St. Peter and Paul’s church is a very magnificent Jesuit church located on Grodzka Street. It was completed in the early 17th century with a beautiful marble façade and a gate featuring fascinating statues of the 12 apostles. It has a large dome and beautiful baroque features on the façade and the entire interior. The church is important to Krakow because many important people are buried there.
St. Peter and Paul’s church was built for jesuits and they arrived in 1563, right after The Council of Trent (16th century). They wanted to defend catholic faith from reformation. King Stefan Batory gave them St Barbara’s Church, located next to St. Mary’s church in the Main Square. However, the church was too small to fulfill their needs. So the construction of St. Peter and Paul’s church began on Grodzka Street, in 1597. It was funded by King Zygmunt III. The original design was by Giovanni de Rossi, an Italian. It was later modified by Józef Britius and Giovanni Maria Bernardoni. The latest version was modified by Giovanni Battista Trevano, the only person who managed to make a charming dome and make an impressive work of early baroque. The church was finished in 1619. In the late 19th century, a complete restoration of the church was completed.
The interior of St. Peter and Paul’s church is very beautiful and was created in the Baroque style. The church has many gilt features, including a beautiful organ located in a balcony just above the entrance. Beneath the organ is a Latin quote “In omnem terram exivit sonus eorum” in English it means, “Their sound hath gone forth into all the earth”. The aisle of the church is very large and there are columns that line along its length. The apse of the church is located near the basement stairs and is home to a large decorated altar. There are four side chapels on either side of the nave, each one of them are ornately decorated with its own small altar. Right above the transept, you will find the majestic dome. Lastly, in the crypt of the church there are many important people buried, such as Count Berliński, Piotr Skarga, and Sławomir Mrożek.
The exterior of St. Peter and Paul’s church is mainly baroque, however, the sides and back of the church are made of plain red brick due to the builders spending too much on the white marble facade. The church is the first baroque church in Krakow, and believed by many to be the first in Poland! The facade is made mostly of marble and it is highly decorated. The statues of the twelve apostles can be seen in niches on the facade and on the gate. There are 12 statues of the apostles arranged in sets of two. Some of them are in dramatic poses and some of them are reading books.