Basilica of St. Mary, Krakow

Basilica of St. Mary, Krakow (must see)

Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, this basilica stands adjacent to the Main Square in Krakow as a beautiful illustration of the merger of different styles of architecture. Together, these styles brew a singular timeless piece of structure that stands as an example for several other churches in Poland.

The facade of the Church consists of two high raised uneven towers, of which one is constructed in Gothic style while the other has a Renaissance style. The Gothic tower boasts a magnificent spire built in 1478 that measures 81 meters and has a gold-coated crown. The other tower, measuring 69 meters, has a Renaissance roof and was constructed in 1592. The tower has five bells, two of which date back to the 14th century. On the front side of the Church is a beautiful Baroque designed porch that was constructed in the mid-18th century.

Not only is the exterior of the St. Mary's Basilica magnificent, but the interiors also make their mark in terms of grandeur and excellence. The basilica houses the famous altarpiece of Veit Stross, the largest Gothic altarpiece in the world, consisting of 200 figurines sculpted to the utmost delicacy and each limewood figure treated with color and gold foil. One of the national treasures of Poland, this ornate wooden altarpiece is a must-see on your visit to Krakow.

Tip:
Before going inside, you might want to make sure you're not wearing shorts and your shoulders are covered.
Don't forget to buy the camera ticket; otherwise, the camera spotting official will tell you to turn it off (not discreetly either!)...

Note that every hour/on the hour, a trumpeter comes out at the top window of the left tower to play a song out of each of the three windows up there. If you want to climb the tower, pre-book a time to go up (best to do it online). You can meet the trumpeters at the top and pose with them for a modest tip! The views are excellent.

Tour Hours:
[Basilica] Mon-Sat: 11:30am–6pm; Sun: 2–6pm
[Bell Tower] Thu-Fri: 10am–2pm (Apr-Oct); max 6 people; children not admitted for reasons of safety
[Bugle Tower] Tue-Sat: 9:10am–5:30pm; Sun: 1:10pm–5:30pm (Apr-Oct); Thu, Fri, Sat: 9:10am–5:30pm (Nov, Dec, Mar)

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Krakow. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Basilica of St. Mary on Map

Sight Name: Basilica of St. Mary
Sight Location: Krakow, Poland (See walking tours in Krakow)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Krakow, Poland

Create Your Own Walk in Krakow

Create Your Own Walk in Krakow

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Krakow Introduction Walking Tour

Krakow Introduction Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles