About visiting St. Mary’s Basilica

The Church of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven

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Aka St. Mary’s Basilica (Bazylika Mariacka) – on the main square

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The current building dates back to the 14th century, built on the foundations of its 13th century predecessor. It faces Kraków’s Cloth Hall, itself dating from about 1300, when a roof was built over two rows of stalls and one of the first shopping malls in the world was born. The current Hall was built following a major fire in 1555. and houses shops, cafes and museums.

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The Basilica is well known for some beautiful religious artworks, including stained glass, the altarpiece (12 year’s work by the 15th century German artist, Veit Stoss), and paintings.

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Veit Stoss’ masterpiece

One legend has it that the architects of the towers were two brothers. One, jealous because his tower was shorter and less ornate, murdered the other brother, then in remorse threw himself off the roof.

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Perhaps more commonly known is the story of the 13th century fireman who used his trumpet to alert the citizens of Kraków to a Tartar invasion. He was cut off when an arrow struck him in the throat, but the town was awakened. To this day, seven local firemen are tasked with playing the trumpet from the taller tour, every hour on the hour, 24/7. The noon toon is broadcast worldwide every day, by Polish Radio, and like every one of them, is cut off mid-note.

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Tourists can visit St. Mary’s every day, excluding times of worship. On weekdays, it is open 11:30 to 18:00. (Opening of the altar by Veit Stoss takes place at 11:50). On Sundays and public holidays, you can visit the church after Sunday services, 14:00 to 18:00.

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A guided tour covers half of the church, including the sanctuary, and the main altar. The entrance to this part of the Basilica costs:

Normal – 10 zł
pensioners, students, youth and children – 5 zł

Student discounts also apply to foreigners upon presentation of a valid student ID.

The remainder of the church, to which entry is free, is reserved for those taking part in services, or wishing to pray or take confession.

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Visits can normally be made to the tower of St. Mary’s from May 1 to August 31, every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday between 9:00 and 11:30 and from 13:00 to 17:30.
The entrance is from ul Florian, every 20 minutes in groups of 10 people.
Tickets for the tower:
Adults: 5 zł
Children under 12: 3 zł

Sadly, the archive office have advised us that the tower is closed this year – we’ll report when we know that visits are again possible.

Photographs of the Basilica (by Piotr Ładoś) and of the altarpiece (by Ryszard Dydek) have been reproduced here with the kind permission of the office of the Archives of St. Mary’s Basilica,  Krakow. To see more, please visit the Basilica website at http://www.mariacki.com/index.php/multimedia  Dziękuję Agata Wolska

Website : http://www.mariacki.com/

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