Krakow, Poland the “City of Churches” and Music

Franciscan Church and Monastery in Krakow, Poland

The travel blog series on Krakow, Poland continues with a must see church in the historical downtown, plus finding a musical concert to go to in Krakow.


Krakow, Poland the “City of Churches”

 Krakow is known as the “city of churches” with over 120 churches, basilicas, etc. The city of Krakow also has an abundance of monasteries and convents and is sometimes referred to as the “Northern Rome.”

The churches and basilicas in Krakow are some of the most beautiful I have seen! The churches in Krakow have elaborate carvings, beautiful stained-glass windows, and detailed painting on the walls and ceilings.

Earlier in this travel series on Krakow, Poland I covered the St. Mary’s Basilica and Church of St. Adalbert in the main square, along with the Wawel Cathedral.

Below is information on another church that should not be missed when visiting Krakow, especially if you appreciate architecture and art nouveau.


1 – The Franciscan Church and Monastery is on Franciszkanska Street where it’s set back from the street and looks like a rather ordinary church with a brick façade and a stepped roof, which is very common in Krakow. But once you enter the Franciscan Church in Krakow you see how different it is! The church was founded in the 13th century but has painting and stained-glass windows designed by the Polish artist Stainslaw Wyspianski. What makes the Franciscan Church so interesting, at least to me, is that every inch is covered in paintings but not those typical to church interiors but instead has intricate flowers interwoven with geometrical patterns.


2 – Stainslaw Wyspianski was a 20th century Polish artist who created monumental church murals, stained-glass windows, paintings, graphic art, and interior decoration. Wyspianski also designed stage sceneries and costumes; he also restored old murals and stained-glass windows in Krakow churches. You can see work by Wyspianski in the Stainslaw Wyspianski Museum, which I highly recommend as it shows you a great deal of his work. The Museum dedicated to Wyspianski’s work is just off the Main Market Square on Szczepanska Street in a historic tenement house built in 1904. The National Museum of Krakow created the Wyspianski Museum due to their rich collection of the artist’s work and for the high position he held in Polish culture. I was unable to visit the National Museum of Krakow, short on time, but hope to get back to see it and discover more Polish artists to admire, as I have come to admire Wyspianski’s work!


 Music in Krakow, Poland

Krakow is a city of classical music. During the summer (I do not know about the winter schedules) you can enjoy concerts in numerous venues, mostly churches. I highly recommend attending at least one concert during your visit to Krakow. You will find signs in front of most churches about the concerts, where you can buy tickets at the time of the performance or reserve tickets ahead of time.


The next post will give tips on how to get to Krakow and include airport information.

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