Wloclawek – Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Work started on this Cathedral in 1340, replacing an earlier brick church from the thirteenth century, which had in turn replaced a wooden church from the twelfth century. This building was at a new site agreed with the Teutonic Knights, who had unhelpfully burned down the previous one in 1329.

The exterior of the cathedral, which hasn’t always had such high towers. The two towers were the same height as the nave until the late nineteenth century, when they had spires added to them.

The bronze main door of the cathedral which was added in 2004.

These photos seem a little wonky, but anyway, the nave. Very colourful, spacious and calm.

The altar.

The side aisle.

An example of the colours of the nave.

The organ, and the colourful painted roof.

I like a bit of colour in a cathedral, they’re not quite the same when they’re plain. It’s also not how they were built.

A grand door.

A tomb.

A memorial to Bishop Michał Jan Marszewski. There’s a long biography of him, including details of his achievements, on the cathedral’s web-site at http://www.katedrawloclawek.pl/ksieza_biskupi.php?id=74.

A nativity scene. I visited on 21 January 2020, I’m not sure when these are taken down.

A board showing a list of all the bishops, all the way back to the early twelfth century.

The restoration during the 1880s and the 1890s was substantial internally and externally, and although the increased height of the towers does give the building that bit more presence, a lot of heritage was lost at the same time. There was damage done to the cathedral during some fighting in 1920, when agreement was still being made over whether Germany or Poland should govern the area, but fortunately, the building wasn’t damaged during the Second World War. Pope John Paul II visited the cathedral in 1991, which was a major event for the area and they’ve commemorated it with a bronze disc.

This was a marvellously peaceful cathedral and I didn’t see anyone else in the time that I was there. There were numerous information boards about the buildings around the cathedral, but I didn’t see anything inside that might have given an indication of the historically important elements. Unfortunately, that lack of information did mean that I didn’t notice some interesting elements that are located inside the cathedral, such as baroque stalls, fourteenth century stained glass and fifteenth century tombstones. The cathedral’s web-site at http://www.katedrawloclawek.pl/ does though have a comprehensive history of the building and the bishops who have served the church.