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Cathedral Basilica of the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist (Bazylika Archikatedralna pw. Męczeństwa św. Jana Chrzciciela)

The cathedral was erected in its present form in the 14th century. It has witnessed many historic events, including weddings, coronations and royal funerals.

ulica Świętojańska 8 (map)
Archikatedra św. Jana
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The cathedral was erected in its present form in the 14th century; earlier a wooden chapel stood here. Initially, it was a parish church, but gradually it gained more and more importance, and by the end of the 16th century, it was the most important church of the Republic of Poland. In the 17th century, the Gothic church was rebuilt in the Baroque spirit, and at this time, it was one of the richest Polish churches, with its interior filled with works of art, thanks to the patronage of kings and nobles.
The basilica has witnessed many historic events, such as the coronation of King Stanislaw August Poniatowski in 1764, and weddings, coronations and royal funerals were held here. Of particular importance was the fact that the first European Constitution, on May 3, 1791, was sworn in here. During the Warsaw Uprising in 1944 the cathedral was the scene of fighting, and after the uprising, it was blown up, with 90% of the walls destroyed. After World War II, the original form of the temple was reconstructed, restoring the old roof height and form of the Gothic façade. Through the brick portal, you enter from a busy and crowded street into the basic and rough interior of the vault, moving into a very different Warsaw in terms of mood and sense of time.
The consecration of the temple, rebuilt after the war, took place on June 9th, 1960, by Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, the Polish Primate. The Primate's tomb is in the basilica and in the crypts there are also numerous tombs: of the dukes of Mazovia, the archbishops of Warsaw, the last Polish king Stanisław August Poniatowski, the first President of Poland Gabriel Narutowicz and Nobel prize winning-writer Henryk Sienkiewicz. In recent years, the church has become an important international centre to promote sacred music, and in the summer, organ concerts are held in the cathedral.

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