Corpus Christi Basilica: The Diamond in the Rough of Krakow’s Jewish Quarter
Corpus Christi Basilica
Located a short walk southwest from Plac Nowy in Krakow’s Jewish Quarter, Corpus Christi Basilica (Polish: Bożego Ciała) is a true diamond in the rough. As a matter of fact you can see its Gothic, gum-drop bell tower above a sea dark buildings for several blocks in any direction. With its stepped brick facade and sharply sloping tile roof, it reaches heights of neck-craning proportions. And yet while the exterior of the church is impressive, it pales in comparison to the church’s marvelous Baroque interior. This is a visual feast of brick, marble, gold, as well as a myriad of oil paintings. The church also contains the tombs of several of Poland’s most important religious figures and artists. These include St. Stanislaus of Kazimierz and Bartolommeo Berrecci. The latter designed the chapel at Wawel Castle.
Legend has it that King Casimir the Great was the one to start construction of the church in 1335. In fact he had just miraculously found a missing monstrance. Presumably it had been stolen from the Collegiate Church of All Saints on the Octave of Corpus Christi. As a result, this saw the construction of the first church on the site begin. With the construction of the current brick church being from 1385-1405. Then the bell tower was an addition between 1565-1582. You can find the iconic paintings of Christ the Savior and Mother Mary in the nave. This was the work of the Polish artist Luke Porębski at the beginning of the 17th century. The church organ is the largest instrument in Krakow with it’s construction taking from 1958 to 1963. Incidentally it contains a total of eighty-three pipes.
Finally, please remember that the Corpus Christi Basilica is still very much a living church. Moreover many more worshipers attend services there than tourists. So if you do visit, please be respectful of others’ beliefs. Above all raised voices, foul language, and revealing clothing are not acceptable. Also the wearing of hats is unacceptable.
Corpus Christi Basilica Info
Address: Bożego Ciała 26
Kraków, Poland 31-056
Map : HERE
More info about Corpus Christi Basilica can be found HERE
Opening hours: All day.
Best time to see it: Daytime
Find this on our Absolute Private Jewish Walk
Images by Hannah Bialic for Absolute Tours