St. Giles Church is located at Grodzka 67. This church is a gothic style, also a Roman Catholic church. There is some confusion about the original names of St. Giles Church and St. Andrew’s church. It has been said that long ago the two buildings’ names were switched, and may have even been switched several times since then, but no one really knows for sure.

History

St. Giles Church was built in 1086, so now it is 933 years old. It was rebuilt in the 11th century by King Herman, and his wife Judita (Youdita), and again in the 16th century. It was renovated from 1982 – 1986. It is said that St. Giles church is one of the oldest and smallest churches in Krakow. St. Giles was used by the Dominican Church of the Holy Trinity and now is used for holy mass. In 1940 the Katyn Cross was set up in the small square next to the church in order to remember the people killed by the Soviet police during World War II.


Architecture

St. Giles Church is a Gothic church and is built out of stone and red brick. The facade of the building has one spire, buttresses, and lancets. In the apse, there are many niches with statues in them. The main altar is highly decorated and has a broken pediment on the top. The entire chancel is surrounded by an entablature with a frieze that has many bas relief sculptures. In the back of the church, there is a balcony that holds and organ. The church has vaulted ceilings, with a six ribbed ceiling in the chancel. At on side of the nave, there is a large pulpit, which is highly baroque with carvings and gilt. On both sides of the front of the nave, there are altars, one dedicated to the Virgin Mary the other dedicated to Jesus. Both are highly decorated in baroque style. Several small lancet windows line the walls and bring light to the church.


Legend

There is a legend that says that St. Giles Church was built because King Herman and his wife wanted a child but never got one. They were told to send an offering to the Church of St. Gilles in Provence, France. They sent a life-size statue of a baby made of gold and asked for prayers to be said for their wishes of a child. Shortly afterward, they were blessed with the birth of a son known as Boleslaw the Wrymouth due to his strangely shaped mouth.  They were so happy with this blessing that they built the church in St. Giles’s honor.

Resources

Church Of St. Giles. (n.d.). Retrieved June 4, 2019, from http://www.krakow.pl/english/6305,artykul,church_of_st__giles_.html

St Giles’ Church. (n.d.). Retrieved June 4, 2019, from http://karnet.krakow.pl/en/500-krakow-st-giles-church

St Giles’ Church. (n.d.). Retrieved June 4, 2019, from http://www.krakow.travel/en/500-krakow-st-giles-church
 
St Giles’ Church. (n.d.). Retrieved June 4, 2019, from https://www.krakow.pl/english/instcbi/6315,inst,13428,1561,instcbi.html
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