Gdansk's Historical Churches Tour, Gdansk

Gdansk's Historical Churches Tour (Self Guided), Gdansk

Gdansk has a long history of Catholicism, hence the many impressive churches found in the city. In Gdansk you will see some of the most spectacular medieval religious buildings, such as St. Mary's Church, St. Nicolas Church, and other churches that distinguish themselves as part of the urban landscape. Take this self-guided walking tour to discover the historic churches of Gdansk.
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Gdansk's Historical Churches Tour Map

Guide Name: Gdansk's Historical Churches Tour
Guide Location: Poland » Gdansk (See other walking tours in Gdansk)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Author: vickyc
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • St. John's Church
  • The Royal Chapel
  • St. Mary's Church
  • St. Nicholas' Church
  • St. Bridget's Church
  • St. Catherine's Church
  • St. Joseph's Church
St. John's Church

1) St. John's Church

The Church of St. John was built in the 14th century, and was severely damaged during WWII. Part of it is still under reconstruction. Inside you can see a late-Renaissance stone altar that has been in the place since 1599. Concerts are regularly performed here. The church represents the sacral architecture of Gdansk and is really worth a visit.
The Royal Chapel

2) The Royal Chapel

The Royal Chapel in Gdansk is an architectural masterpiece. Built in 1678-1681 in Baroque style, its facade is richly decorated with Baroque sculptures. The colored Royal Chapel stands near St. Mary's Church and stands out as a prominent landmark against the grayness of the church walls.
St. Mary's Church

3) St. Mary's Church (must see)

The formal name for St Mary's is Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Between 1536 and 1572 the church had been used jointly by Catholics and Lutherans. From the late 16th century until 1945 it was the second largest Lutheran church in the world. The church has been Catholic since 1945.

The church is an aisled hall church with transept. It is 346 feet long. The nave is 217 feet wide. It can hold up to 25,000 souls at one time. The first stone for the church was laid in 1343. It so happened to be the feast of the Assumption. The original basilica had six bays and a low turret. It was finished in 1360.

The current building was started in 1379 by architect Heinrich Ungeradin. The primary building material was brick. This was common to Gothic style churches of Flanders and the Netherlands. The church was finished and the tower raised by 1466. The nave core and vaulting was done by 1500, just in time for the Protestant Reformation.

No serious structural changes were carried out under Lutheran auspices. There was heavy damage to the church during World War II. Restoration began again in 1946. The church is frequently called the "Crown of Gdansk." It is considered to be the largest brick temple in Europe and the finest among the towns of the old Hanseatic League.

Inside the church is a wealth of medieval artifacts. There is a stone Pieta from 1410, and a copy of The Last Judgement made in 1472 by Hans Memling. An astronomical clock made in 1467 by Hans Duringer is here. The main altar was built in 1510-1517. The church does hold services. It is open to visitors year-round.
St. Nicholas' Church

4) St. Nicholas' Church

The Church of St. Nicholas dates back to the 14th century. It stands on the grounds of a temple from the 12th century. It has very large windows that are unusual for such an old church. It was not damaged by WWII, and has kept its Baroque and Rococo design. There are many gold decorations in the church, old paintings with scenes of Jesus' life, and a splendid chandelier crafted in 1617.
St. Bridget's Church

5) St. Bridget's Church

St. Bridget's Church of Gdansk was built in 1396. Gothic in style, it was totally destroyed during WWII and then rebuilt in 1973. The church became a monument, as it sheltered activists of the Solidarity Movement. Inside the church, you can contemplate a unique work of art. There is a large altar made from amber, a petrified resin that is called Baltic Gold. It is found on the Baltic shore only.
St. Catherine's Church

6) St. Catherine's Church

St. Catherine's Church is the oldest parish church in the Old Town of Gdansk. It was built in 1227-1239. Before WWII, the shrine of the church enchanted visitors with its interior decorations -- Gothic, Mannerist and Baroque. In 1945, the church was destroyed, but then restored. When inside, make sure not to miss the paintings by Anton Möller and Izaak van den Blocke. In the church yard there is an old tombstone of the famous astronomer Jan Hevelius.
St. Joseph's Church

7) St. Joseph's Church

In the place of today's St. Joseph's Church once stood a monastery established in 1391. Later, in the 15th century, a church was added in the name of the Mother of God The Holiest Virgin and Saints Elijah & Elisha. The monastery was destroyed in the 1670s, and the church became parish of St Joseph in 1840. It was burnt down during World War II and then restored.

Walking Tours in Gdansk, Poland

Create Your Own Walk in Gdansk

Create Your Own Walk in Gdansk

Creating your own self-guided walk in Gdansk is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Solidarity Union Walking Tour

Solidarity Union Walking Tour

For decades, the word 'Solidarity' (Polish: Solidarność) has been synonymous with the city of Gdansk. The peaceful Solidarity revolution, started here in the August of 1980, marked the outset of the fall of communism not only in Poland but also throughout Eastern Europe.

Stemmed from the country's first free labor union born out of strikes at the Lenin Shipyard (now the Gdansk...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.8 Km or 0.5 Miles
Gdansk Introduction Walking Tour

Gdansk Introduction Walking Tour

The most probable source for the name, "Gdansk" seems to be "Gdania", the ancient name of the river Motlawa. Gdansk began with agriculture and fishing and trade with Pomerania in the 9th century. It was annexed by Mieszko, Duke of Poland, in 975.

The center of town was the Long Market, with its craftsmen. German merchant settlements grew by St Nicholas Church. Gdansk joined...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles