Church of the Holiest Saviour

Houses of worship

The most mysterious place in Salwator, and one of Kraków’s oldest churches.

The first mention of this church in sources that are known to us dates back to 1148, yet legends widespread already in the days of the first guidebook to Kraków, published in 1603, connect the construction of the church of the Holiest Saviour with the state of the first rulers of the Piast dynasty and the mission of St Adalbert (Voitek), who is believed to have preached here before setting out on a mission to Christianise the Prussians.

The church has Romanesque foundations, and some architectural details characteristic of the style. Its current form results from baroque reconstructions in the 16th and 17th centuries. It used to be home to a crucifix famous for its graces (allegedly kept in Italy today), to which the painting in the high altar (1605) alludes by presenting the adoration of crucified Christ by a poor musician. The crucifix was lavishly decorated, and the figure of the Lord hanging on the cross wore slippers. The Saviour took pity on the impoverished fiddler and dropped one of the shoes as a gift for the boy. The pious musician wanted to return the gift to the crucifix, yet he was presented with it again.

The church stands in a picturesque garden with the former parish cemetery. Standing huddled in its corner is a wooden house from the first half of the 19th century, known as the gravedigger’s cottage.

Be sure to see:

  • Romanesque elements of the interior decoration: a stone altar table below the high altar, chancel walls, windows
  • Renaissance frescoes from early 16th century: the crucifixion scene and the miraculous feeding of the 5000 with bread
  • late Renaissance pulpit
  • organ atop the 17th-century music choir

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