Poznań Collegiate Church (Parish Church) - Church of St. Stanislaus the Bishop and the Martyr


(Parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and St. Mary Magdalene)

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Poznań Collegiate Church, one of the most impressive Baroque  sacral edifices in Poland, was built in the years 1651-1701 (and completed around 1750) by eminent architects (Tomasz Poncino, Jan Catenazzi and Reverend Bartłomiej Nataniel), painters and stucco-workers (Karol Dankwart, Szymon Czechowicz, Alberto Bianco and Jan Weydlich. The present painting decoration is the work of Stanisław Wróblewski from the years 1948-49. Since 1978 it has been the Collegiate church and the main temple of St. Mary Magdalene's Parish; it also functioned as procathedral in the years 1945-46 when the cathedral on the island of Ostrów Tumski was closed for renovation.

It is a Baroque edifice (with an imposing façade and Late Baroque portals from around 1750) featuring the nave with the transept flanked by two aisles surmounted by inner galleries, covered with a barrel vault with lunettes and lavishly decorated. The aisles are separated from the nave by arched arcades supported by huge columns made from artificial marble. Worthy of notice is the trompe-l'œil dome in the crossing depicting St. Stanislaus the Bishop being welcomed to heaven.

A huge altarpiece in the presbytery designed by Pompeo Ferrari in the years 1727-32 with the painting St. Stanislaus Resurrecting Piotrowin, the work of Szymon Czechowicz from 1756, flanked by the figures of St. Stanislaus the Bishop and St. Stanislaus Kostka. A pulpit from 1964 and a Rococo baptismal font from the mid-eighteenth century in the transept. The presbytery is flanked by two chapels from 1743; on the left the Chapel of the Holy Cross with the Late Gothic crucifix from the first half of the 16th c. and the painting of Christ as the Man of Sorrows from the early 17th c.; to the right the Chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Help featuring the miraculous painting of Our Lady (from 1952) crowned with papal crowns in 1961. Next to it is the Chapel of Perpetual Adoration built in 1937 and on the opposite side near the entrance to the sacristy a Late Gothic stoup from the 16th c.

Two large altarpieces from 1735 in the transept. In the altarpiece on the left the paintings St. Ignatius at Loyola Castle (mid-18th c.), St. Valentine Among the Sick (17th/18th c.) and Heavenly Mother with the Infant (19th c.). In the altar on the right the paintings St. Stanislaus Kostka's Communion from 1756 (a work by Szymon Czechowicz) and St. Barbara from 1748 (a work by Wacław Graff).

The groin vault aisles are split into chapels with altarpieces designed in the first half of the 18th c. by Franciszek Koźmiński and decorated by Jan Weydlich. Worthy of notion is the late Gothic sculpture of Christ as the Man of Sorrows from around 1430 in the Chapel of Japanese Martyrs in the east aisle and the painting of Heavenly Mother with the Infant (17th/18th c.) in a silver dress and a gilded crown in the Chapel of St. Francis Borgia in the west aisle. Several richly decorated galleries above the aisles. The loft above the nave features a remarkably valuable pipe organ made by the famous German organ builder Friedrich Ladegast of Weissenfels in Saxony. Below the organ loft two plaques of Poznań Jesuits: commemorating Rev. Józef Rogaliński (1728-1802, mathematician, physicist and astronomer) mounted in 1902 and Rev. Jakub Wujek (1541-1597), the author of the first translation of the Bible into the Polish language (mounted in 1996).

Spacious barrel vault crypts under the church where monks, benefactors and parishioners (in the years 1798-1910) were buried. Excavations carried out in the 1990 revealed a fragment of medieval walls.

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