Thursday, October 20, 2011

walking through Krakow's old city Oct 2011

 Stained glass window of the Franciscan church in the old city.  Church originally built in 1260, it burned down in 1850  and was completely rebuilt. The amazing interior (photos below) is something I have never, ever seen in a church, designed by a Polish artist. It is something of a miracle that the Franciscans let  Stanislaw Wyspianski, the artist, loose on the entire interior (they did in fact reject some of his motifs for angels, which he wanted to paint as modern day street urchins)!

He designed not only the murals that cover the interior of the church, but also the magnificent stained glass windows, all of which had incredible, colorful flower designs, very much art nouveau. The result is extraordinary. The entire interior is ablaze with bright murals - roses and poppies swirl about in blues, greens and yellows, among the crucifixes, statues of saints etc.

He started his commission on the interior design and the designing of the stained glass in 1897. THe glass was made in Austria from about 1899-1904. wish I had taken more photos, the stained glass was so amazing.
part of a wall detail

another wall, the entire wall was like this inside the church!!

camera couldn't get the crucifix and all the designs in the photo but you get the idea

another part of a wall

one of the beautiful buildings in the old town on Ulica (Street) Kanonicza, a lovely street 

The Church of Sts. Peter and Paul (Kosciól swietego Piotra i Pawla)  is a Baroque Jesuit church known best for the statues of the 11 disciples (minus Judas)  lining the fence at the front. Statues are copies made from the 18th century originals. Church is said to be modeled after the Jesuit Church in Rome (The Gesu'). I must admit there was a resemblance.
 St Andrew's Church, one of the oldest buildings  in Krakow built from 1079-1098  and one of the best preserved Romanesque buildings in Poland.  It is a rare surviving example of the European fortress church used for defensive purposes. Interior (at least what one could visit) is very small and very baroque not nearly as interesting as the outside.

This was a great wall mural on Ulica Kanonicza 

A great, glass sign for a book store (next to the wall  book mural).

Lovely doorway on same street

Pope John Paul lived on this street, (again Ulica Kanonicza) for 16 years and despite the sign Papal knick knacks were not all on display in the city. Rome is inundated with tourist shops with such material.  The Pope lived, studied, was bishop and then archbishop of Krakow before he left for Rome.

Pope's living quarters on this very lovely street.

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