Jesuit Church, Warsaw

Jesuit Church (Polish: Kościół Jezuitów), otherwise the Church of the Gracious Mother of God (Kościół Matki Bożej Łaskawej) is an ornate church in Warsaw, Poland. Immediately adjacent to St. John's Cathedral, it is one of the most notable mannerist churches in Poland's capital. Its beautiful slender tower may be seen from the Old Town Market Place.


History

The Jesuit Church was founded by King Sigismund III Vasa and Podkomorzy Andrzej Bobola (the Old) at Piotr Skarga's initiative, in 1609, for the Jesuits. The main building was constructed between 1609 and 1626 in the Polish Mannerist style by Jan Frankiewicz.


In 1627 the church was encompassed with three chapels, and in 1635 Urszula Mayerin, a great supporter of the Society of Jesus, was buried within. Mayerin funded a silver tabernacle for the church. She was also King Sigismund III's mistress, and was politically influential. Her grave was plundered and destroyed by the Swedes and Brandenburg Germans, in the 1650s, during the Deluge.


A vestibule was added to the interior of the temple in 1633, and a choir was added three years later. An altar made of silver was installed by Cardinal Charles Ferdinand Vasa in the 1640s. The interior of the church was damaged and looted in 1656.


In later years the building became more and more splendid, with rich baroque furnishings and marble altars and floors. Two more chapels were added. The order of Jesuits was dissolved in 1773, the church changed ownership several times. For example, for some time it was a school church, later it was demoted to the role of the magazine of church furnishing, and then it was given to the order of Piarists. The Jesuits did not get the church back until the end of First World War. In 1920s and 1930s the church was renovated.


During World War II, after the Germans suppressed the Warsaw Uprising, they razed the Jesuit Church to the ground. All that remained of the four-hundred-year-old edifice was a great pile of rubble. Between the 1950s and 1973, the church was rebuilt in a simplified architectural style.


Interior

The facade is Mannerist, although the interior is completely modern, because very few of the original furnishings of the church were preserved. Inside, preserved fragments of a brilliant tomb monument of Jan Tarło carved by Jan Jerzy Plersch in white and black marble in 1753, together with reconstructed epitaphs of Sarbiewski, Konarski, Kopczyński and Kiliński are displayed. A painting of Our Lady of Grace brought to Poland in 1651 by bishop Juan de Torres as a gift from Pope Innocent X is also displayed, along with a preserved wooden crucifix from 1383, a baroque sculpture of Our Lady of Grace, from the beginning of the 18th century and a stone sculpture of a laying bear from the half of 18th century.


Burials

  • Karol Ferdynand Vasa
  • Maciej Kazimierz Sarbiewski (1595–1640), Europe's most prominent Latin poet of the 17th century.

Memorial plaque

  • Jan Tarło's cenotaph

Images

  • in 1627

  • in the 1920s

  • in 2006

Media

2 photos

Building Activity

  • Kiril Pavlov
    Kiril Pavlov activity.buildings_person.create
    about 6 years ago via OpenBuildings.com
  • removed 2 media
    about 6 years ago via OpenBuildings.com