St Anthony of Padua's Church - The Franciscans

It rises on the slope of Przemysł Hill, west of the Old Market Square. Conventual Franciscans (in black habits) came to Poznań in the first half of the 17th century. In 1646 they built a wooden church and monastery near Grobla (in the spot occupied today by the All Saints Church), and when those burnt down ten years later, they took over the St Roch Church in Miasteczko. In 1668 they were granted permission to settle inside the city walls.

The construction of a church was begun in 1674. Being located in close proximity to the city walls, it suffered severe damage in 1704 during the siege of the city. The church was eventually completed in 1757. The adjacent monastery was erected at the turn of the 18th century. After the monastery was closed in 1832, the Prussian authorities ceded it to the German Catholics. Due to the lowering of the street, in 1875 a flight of stairs was built leading to the church. Between 1899-1911 the south and east wings of the monastery were demolished. In 1921 the Franciscans returned to their former seat. In 1945 part of the church's vaulting collapsed, destroying some of its interior.
The three - nave Baroque church has two spacious chapels, one at the end of each side nave. The chancel and the main nave are covered with barrel vaulting with lunettes, the side naves with cross vaulting. The chapels are topped with cupolas with lanterns. The interior is richly decorated with stuccos. The polychromy was made in the years 1702-1735 by the Franciscan friar Adam Swach. The paintings in the chancel and in the main nave depict scenes from the life of St Francis. The high altar and the sculpted choir stalls were made by Adam Swach's brother, Antoni, around 1700. The brothers were also the makers of the black - stained wood altar in Virgin Mary Chapel (on the left side of the nave). In the altar there is a small painting Miraculous Holy Mother - Lady of Poznań - from mid-17th century. There are statues of Jesus and the 12 apostles underneath the cupola. Across the nave, in St Francis Chapel, there are statues of Franciscan saints. The church has several 18th century wall epitaphs with portraits of the dead. Of the old monastery only the north wind along Franciszkańska Street has been preserved. Close to the west wall of the church is a monument of the 15th Poznań Uhlan Regiment.

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