Grodzka towards Wawel – church of St.. Peter and Paul

The section of Grodzka Street from Dominikański and All Saints Square to Wawel is full of interesting tenement houses in terms of architecture and past..

At no. 32 (on the left) there is the Podelwie House with the preserved XVI–the eternal emblem on the portal, depicting lean, smętnego lwa z resztką pozłoty. Judgment no 38 (also on the left) are Elephants with elephant and rhinoceros sculptures from the 17th century. On the opposite side of the street, in the house no 39, standing at the corner of Grodzka and Poselska streets, lives for fourteen years! a great woodcarving master, Wit Stwosz. House under the Goat – nr 40 – is the former Stadnicki palace, built in 1780 r. on the site of three older tenement houses.

A bit further, on the left is the former Jesuit College, built in the 17th century., which at one time was a serious competition for the Jagiellonian University, and today – the irony – is used by the Jagiellonian University as Collegium Broscianum. Opposite, under no. 53 a building with a beautiful portal rises, respectable by its very appearance – jest to college Balt.Def.Col.

Further on, a row of tenement houses on the left ends unexpectedly, to discover the surprising scenery in front of the church of St.. Peter and Paul.

Though neither the Counter-Reformation, neither King Zygmunt Waza and the Jesuit Order cooperating with him left any beautiful memories, this church which derives from the spirit of those times is one of the most beautiful in Krakow. Its construction was initiated by 1597 r. leading Polish counter-reformer Piotr Skarga, with the financial support of Zygmunt III Waza. Temple, erected especially for Jesuits, introduced to Krakow's sacred architecture baroque in a variety known as the style of the Vasa. Builders of a class like Giovanni de Rosis (designer, the chief architect of the Jesuits), Józef Brizio and Giovanni Maria Bernardoni (Jesuit builders) Oraz Giovanni Trevano, wzorując się na rzymskiej świątyni II Gesu, they created a monumental church on a Latin cross plan, the dome with its curves fits beautifully between the other towers of the Old Town.

A distinctive element, allowing you to easily identify the church of St.. Peter and Paul, there is a row of late baroque figures of the twelve apostles standing on the plinths of the fence just off the street. The white apostles were carved in the first half of the 18th century. by Dawid Heel according to the idea of ​​Kasper Bażanka – today you can only look deep into the eyes of their faithful copies. The wide three-story façade in the lower part is decorated from the left: st. Stanislaw Kostka, st. Ignatius of Loyola, st. Francis Xavier and St.. Aloysius Gonzaga. Above the entrance there is the coat of arms of the Jesuits, and above the coat of arms of the Vasas. In the two upper niches they stand from the left: st. Sigismund and St.. Wladyslaw. At the top, the Vasa eagle hung. What is striking in a magnificent interior is space and emptiness. After churches overloaded with furnishings, you can breathe here with an almost ascetic form. The place where the wide nave crosses the transept is covered with an elliptical dome with four statues of the Evangelists. On the sides, instead of the aisles, there are chapels connected in an enfilade.

Steep stairs in the center of the presbytery lead to the crypt, where the remains of the "golden-mouthed" Jesuit lie in a silver coffin, Piotr Skarga Pawęski – the most famous Polish preacher from the era of Sigismund III. As you can see from the number of cards with requests stuck next to the coffin, four more centuries after his death, Skarga is regarded as an effective divine mediator. Apart from the main altar in the late Baroque style, attributed to Kaspr Bażanka, in the right part of the transept it is worth seeing the Branicki monument and the painting of Jan III Sobieski's Victory at Chocim, in the left part of the transept, the sculpture Ecce homo, and on the left side of the main altar (from the viewer's side) the most impressive monument of bishop Andrzej Trzebicki in the whole church. The stucco decoration on the interior comes from the 17th century. and is the work of several masters, among whom was John the Baptist Falconi.

Empty space in front of St.. Peter and Paul is the square of St.. Mary Magdalene, behind which you can see the Stanisław Wyspiański Museum located at ul. Kanonicza.