate, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński. During the next decades the site was gradually rebuilt. In 1985, Cardinal Henryk Gulbinowicz accepted the design of the new cupolas of the towers, by the architect Edmund Małachowicz. They were installed on the towers in 1991.

 

Contact:

The Cathedral Parish of St. John the Baptist in Wrocław

pl. Katedralny 18, 50-329 Wrocław

tel. 71 322-25-74

e-mail: katedra@archidiecezja.wroc.pl

 

How to get there:

The Cathedral is located in Ostrów Tumski, in the centre of Wrocław.

 

Visiting:

Visiting is possible before and after Masses.

In the summertime, on weekdays, between 10.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. it is possible to use the lift to the terrace of the tower. Ticket prices: normal ticket – 4 zł, concessions – 3 zł.

 

Fixed and regular events taking place on the site:

 

Service Times in the Cathedral Parish:

 

Masses:

On Sundays and Holidays Masses in the Cathedral of Wrocław are held at:

7.00 a.m., 8.30 a.m., 10.00 a.m. (solemn Mass), 11.30 a.m., 1.00 p.m., 4.30 p.m. and 6.30 p.m.

A Mass for kindergarten pupils is held in the Church of St. Giles (Św. Idziego) on Sundays at 10.00 a.m.

A Mass for children is held in the Church of the Holy Cross (Św. Krzyża) on Sundays at 11.00 a.m.

A Mass for young people is held in the Church of the Holy Cross at 9.30 a.m.

Weekdays:

Masses in the Cathedral in Wrocław are held at:

6.30 a.m., 7.00 a.m., 8.00 a.m., 9.00 a.m., 6.30 p.m..

Every Thursday there is a Mass at 8.00 a.m. held in the chapel of Corpus Christi (Bożego Ciała).

Confession:

You can receive the Sacrament of Penance every day from Monday to Saturday at: between 6.30 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. and between 3.00 p.m. and 7.00 p.m.

On Saturdays the afternoon confession begins at 5.00 p.m.

Between 11.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. on particular days the Sacrament of Penance is given by the following fathers friar:

Mondays – Carmelite fathers

Tuesdays – Redemptorist fathers

Wednesdays – Jesuit fathers

Thursdays – Franciscan fathers

Fridays – Capuchin fathers

Saturdays –  Salesian fathers

On the first Friday of the month a confession for children and ypoung people is held at 4.00 p.m. in the Church of the Holy Cross. At 5.00 p.m. a Mass worshipping the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ is held.

During summer holiday confession is held every day at: 6.30 a.m. – 1.00 p.m. and 5.00 p.m. – 7.00 p.m.

On Sundays and Holidays confession is held only during Masses.

May Services are held in the Cathedral every day of May at 6.00 p.m.

June Services are held in the Cathedral every day of June at 6.00 p.m.

Rosary services are held in the Cathedral every day of October and November at 6.00 p.m.

The Advent Prose (Rorate Caeli) Services are held in the Cathedral in the Advent period from Monday to Saturday at 6.30 a.m.

Novena to the Madonna of Wrocław is held every Wednesday at 6.00 p.m.

Novena to Divine Mercy is held in the Church of St. Giles (Św. Idziego) every Friday at 5.00 p.m.

 

Car parking:

There are car parks where a parking fee is required situated in the surrounding streets and in the Katedralny Square. In the vicinity of the Bema Square there are free car parks.

 

Places to eat:

Ready’s Restauracja Grecka

pl. Bema 3, 50-265 Wrocław

tel. 71 322-87-72

www.readys.com.pl

e-mail: biuro@grecja.pl

 

Abrams’ Tower

ul. Kraińskiego 14, 50-153 Wrocław

tel. 71 725-66-52

www.abramstower.pl

e-mail: info@abramstower.pl

 

Kawiarnia Plastyczna Akademii Sztuk Pięknych

ul. Modrzewskiego 15, 50-156 Wrocław

tel. 71 343-47-17

www.catering.bosek.pl

e-mail: biuro@catering.bosek.pl

 

Restauracja Verona 1

pl. Nowy Targ 22/23, 50-144 Wrocław                               

tel. 71 344-26-75

www.verona.com.pl  

e-mail: biuro@verona.com.pl

 

Ristorante Convivio

ul. Purkyniego 1, 50-155 Wrocław                                                              

tel. 71 344-17-09

www.convivio.pl

e-mail: restauracja@convivio.pl      

 

Accommodation services:

Integer Hotel Tumski

Wyspa Słodowa 10, 50-266 Wrocław

tel. 71 322-60-99

www.hotel-tumski.com.pl

e-mail: hotel@hotel-tumski.com.pl

 

Hotel im. Jana Pawła II

ul. Św. Idziego 2, 50-328 Wrocław

tel. 71 327-14-00

www.hotel-jp2.pl

e-mail: hotel@hotel-jp2.pl

 

Radisson Blu Hotel

ul. Purkyniego 10, 50-156 Wrocław

tel. 71 375-00-00

www.radissonblu.com/hotel-wroclaw

e-mail: reservations.wroclaw@radissonblu.com

 

Hotel HP Park Plaza

ul. Drobnera 11/13, 50-257 Wrocław

tel. 71 320-84-00

www.hotelepark.pl/hotel-wroclaw

e-mail: hpwroclaw@hotelepark.pl

 

Hotel Zaułek

Garbary 11, 50-115 Wrocław

tel. 71 341-00-49

www.hotelzaulek.pl

e-mail:recepcja@hotelzaulek.pl, hotel@hotel.uni.wroc.pl

 

Tourist Information Office:

Dolnośląska Informacja Turystyczna

Sukiennice 12, 50-107 Wrocław

tel. 71 342-01-85

www.wroclaw-info.pl

e-mail: wrocław-info@itwroclaw.pl