Saint Andrew’s church was built by Palatine Sieciech between 1079 and 1098. Saint Andrew was an apostle of Jesus, and the church was built to honor him. The church was built as a fortified church and used as a type of defense for the people of Krakow to hide when the city was under attack. The exterior of the church is Romanesque style, but the interior has beautiful Baroque features.

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History

Saint Andrew’s church was built from stone blocks between 1079 and 1098 and was the only building in Krakow that survived the attack of the Mongols (Tatars) in 1241. This church was known as the lower castle of Krakow and Wawel Castle being the upper castle.  It has survived through other attacks during its 900 years.  It had to be rebuilt due to damages suffered during the second attack of the Mongols in 1260.   Because it was such a successful defensive church, the people of Krakow used it as a safe hiding place during many different attacks.  The church has been rebuilt and renovated several times through the years. In the 17th century, two baroque crowns were added on top of the two octagonal towers.  Between the 17th and 18th century, the interior was fully renovated to the baroque style.

Saint Andrew

Saint Andrew was born 6 years before Jesus Christ. He had a brother named Simon Peter. Andrew was also a fisherman. Andrew’s name means strong and known as having good social skills. His feast day is on November 30, he also died on November 30, 60 years after Jesus christ was born. Andrew was an Apostle of Jesus (right hand man).

Architecture

The architect was Platine Sieciech.  It is a Romanesque, Catholic Church.  It is baroque inside and romanesque on the outside. Because it was built as a defensive church, it has loopholes on the lower walls. The church is built of white limestone. It has an unusual shape because the church is connected to a Gothic building which is a living space for the nuns that run the church.  The church’s facade has an older bricked-up entrance, probably used long before today. There is a statue of saint Andrew in front of the entrance, and the altar is beautifully sculpted in wood. Baldassare “Baltazar” Fontana, was the architect and painter who made the church baroque on the inside. There is a pulpit in the shape of a boat decorated with rococo style.

Octagonal Towers

In 1639 they renovated the building and added two octagonal towers. The towers were built with the same type of rocks that were used to build the church’s facade. If you looked on the towers from the top, you would see the shape of an octagon. There is a copper roof over the church, but the towers are topped with beautiful baroque domes.

Defensive Features

Saint Andrew’s church has defense features which means that it is a fortified church. A fortified church is a church that plays a defensive role in times of war.  At the lower part of the facade there are small windows called loopholes that served as defensive openings in times of siege. (A military operation in which enemy forces surround a town or building, cutting off essential supplies, with the aim of compelling those inside to surrender.)  Its walls are 1.5 metres thick, so it could withstand Tatar attacks.

The Two Octagonal Towers of St. Andrew's Church
Romanesque Windows of the Tower
Figure on the Gate of the Church
The Church From the Front
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