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Krakow's Churches
The Holy Trinity Church

The Dominican monastery with the Church of the Holy Trinity. The beginnings of the monastery reach back to the year 1222, when Bishop Iwo Odrowaz gave the former parish church to monks invited from Bologna. A relic from this period is a Romanesque refectory.

The construction of a new early Gothic church was probably begun after the Tatar raid of 1241. Originally based on a hall scheme, it was extended and rebuilt as a three-aisled basilica in the second half of 14th century and the 15th century.

The great prestige enjoyed by the order of St Dominic made the church of the Holy Trinity into one of the grandest in Krakow. Both the church itself, and the monastery cloisters filled with countless number of tombs, and the set of burial chapels of the 16th and 17th centuries was second only to the Wawel Cathedral necropolis.

The great fire of 1850 brought an end to the original splendour of the Dominican Church, damaging its architecture and almost completely destroying the furnishings.

The present main nave and the presbytery are covered by the same roof, terminating in the west and east in stepped gables. The slender stepped gable visible from the Dominikaski Square is the most characteristic view of the present church. In this construction, brick body of the Gothic building contrasts with the adjoining chapels, especially from the side facing Dominikaska street. Inside neo-gothic vestibule, there's an amazing late 14th century stone portal richly ornamented with carved floral motifs.

The interior of the church gives an impression of emptiness and coldness. The opulence and formal variety of original altars disappeared with the 1850 fire and was replaced by a uniform neo-Gothic decoration.

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