St. Martin's Church, Warsaw

St. Martin's Church, Warsaw

Saint Martin's Church, situated on Beer Street (ulica Piwna) in the Old Town of Warsaw, is a historic site with a rich history dating back to 1353. Established by Duke Siemowit III of Masovia and his wife Eufemia, the church was part of a larger complex that included the adjacent Augustinians cloister and the Hospital of the Holy Spirit intra muros.

The original church, a stone Gothic structure, was erected around the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries. Interestingly, its initial entrance faced the town walls, not Piwna Street as it does today. The church housed three altars: the main Saint Martin altar and two side altars dedicated to the Holy Ghost and Saint Dorothy.

The church underwent several transformations due to fires in the 15th and 17th centuries. Italian architect Giovanni Spinola was instrumental in its Baroque conversion. This included reorienting the church, moving the main entrance to Piwna Street, and relocating the altar to the southwestern side.

A significant reconstruction occurred around 1744, based on the design of Karol Bay. The main façade, featuring waved lines, is a prime example of the 'Melted Sugar' style in Rococo architecture. The central altar was revamped in 1751, featuring sculptures by Jan Jerzy Plersch, as per Bay's design.

While the exterior is Baroque, the interior underwent modernization. The original early Baroque furnishings by Jan Henel from the 1630s and the Rococo decorations of the 1750s were destroyed during the Warsaw Uprising by German bombing. Post World War II, the church was reconstructed.

Inside, the church features several chapels: the Chapel of Our Lady of Consolation with a 15th-century painting replica, the Chapel of Jesus Christ, and the Chapel of Saint Francis, which houses the church's most valuable item - a polychromed figure of the Virgin Mary with Child.

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St. Martin's Church on Map

Sight Name: St. Martin's Church
Sight Location: Warsaw, Poland (See walking tours in Warsaw)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Warsaw, Poland

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