Cracow – Poor Clares church

Today, while tidying up my computer – I found some pictures I made during last summer’s visit in Cracow ( in Polish: Kraków).

Part of my family has always been tied with that town on the Vistula. No wonder then that even though I derive from the Pomeranian (Prussian)  branch of the family – I love Cracow. And I am proud of it (especially when I look up my family names on the famous Wawel Hill walls ;)).

While living nearby (years ago), I had my favourite places to visit. And one of them was (and still is!) St. Andrew’s.

I am not a religious person, therefore I visit churches with different expectations. As a guide – I go there to find beauty and history.

Where if not in the shrines we can find real culture?

Pieces of art taken away from churches by museum authorities lose their authenticity. And then the historical and cultural narration of art is broken.

This is why St. Andrew’s is unique. It is an example where one can still hear the authentic silence of the past ages. For me it is a special place in some other way too, as it is connected with a scandal in the history of my family 😀

The church itself was built in the 11th century and first served the Benedictine monks. In the 13th century this was the only shrine that withstood the Mongol attack, and in the 14th century the Poor Clare nuns settled there. This is when the adjoining monastery building appeared. In the 18th century the whole interior underwent strong baroquisation.

As Cracow was not destroyed in WW II – here one can sink into the true historical silence, even though the outside (civilisation) can still be heard through the open church door.

A magnificent place!

Here is a short video of the interior.

I did not speak during recording, so as not to disturb the sound of ages… The vloume should be made louder to hear the sound of the street coming from outside.

And below are some pics – inlcuding the brief history of the place.

And one more thing. Once while in Cracow, as usually I went to St. Andrew’s for a little rest. And I saw a scene which made me feel like in the middle ages. A guy with a basket full of vegetables rang to the monastery door. It slightly opened, and a hand stuck out to snatch the basket. It disappeared behind the door. Then it opened again – and the same (?) hand stuck out again – with the same basket. This time it was empty.

The guy muttered something and went away, while I stood there speechless. In the midst of a modern town, in the 21st century – I saw medieval tradition.

And, know what?  I was the only person who was surprised. More – I was the only person who paid any attention to this. It seems that the crazy post war Communist system in a frenzy of destroying everything – did not manage with monastic tradition 😉

Published in: on 13/02/2011 at 15:26  Leave a Comment  

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