St. Adalbert's Church, Kraków, Poland

This small church is one of the oldest structures in Poland – and certainly the oldest stone church in Kraków. A wooden church stood here as early as the 10th Century, but by the mid-11th Century it had been rebuilt in stone.

It stands today in one corner of the massive Rynek Glowny, the main market square of Kraków, but this square only dates to 1257 – by which time the church was already over 100 years old as a stone construction.

It is said that St. Adalbert (St. Wojciech) himself ordained the church in 997 AD before heading off to try to convert the Prussians to Christianity (and thus get himself martyred). If this is the case then it is most likely the oldest place of Christian worship in Poland.

Over the centuries the ground level of the Square has raised around 2.6 metres and so extra storeys were added to the church in the 17th Century, at which time the distinctively Baroque dome was added.

Today excavations have revealed the lower levels of the church and it is still used quite actively despite the hustle of the Market Square outside.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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