May 25, 2011

0 Krakow: The Church of Saints Peter and Paul and the Franciscan Church

The Church of Ss. Peter and Paul, a baroque Jesuit church built between the 16th and 17th centuries.

The twelve apostles line the steps to the church.  These are copies of the originals.

This is actually St. Andrew's Church, next to Ss. Peter and Paul.  I guess those apostles like to hang out.

The altar at Ss. Peter and Paul.  Again, no flash, so you'll have to forgive my bits of blurry and just enjoy the beauty.

The amazing ceiling of the rotunda.

The ceiling of one of the side chapels.  

The organ pipes over the main entrance. 

An altar in a side chapel.

Most of the churches around Krakow had these tiny models outside of them. 

A pamphlet we got at the tourist office (one of the few in English!) and several websites' "top things to see in Krakow" suggested seeing the Franciscan church for it's magnificent stained glass, known as the "Windows of Awe."

Created by a local artist Stanislaw Wyspianski, these windows are world renowned.

Even the painting on the walls depicts beautiful flowers. The dim lighting in the church and my camera can't do justice to the vibrant colors- however, this is why flash is prohibited.  As much as we'd each like the perfect shot to remember the beauty we've seen, if every tourist for the last hundred years and every tourist for the next hundred used flash we'd damage and soon destroy these delicate pieces of art.  I've mentioned it before, but please be careful to turn off your flash when photographing paintings, textiles, wood, and other porous and treated surfaces at sites.  Sometimes even those of us who see the world through a permanent viewfinder have to step back and use just our memories.

This picture is embarrassingly out of focus (I know, I'll stop apologizing!), as it was taken behind a door with nearly no light and no nearby surface to rest my camera, but I had to show the dandelions painted on the walls!!  One man's weed is another man's wildflower!

Side windows.  Not as glorious as the altar windows or God the Father, but still beautiful.

The front of the church.

Every surface was covered in color- rich, feast-your-senses color.

The masterpiece, God the Father.  This window is over the main entrance, and I was lucky enough to have gone at a time of day when the sun was directly behind it.  Absolutely breathtaking.

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