The University Collegiate Church of St. Anne in Krakow, or St. Anne’s Collegiate
The Collegiate Church of St. Anne is one of the most popular and well-known places of worship in Krakow. It is mainly because the temple is a university collegiate church and probably every student of the Jagiellonian University had been there at least once during his or her studies. Of course all the university ceremonies are connected with the collegiate, because every ceremony is preluded by a solemn mass held in the temple, with all the univerity’s professors and a great number of students.
The history of the collegiate begins in the 14th cent. The first wooden church was founded around the middle of the 14th century. during the reign of Kazimierz III the Great, Poland’s greatest king. The church was presumably consecrated in 1362. Unfortunately building materials caused a disastrous fire which completely destroyed the church in 1407. In the same year king Wladyslaw II Jagiello rebuilt the church from the ashes as a brick stone temple in Gothic style. In 1418 king Wladyslaw conveyed the right of patronage to the university. In 1535 bishop Piotr Tomicki elevated the temple to the rank of a collegiate church.
The Gothic collegiate was demolished in 1689 because it was too small for the increasing numbers of pilgrims visiting the tomb of St. John Cantius whose relics were buried in the temple. The present Baroque collegiate was built between 1689 and 1703 and was modelled on the Sant’Andrea della Valle church in Rome. The main designer and architect of the Gothic collegiate was Tylman van Gameren, a famous Dutch-born Polish architect and engineer.
The Baroque temple luckily avoided any huge calamities in the next few centuries. Because of the passage of time the church has been renovated several times: in 1882-1887, 1904, 1906-1907 (the cupola), 1919-1924 (the facade) and the last time between 1990 and 1997. In 1997 on the 8th of June the Holy Father John Paul II visited the collegiate and the tomb of St. John Cantius.
St. Anne’s Collegiate Info
Address: Swietej Anny 11, 31-008 Krakow.
Map ref: 50.062425, 19.933650
Opening hours: Every day from 7am until the end of the last mass. Mass: Mon-Fri 7am, 8am, 1pm, 7:30pm; Sundays and holidays 7:30am, 9am, 10am, 11am, 12am, 1pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm, 9:30pm.
Cost: Admission to the church is free.
More information: http://www.kolegiata-anna.pl/ [mainly in Polish]
Images by Mateusz Świercz for Absolute Tours