Bernardine Church, Kraków, Poland

The Bernardine Order had had a church here, at the foot of Wawel Hill in Kraków, for centuries when, in 1655, the Swedish army arrived and laid siege to the City.

The Polish Commander in Kraków, Stefan Czarniecki, decided that the Bernardine Church was much too close to Wawel Castle and strategically in a good position for the enemy. So the church was burnt to the ground.

Four years later rebuilding started in the Baroque style and it is this church that survives to this day. When rebuilding was undertaken one eye was kept on the reasons for the original destruction of the church and so no part of the church, including the dome, are tall enough to either cause a threat to Wawel Castle, nor to block its line of fire.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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