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The Skalka Church

A small limestone hill, called Skalka (the rock) is a place where the Order of St. Paul the First Hermit, brought to Krakow in 1472, erected a church. Before that, first a romanesque and then a Gothic church were located there. The current baroque temple was constructed basing on the project of Antoni Muntzer in years 1733-1751. The church was then given a double name St. Michael the Archangel and St. Stanislaw the Martyr's church. The church is closely connected with bishop Stanislaw, who was accused of treason by king Boleslaw the Brave in 1079. The bishop was sentenced to death and executed. According to the legend, the decapitation of Stanislaw took place on the Skalka hill. As a consequence, king had to leave the country and Stanislaw was beatified in 1253. Since 1098 the body of the bishop has been lying in the Wawel Cathedral but Skalka is the place of his worship. Kings of Poland were crowned in front of the tomb and a pilgrimage from Wawel to Skalka was a part of the ceremony. On the 750th anniversary of Stanislaw's beatification, John Paul II gave the Skalka church the status of a basilica minor.

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