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Warsaw Religious Buildings Tour (Self Guided), Warsaw

Warsaw is home to many magnificent religious buildings, including 17th century churches, outstanding cathedrals, and marvelous places of worship. Most of them were destroyed during World War II and restored later. Take the following self-guided tour to see Warsaw’s prominent sacred places!
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Warsaw Religious Buildings Tour Map

Guide Name: Warsaw Religious Buildings Tour
Guide Location: Poland » Warsaw (See other walking tours in Warsaw)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Author: leticia
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Holy Cross Church
  • Visitationist Church
  • Carmelite Church
  • St Anne's Church
  • St. Martin's Church
  • St John's Archcathedral
  • St. Hyacinth's Church
  • Field Cathedral of the Polish Army
Holy Cross Church

1) Holy Cross Church

Poland can definitely be called the land of churches. There are numerous exquisite churches in this country and many of them can be found in its capital Warsaw. You cannot leave Warsaw without paying a visit to the final resting place of Chopin, the Holy Cross Church. The urn in which his heart was sealed is placed behind a tablet. The tablet was carved by Leonardo Marconi. It was in 1882 that it was added to the Holy Cross Church.

Apart from Chopin’s remains, the church is also noted for its astonishing Baroque design. The origins of this church can be traced back to the fifteenth century. Back then, there was only a small wooden structure which was destroyed during the 1650 Swedish Deluge.

The destroyed church was reconstructed in 1682. Prince Jakub, the son of King Jan III Sobieski laid the cornerstone for this structure that was designed by Jakub Bellotti, the noted architect of those times. Completed in the year 1696, the structure has since undergone numerous alterations and additions.

Sixteenth century saw two Baroque crowns added on by Jozef Fontana to the square-cut twin towers. Elaborate decorative touches were given to it later during the façade refurbishment by the architect’s son Jakub.

The unique and magnificent Holy Cross Church in Warsaw has been a witness of numerous calamities and glories here. This church is definitely a feast for the eyes, heart and soul.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Visitationist Church

2) Visitationist Church

Visitationist Church or the Church of St. Joseph is situated on one of the main thoroughfares in Warsaw. This late-Baroque church in Krakowskie Przedmiescie Street features a predominantly Baroque interior with Rococo decorations. It was constructed between 1664 and 1761. One of the interesting features of the church is the boat shaped impressive pulpit.

Step into the church and you can find exquisite paintings and sculptures by Polish, French and Italian masters. You can also find the tabernacle donated in 1654 by Queen Marie Louise Gonzaga de Nevers. During services for schoolchildren, Fryderyk Chopin used to play on the church organ here.

As a part of the conservation work, the plaster put in place by Marconi was replaced by cement and painted. It was only in the year 2009 that Visitationist Church’s façade was restored to its original glory. Cement plaster was removed and replaced by the 18th century lime mortar and sand.

During this renovation, sculptures and all other parts of the façade were reconstructed to reflect the original work. The old baroque frameworks can still be found at the monastery. Using historical techniques, the glass panes were also reconstructed to exactly resemble what it was when the church was first constructed.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Carmelite Church

3) Carmelite Church

Also known as the Church of Assumption of Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, the Carmelite Church in Warsaw is an impressive neo-classical structure. This church was lucky enough to have been saved from destruction during the World War II. Today it is frequented by tourists from across the world.

The present version of the church was constructed in the seventeenth century. This church has a magnificent interior in Baroque style with its stucco and gilded ceiling decorations and exquisite main altar. It was embellished with paintings of Szymon Czechowicz, the noted eighteenth century artist. Altar paintings were created by Fraciszek Smuglewicz, the eminent Polish painter.

The style and impressive façade of Carmelite Church reflects the essence of King Stanislaw August Poniatowski’s era. The cornice is supported by dominant columns.

Your guide will tell you that Fryderyk Chopin gave his first recital on this church organ. On your trip to Poland you will no doubt visit a number of wonderful churches. Carmelite church is definitely one of the best looking churches in Warsaw. The exterior features a Polish design. The church today stands as a testimony to the art and architecture of those bygone days. Its stately silhouette against the skies is very impressive and awe inspiring. Do not miss out the twin belfries shaped like censers.
Sight description based on wikipedia
St Anne's Church

4) St Anne's Church (must see)

Founded in 1454, St. Anne’s ranks among Warsaw's oldest buildings and is one of Poland's most notable churches with a Neoclassical facade. Tourists flock to it to enjoy the unique ambiance as well as the magnificent, panoramic views over the city from the bell tower.

This church is situated in Castle Square and has been witness to the turbulent history of this country for centuries. It has silently been witnessing looting, reconstruction and fires (especially during the Swedish deluge), restoration (between 1749 and 1775) and again reconstruction between 1786-88.

The church was damaged by bombs in 1939 when part of its roof collapsed and again during the Warsaw Uprising. The already weakened façade, after reconstruction was started in 1945, collapsed due to a hurricane. It was again exposed to danger when cracks developed in its foundations during the 1948 tunnel drilling of the East-West Route next to the church. This disaster was thankfully averted on time. Do not miss a visit to this wonderful, ancient church that has indeed stood the test of time.

Why You Should Visit:
This church is completely painted from floor to ceiling with magnificent frescos. The illusions painted on the columns and walls are very beautiful.
It's also possible to climb to the top of the tower, which will earn you some impressive views over the city if lucky enough to get a clear day.

Try to schedule your visit around noon or 2pm to catch the daily organ concert (lasting 30 mins).

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 9am-3pm; Sun: 10am-7pm
Free entry; no visiting during mass, please
Sight description based on wikipedia
St. Martin's Church

5) St. Martin's Church

St. Martin's Church is a church in Warsaw. It is located on ulica Piwna ("Beer Street") in the Polish capital's Old Town. The facade is Baroque, although the interior is completely modern. The profuse early baroque furnishings, created in the 1630s by Jan Henel (sculptor of King Władysław IV Vasa), together with the rococo decorations done in the 1750s, was destroyed by the Germans in a bombing of the church during the Warsaw Uprising. The church was ruined and was reconstructed after the World War II. Inside the church, at the end of right knave, sits a chapel of Our Lady of Consolation with a copy of a painting from the 15th century, and at the end of the left one - is the chapel of Jesus Christ. Next to the sanctuary there is a chapel of St. Francis with the most valuable element of the church's furnishing - a poly-chromed figure of the Virgin Mary with the Child.
Sight description based on wikipedia
St John's Archcathedral

6) St John's Archcathedral (must see)

St. John's is one of three cathedrals in Warsaw, but the only one which is also an archcathedral. It is also one of Poland's national pantheons and stands immediately adjacent to Warsaw's Jesuit church. Along with the city, the church has been listed by UNESCO as of cultural significance.

Originally built in the 14th century in Masovian Gothic style, the Cathedral served as a coronation and burial site for numerous Dukes of Masovia. The Archcathedral was connected with the Royal Castle by an elevated 80-meter-long corridor that had been built by Queen Anna Jagiellonka in the late 16th century and extended in the 1620s. The church was rebuilt several times and preserved until World War II as an example of English Gothic Revival. Sadly, it was demolished during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 but rebuilt after the war.

Why You Should Visit:
Not only is this, by itself, a beautiful building worth seeing, but it is also an important international centre to promote sacred music and its value certainly increases when you attend an organ concert (schedules can be found online).

If you visit, make sure that your pictures are taken from the bottom up!
The small crypt can be viewed for a small fee, whereas the rest of the church is free.
Do wander through the tiny streets around the cathedral as they are atmospheric as well.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 6am-8pm; Sun: 7am-10pm; no visiting during Mass please
[Crypt] Mon-Sat: 10am-5pm; Sun: 3-5pm; closed during Mass and services
Sight description based on wikipedia
St. Hyacinth's Church

7) St. Hyacinth's Church

St. Hyacinth’s Church is a popular tourist attraction in Warsaw, Poland. This Baroque church was constructed between 1603 and 1639 by Dominicans. The exquisite structure with its pristine white interior was designed by a popular architect Joannes Italus.

The beautiful Chapel of St. Dominic was designed by Tylman Van Gameren, one of the greatest seventeenth century architects in Poland. The chapel adjoins the largest monastery in Warsaw and is one of the few parts of the church that survived the war.

This church enjoyed great prosperity in the eighteenth century. At that time, the richest collection of volumines in Poland was housed in the library at the monastery. It was however completely destroyed later.

Though the interior of the church is completely modern as none of the original furnishings were preserved, its façade is baroque. Some of the prominent tomb monuments you can find here include the tomb of Anna Tarnowska carved in the year 1616 in brown marble depicting the founder in a sleeping pose, the Kararzyna Ossoliska built in 1607 and the black marble epitaph of a rich Polish merchant from Krakow, Regina Sroczyska.

At the Chapel of St. Dominic, you can find the valuable and precious 18th century wooden statue of Ecce Homo. This statue was carved by Antoni Asiski. At the chapel, you can also find the grand altar in black marble, a porta and the exquisite stucco decorations.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Field Cathedral of the Polish Army

8) Field Cathedral of the Polish Army

Field Cathedral of the Polish Army is one of the most popular Cathedrals in Poland. This garrison church is where most of the military religious celebrations are held. The church today is visited by locals and tourists from around the world.

This church is located opposite Krasinski square close to the old town. There is a chapel dedicated to the Katyn massacre victims. Field Cathedral of the Polish Army was built for the Piarist friars between seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

In 1915, after the war, Russians left Warsaw. This church functioned as a depot for the German army and was used by them for a few years. It was restored to its former glory only after 1918 when Poland gained independence between 1923 and 1927.

Oskar Sosnowski reconstructed the Field Cathedral of the Polish Army. His designs were based on drawings of the 17th century. The church was again destroyed during the Warsaw Uprising by the Luftwaffe in the year 1944. It was only between 1946 and 1960 that it was rebuilt and restored to its present structure by a team of architects headed by Leon Marek Suzin. This church is definitely a must-visit on your trip to Warsaw.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Warsaw, Poland

Create Your Own Walk in Warsaw

Create Your Own Walk in Warsaw

Creating your own self-guided walk in Warsaw 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.
Warsaw Landmarks Walking Tour

Warsaw Landmarks Walking Tour

Warsaw is home to various unique landmarks, including a 19th-century fortress, old Fort Legionów, striking Pałac Sapiehów, remarkable Barbican, fourteenth-century City Walls, Old Town Square, outstanding Royal Castle, and the famous King Sigismund's Column. Check out all of Warsaw’s prominent landmarks in the next walking tour!

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Warsaw without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Warsaw, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 Km or 2.7 Miles
Warsaw Famous Monuments

Warsaw Famous Monuments

Warsaw is home to various monuments, dedicated to celebrated and great people, like Adam Mickiewicz, Prince Józef Antoni Poniatowski, Józef Piłsudski, and Nicolaus Copernicus. These great personalities did a lot for Poland and now the city monuments and statues stand to honor their contributions to the country’s development. Check out Warsaw’s famous monuments in the next self-guided tour!

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Museums and Galleries Walk

Museums and Galleries Walk

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Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.9 Km or 3.7 Miles
Jewish Warsaw Tour

Jewish Warsaw Tour

It's hard to imagine, except what we know from history, that on these beautiful Warsaw streets, thousands of Jews were herded and forced into cattle cars, on their way to concentration camps in the 1940s. Here, in the location of one of Europe's biggest concentration camps, about 400,000 innocent Jews suffered and died. Take the following tour to visit some of the places relevant to...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 Km or 2.7 Miles
Warsaw Introduction Walk

Warsaw Introduction Walk

Warsaw, the capital of Poland, is the city with long, eventful, and often dramatic history that is reflected in the city's varied architecture, comprising Gothic, neoclassical, Soviet-era and modern styles. Warsaw's Old Town, it's main attraction nearly destroyed during WWII, is now back to its former glory, complete with Market Square at its heart, lined with pastel buildings and...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

15 Distinctively Polish Things to Buy in Warsaw

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