Church of Corpus Christi


The church was built on the site where hosts, stolen and profaned in 1399, were found. The event, known under the name of the miracle of Corpus Christi since 1403, was commemorated by the building of a wooden chapel (probably in 1399). King Władysław Jagiełło funded a church and a monastery for the discalced Carmelites. The construction was completed at the turn of the 15th and 16th c. The building was in the form of a hall church. A chapel was added to the north wall in 1570, rebuilt by Pompeo Ferrari in 1726 (the Chapel of St. Mary of the Scapular). Destroyed in the Swedish Deluge, it was reconstructed in 1664 and the vault over the nave and the gables received some Baroque modifications. The tower and the sacristy were added at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries. After the dissolution of the order in 1823 the church fell into disrepair but survived thanks to the restoration in 1856 carried out by the Reformati who owned it for a short period of time (1855-75). It has been a parish church since 1899.

It is a church in a mixture of Gothic and Baroque styles with a nave flanked by two aisles and a square tower at the end of the north aisle. The entrance to the church is through the Gothic portals lined with glazed bricks. Pointed arch stained glass windows with Biblical scenes and figures of saints. Groin vaulting in the presbytery, barrel vaulting with lunettes over the nave (decorated with Baroque murals from the second half of the 17th c.), stellar vaulting from the 15th c. over the aisles.

High altar from around 1740; painting of the Last Supper in the central panel, figure of God the Father at the top, sculptures of Aaron, Moses, St. Telesphorus and St. Gregory the Great at the sides. Portraits of Władysław Jagiełło and his wife Jadwiga (from around 1665) on the side walls of the presbytery. Four coffin portraits and 15 coat of arms of Wielkopolskan noble families from the 17th c. at the end of the presbytery.

Adjoining the presbytery is the Chapel of St. Mary of the Scapular, rebuilt in around 1726 with Late Baroque polychrome decoration uncovered in 1958. Three Late Baroque altarpieces in the chapel: painting of St. Mary of the Scapular in silver dresses from the 18th c. in the main altar from 1726, painting of St. Therese de Lisieux in the left altar (from 1725) and in the right altar from around 1746 an eighteenth-century painting Vision of St. Andrew Corsini (considered patron saint of Poznań by the order). Organ loft with a baluster and openwork lattice.

An eclectic pulpit from 1950 at the crossing of the nave and the presbytery. Once there was a water well in the centre of the nave where, according to tradition, profaned communion wafers were thrown. Under the Neo-Baroque table top of the altar there is an eighteenth-century sculpture that depicts the Jews throwing the hosts into the water well. The nave is closed by a Baroque organ loft from the years 1656-64 embellished with the image of Mother of God and eight saint Carmelite nuns.

The Chapel of the Holy Cross from the half of the 18th c. with a sculpture depicting the Crucifixion of Jesus in the ground floor of the tower (at the end of the north aisle).

Three altars in the aisles featuring paintings of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and St. Stanislaus Kostka, Pilgrim at the Feet of Christ (by Piotr Stachowicz), St. Therese de Lisieux and Vision of St. Anthony of Padua. Ornate confessionals from the years 1730-40 decorated with rich carving. Worthy of notice is the Gothic keystone from the 15th c. decorated with the coat of arms of the Angevin dynasty (discovered in 2001) and three plaques showing water level during the great floods of 1698, 1736 and 1888.

The Gothic monstrance from around 1400 kept in the vault is one of the most precious Polish goldsmith artefacts. A gift from King Jagiełło, it is decorated with the coat of arms of the Crown (the Eagle) and Lithuania (Pahonia) and for centuries contained the three miraculous hosts. It is considered the oldest sacral vessel in Poland.

Adjoining the Chapel of St. Mary of the Scapular on the outside is an arcaded loggia featuring a collection of tombstones. Standing on the north side of the church on a high pedestal is a Late Baroque sculpture of the prophet Elijah wielding a blazing sword (2nd half of the 18th c.) and a Baroque gate from the early 18th c., designed by Jan Catenazzi and called the Blue Gate. The square buildings of the monastery adjoin the northwest side of the church.

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