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Krakow's Churches
St Francis of Assisi Church
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The Franciscan Church was founded in the first half of the 13th. century and it was one of the first brick constructions in Krakow. In the 15th. century the church recieved its final Gothic form, with the nave adjoining the Passion of Christ Chapel. The Franciscan monastery has been built in stages beginning in the 14th. century.

In 1850 the church and monastery went up in flames. The reconstruction and redecoration took several dozen years. The present neo-Gothic interior was made by Stanislaw Wyspianski. Wyspianski designed not only the murals that cover the interior of the church, but also the marvellous stained glass windows. Most famous is the huge 'Let it Be', which stands above the Western facade and shows God in the act of creation.

Now the most authentic part of the church is the northern elevation of the transept, surviving almost intact in its 13th. century form. The stocky proportions of the transept facade show the spirit of the early phase of Gothic. The arcaded moulded-brick frieze adorning the gable is a dircet borrowing from Lombardian architecture. The straight wall of the presbytery was replaced by a three-sided apse in the 15th. century.

A place of special beauty are the Gothic cloisters surrounding the rectangular viridarium, dating mostly from the first half of the 15th. century.

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