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Franciscans' Basilica of the St. Francis of Assisi

Franciscans' Basilica of the St. Francis of AssisiFranciscans came to Krakow from Prague and St. Francis' church, funded by prince Boleslaw Wstydliwy, was built in the 13th century. Further extension of the church took place in 15th century and the whole building was rebuilt after being burned by Swedes in 1655. Despite the fire, the temple has prevailed in its Gothic and partially Neo-gothique form. The church is decorated with a polychromy and stained-glass windows designed by Stanislaw Wyspianski, among them the beautiful "Bog Ojciec - Stworzenie Swiata" in the facade. The main altar was build in1861 using the money from Zofia Potocka's foundation. Depictions of the stations of the Way of the Cross made by Jozef Mehoffer in 1933 are hanging on the walls of the church. Next to the entrance, a chapel devoted to blessed Salomea was built in 15th century and rebuilt in 17th century to celebrate her beatification. A baroque coffin with her relics lies on the altar and next to it lie the bones of Boleslaw Wstydliwy. During the Second World War, when the Nazis have closed the Wawel Cathedral and St. Francis' church was used by Krakow's bishops for carrying out their liturgical duties. The temple was one of Karol Wojtyla's favourite and "his bench" is situated in the main nave.

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