Franciscan Church and Monastery
In front of the exit from the church of St.. Trinity Church and the Franciscan monastery are located, with the main entrance from the Planty side near ul. Franciszkańska.
In the Franciscan church it is stuffy with the fumes of Krakow mysticism, caused by the bursting Art Nouveau art and by the still vivid echo of historical events, which took place within these walls. This mysterious spirit of the place fuels the ardor of crowds of believers who cultivate the cult of the local saints and miraculous paintings.
Temple, which was built by prince Henry the Pious in the mid-thirteenth century., already at the end of that century, she gave shelter to Władysław Łokietkowi, who fought for the throne, hiding from his enemies.
This is where Bolesław the Chaste was buried with his wife, St.. Kinga and sister of Bl. Salomea. In the cloisters of the convent, 12-year-old Jadwiga in love was to meet her husband in secret, 14-summer beautiful Wilhelm of Habsburg (husband, but because marriage was still non consummatum, so they were canceled in due course). Władysław Jagiełło was baptized in the local church. Tu, in the sacristy, the enraged townspeople killed the arrogant magnate Jędrzej Tęczyński, who, chased all over Krakow for insulting the burgher, took refuge in the holy sanctuary. Fact, that the killers did not hesitate to desecrate the church, is another proof of this, that the piety of the people of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance was quite different, than we think today. The repeated fires of the temple spared almost nothing of the old, medieval fittings, which in the second half of the 19th century. replaced with a neo-gothic one. Year 1900 brought the church a brilliant work of Stanisław Wyspiański, one of the best stained-glass windows in the world that brings the faithful and unbelievers to their knees. The most famous of them – God Father – become – fills the window in the facade above the main entrance. When the sun penetrates the flaming planes of the stained glass window, one is impressed by the beauty and power of the dynamic image of the Creator saying the words Become!
In the presbytery there are other Wyspiański stained glass windows depicting St.. Francis and Bl. Salomea and the four elements: Air, Water, Fire and Earth. The presence of Wyspiański is also visible when it is saturated with colors, composed of plant motifs, heraldic and geometric polychromes in the presbytery and transept. The polychrome in the nave was made by St. 1900 r. Tadeusz Popiel, and Józef Mehoffer - an outstanding creator of the Krakow secession – illustrated the Way of the Cross in the northern chapel.
The Franciscan Church has one nave. Approximately in the middle of the nave, on both sides, there are entrances to side chapels. Chapel of the law (south) pw. Our Lady of Sorrows, separated from part of the monastery cloisters, it is elongated, dark and smells like incense. The late Gothic painting of the Sorrowful Benefactor focuses almost all the attention. On the other side of the nave, in the northern chapel known as the Chapel of the Passion, from the 17th century. to this day, he celebrates his services as the Arch-Confraternity of the Passion, whose members wear black coats with deep hoods, they hold a skull in their hands and utter the words: remember human to death. Arcybractwo, derived from the tradition of the Counter-Reformation, received the privilege of pardoning a man condemned to death on Holy Thursday. Today, they contribute to the extraordinary aura of Lenten celebrations. Adjacent to the northern side of the chancel is the chapel of Bl. Salomea with her relic and the tomb of Bolesław the Chaste. With a little luck, if there are no renovations at the moment, you can visit the Franciscan cloisters, decorated with extremely valuable paintings from the Gothic era, Renaissance and Baroque. The frescoes are the oldest and undoubtedly the most valuable: The stigma of St.. Francis, The Annunciation and Christ in the Mystical Press.
On the south side, the representative edifice of the Wielopolski Palace adjoins the Franciscan Church, built in the 17th century, and after a fatal fire in the 19th century. restored and enlarged. Currently, it is the seat of the Krakow City Hall.
At the same time, when heretics all over Europe accused the Church of being abundant, ignorance of the Scriptures and hypocrisy, and the Dominicans had their edifying example or stake to offer them, Francis Bemardone of Assisi chose the fate of the contestant. From the perspective of the 20th century. we see him a bit as a harmless freak – wrongly. He turned his back on the constant patriotic wars of his homeland. Assisi, with neighbor Perugia, despised the property and social position inherited from his father, who for it solemnly disinherited him, with his example of evangelical poverty and humility, he stared in the eyes of the clergy and the papacy. For several years he struggled with the reluctant and suspicious church hierarchy to allow the creation of an order practicing true poverty. When the fifth crusade, with the French king and the barons, she found herself trapped in Egypt, Francis obtained the obedience of Sultan Al-Kamil and obtained the release of the crusaders, for just a word of honor (1219 r.). Such a barefoot poor man from Assisi put Europe to shame. Already in 1240 r. the first monastery in Krakow was established, located until our times at Franciszkański Square.
The history of the congregation is an endless string of disputes between supporters of extreme poverty and “realistically minded” in this matter. The rule has been changed several times, and the law was still divided into many factions, of which the poorest were fought with the sword, the papal curse and the stake (spirits, Apostolic Brothers, brothers). Currently, there are over a dozen different orders derived from Francis, from the very poor to the quite wealthy. The Franciscan was the eminent philosopher Wilhelm Ockham of Oxford. The monastery in Krakow was engaged in lively pastoral and social activities, scriptorium. He enjoyed the sympathy and care of the rulers.