St Martin's Church, Warsaw

St. Martin's Church (Polish: Kościół św. Marcina) is a church in Warsaw, Poland. It is located on ulica Piwna ("Beer Street") in the Polish capital's Old Town.


It was established in 1353 together with the adjacent Augustinians cloister and a hospital of the Holy Spirit intra muros by Siemowit III duke of Masovia and his wife Eufemia. In 1571 the famous Wojciech Oczko was made a hospital doctor. The church itself, which was a stone, gothic building, was erected at the turn of 14th and 15th century. Its entrance was located from the side of the town walls, not from Piwna street, as today. The temple had three altars: main altar of St. Martin and side altars of the Holy Ghost and of St. Dorothy.

In the 17th century on the churchyard of Augustinians' Monastery was the place where sessions of local Mazovian parliament were organised. After some fires, which destroyed the church in 15th and 17th century, it was converted in baroque style by Giovanni Spinola from Italy. Also at that time the church was reoriented, the main entrance was located from Piwna Street and the altar was moved to south-western side (to the side of the town walls). In the 17th century, a good standard orchestra was maintained by the Augustinians, which performed in the church. Inside, Adam Jarzębski was buried, a musician and composer that worked for the kings of the Vasa Dynasty.

The church was reconstructed in about 1744 according to Karol Bay's design, and resembles the architecture of Bay's Church of Order of the Visitation. The main façade of waved lines represent so-called Melted Sugar style in the rococo architecture. The central altar also according to Karol Bay's design with sculptures by Jan Jerzy Plersch was accomplished in 1751.


The facade is baroque, although the interior is completely modern. The profuse early baroque furnishings, created in the 1630s by Jan Henel (sculptor of King Władysław IV Vasa) together with the rococo decorations done in the 1750s, were destroyed by German bombing during the Warsaw Uprising. The church was ruined. It was reconstructed after the World War II. Inside the church, at the end of right nave a chapel of Our Lady of Consolation with a copy of a painting from 15th century and at the end of the left one - the chapel of Jesus Christ. Next to the sanctuary there is a chapel of St. Francis with the most valuable element of the church's furnishing - polychromed figure of the Virgin Mary with the Child.

Building Activity

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