St Mary's Basilica

St Mary's Basilica
+48 12 422 55 18
St Mary's Basilica
Plac Mariacki 5

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Editor's review

The lop-sided glory of St. Mary's is one of the most photographed sites in all Cracow. According to legend, two brothers built the towers, and one brother deliberately built higher in a bid for greater glory. When the tricked sibling returned to town and discovered the betrayal, he did away with his brother in a fit of rage (the grisly knife still hangs in the Cloth Hall). After that lovely story, we should add that St. Mary's gained most of her present form following the Tatar raid of the mid-thirteenth century. The church was to be a proud symbol of the merchants' prestige. The jewel in the crown came many years later with Veit Stoss's altar-piece - still in situ - which contains some two hundred sculpted figures. Legends abound with this building. Besides the embittered brothers, the northern tower is the home of the Hejnal trumpet call.

Editor & Krakow Local


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Robert Soto
United States

I visited Krakow in '93 or '94. Loved it. Spent New Yrs Eve there (and drank in any and every catacombs. Can anyone tell me why the cathedral was not built like the rest of the buildings, it is angled differently?

Reply Nov 22nd, 2011

It is at a different angle because it predates the square. The church was built and then the city planners decided to put the main square there, moving the center of town a block over, away from its previous "main street" of ulica Stolarska.

Reply Jan 9th, 2014
United Kingdom

Enter by the front door if you don't want to pay (tourists entering by the side door are charged). Silence is also appreciated and expected, as this is an important place of worship.

Reply Dec 29th, 2010
indika prasad gunarathna

I would like come to st mary's basilica in my vacation with my famly.can you send me invitation letter for us

Reply Jun 3rd, 2010
Catherine J
United Kingdom

The altar really is incredible. I couldn't believe my eyes. Spent about half an hour goggling at all the carved figures. A guide told us that it was packed and hidden during the war, and then stolen by the Germans, then found again after the war. Incredible story. Krakow a beautiful city!

Reply May 20th, 2009
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