Gdansk – St.. Nicholas

St.. Nicholas in Gdańsk

St.. Nicholas, standing on the western section of Świętojańska Street, it stands out from other Gdańsk temples with this, that its equipment survived the last war almost intact. The Gothic body of the temple with a characteristic octagonal raw tower is blended into the buildings of Świętojańska Street. From the outside, the church resembles a great fortress, serving more military and defense purposes than religious. The elements decorating the façades are the pinnacles of the body and the lightly plastered blinds between the narrow and long window recesses.. The inconspicuous entrance door from Świętojańska Street does not announce a big surprise waiting inside.

From the history of the temple

W XII w. in this place stood a wooden church of St.. Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors. W 1227 r. it was given under the care and perpetual use of the Dominicans brought from Krakow by the bishop of Włocławek, Michał. W 1239 r. a brick fortified church and a monastery stood here, in the place of today's market square next to the hall. The present shape was given to the church in the 15th century. The Napoleonic period was especially tragic in the history of the temple. W 1813 r. during the defense of the city by the French and Polish troops against the Russian army, cannonball, fired by the Russians, hit the church. It burned alive in the fire 25 wounded and sick French soldiers. W 1833 r. the Dominican Order was dissolved, and in the place of the monastery buildings, St. 1896 r. eclectic, a lumpy market hall that has been used to this day, while the temple was renamed the parish church. Dominicans returned to him, already as a minor basilica, After a year 1945.


The surprising interior of the church has something Byzantine about it: splendor, wealth, a multitude of altars and paintings, the smell of wood, shine of gold, black and white, light and shadows – everything looks fabulous. It is one of the most beautiful Gdańsk interiors. Near the entrance, in the southern nave there is a baptismal chapel with a baptismal font from 1732 r., sponsored by an Italian painter and gallery owner, Brunatti. On both sides of the baptismal font there are two sad and pensive statues (późnogotyckie figury NMP i św. John the Evangelist by Master Paweł), and the whole thing is creamy golden gray. Opposite the chapel, at the height of the second pillar, there is a painting by Andrzej Stech in the altar. Vision of St.. Rose of Lima with 1671 r. The altar with the Lamentation group at the last pillar of the southern aisle is very interesting: contrast of dark backgrounds and bright figures with expressive faces – especially Jesus and Mary – it corresponds to the opposition of life and death. The painting at the end of the south aisle commemorates the dedication of the Church of St.. Nicholas to the Dominicans. The nave closes with the chapel of St.. Joseph, which together with the sacristy is the oldest part of the church. Fragments of Gothic paintings have been preserved on its northern wall.

The dominant element in the chancel is a large 5-storey main altar from the years 40. XVIII w. in the style of the late Dutch Renaissance (Gdańsk workshop), bombarding eyes with gilding. Although it was built of oak, ash tree, linden and larch, appears to be metallic. The painting by August Ranisch of 1647 r., depicting the restitution of St.. Nicholas. On the side of the altar, on the consoles there are figures of St.. Wojciech (with oar) and St.. Stanislaus. St.. Casimir and St.. Jacket (with a statue of Madonna and Child), a they name – Prince Kazimierz in the crown and Bl. Czeslaw. The oval images represent Mater Misericordiae and the Wrath of God.

The right and left sides of the presbytery are occupied by stalls from the 16th century. (expanded in the 18th century) with gothic seats. St.. Jacket, Maria and 20 scenes from the life of Christ. On the left wall there are remnants of frescoes from 1430 r. with the passion of Jesus. Jesus crucified on a rood beam with 1520 r. it is the work of Master Paul. The main nave is decorated with a magnificent candlestick made of bronze – the work of Gert Benningek z 1617 r. – hanging in the center like a great crown, with a statue of the Virgin Mary inside, with 15 candles, the number of which corresponds to the number of the mysteries of the rosary. The richly decorated 18th-century pulpit made of beech and oak wood has retained its original colors, just like the green-gold-silver baroque organ cabinet from 1755 r. Have to admit, that the colors of the furnishings in the church of St.. Nicholas have their intensity and depth. Organ music sounds festive and moving, which you can listen to on weekdays during organists' rehearsals.

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