Churches 2 - St Mary's Part 2 and St Barbara

1 : Introduction
2 : City (Day)
3 : City (Night)
4 : Churches
5 : Castle/Cathedral
6 : Fete
7 : Kazimierz and Podgórze
8 : Wieliczka Salt Mine

With the main lights of the basilica extinguished, a wedding takes place lit only by the lights of many candelabra situated within the body of the building (left and below).

The altarpiece (above and below) is by the great sculptor of the Gothic art, Veit Stoss (or Wit Stwosz) circa 1440 to 1533.
He lived and worked in Krakow for 19 years and it took twelve of them (1477 to 1489) for him to carve in wood his best work ever - this three-story-high altarpiece - in the basilica.

The 42-foot-high and 36-foot-wide feature is the largest Gothic sculpture in the world. It consists of 200 fine limewood sculptures treated with colour and gold foil.

The central part, with huge lifelike statues of the saints, depicts dramatically the Virgin Mary dying among the Apostles and is shown in the photo below reproduced with acknowledgement to Krakow-Info.com.

'St Mary's Church' is also known as 'The Church of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven'.

The exterior of the building is shown in the photographs below. The first two depict St Mary and child.

A wall sundial and crucifix are shown towards the rear of the building.

Another view of the taller tower of the cathedral with its metal crown and a model of the cathedral which stands in St Mary's Square close to the Church of St Barbara.

Church of St Barbara

Built between 1338 and 1402, St Barbara's Church is situated next to St Mary's Basilica. Legend has it that St. Barbara's Church was erected voluntarily by workers building St Mary's Basilica as a gift of thankfulness and using bricks and other materials remaining from the construction of St Mary's Basilica.

The church was built most probably to serve as a cemetery chapel - St Barbara was venerated as the patron saint of a good death ! It replaced the former mortuary.

In the 17th century, the Gothic church was redeveloped; the effects of that baroque transformation are visible from the side of the small Market Square. Many wall plaques as well as former entrances adorn the church exterior.

At the same time, the church interior received a decidedly baroque appearance. This style is known as the Jesuit style.

Father Jakub Wujek, the author of the late 16th century Polish translation of the Bible from Latin, found his last resting place under the church. His translation of the Bible remained the official Polish translation for 350 years.

Another wedding taking place ! The pictures left and below demonstrate the baroque - style interior of the church

At the main entrance behind a metal grill there stands a group of sculptures by the Wit Stwosz related group of stonemasons dating from 1488-1518 representing Christ in the Garden of Olives.

A statue in the Church of St Barbara (above).

Written on the scroll is a quotation from Psalm 118 v 103 : "Quam dulcia faucibus meis eloquia tua".
This may be translated as : "How sweet are thy words to my palate! More than honey to my mouth!"

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