Archcathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist

Archcathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist

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Considered on of the most distinguished churches in Warsaw, this structure was originally built in the thirteenth century and was the site of royal coronations and other national celebrations.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.0
354 reviews
Excellent
110
Very good
171
Average
68
Poor
5
Terrible
0

CAPerth
Perth227 contributions
Jul 2019
This cathedral is fairly average by European standards but the highlight for us was the organ recital (which attracts a small entry fee). Apart from the haunting tones of the actual recital, afterwards you can go up to the organ and talk to the organist who will demonstrate how it works. Also a good view over the interior of the cathedral from up there.
Written June 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

PavlaPavla
Chrudim, Czech Republic6,082 contributions
Jul 2022
This cathedral was built in the 14th century, but was completely destroyed during World War II. The building that stands here today is a copy of the original structure (like the entire "old" center of Warsaw). The interior was beautiful and I especially liked the stained glass windows.

When you go around the cathedral from the outside, on the left side of the entrance you will find a tank belt in the wall. It is a part of a tank that broke through the wall of the cathedral during the war in 1944.
Written July 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

3gunner
Stockholm, Sweden109 contributions
Oct 2019 • Family
It is easy to miss, but pay the small entry fee for the crypt. It is much larger thsn I expected and quite interesting.

I am not a church person, but this was a much better thsn expected experience. Recommended!

Written October 28, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Bozeman-Dublin
Trim, Ireland8,584 contributions
Aug 2019 • Solo
Stunning church in the heart of the old town. Very serene and tranquil inside with a succession of beautiful gold gilted side altars and an ornate main altar.
Huge high walls and ceilings, lavishly intricate and completely free to visit.
They have done a magnificent job of restoration since the war to a cathedral that has hosted 4 royal weddings, coronation and the visit of two popes.
Check out the back wall outside where they have inset the treads if a captured tank into a niche to celebrate the liberation of the city during WW2.
Written August 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Glissan_9
Warsaw, Poland96 contributions
Mar 2016 • Couples
Originally built in the 14th century in Masovian Gothic style, the Cathedral served as a coronation and burial site for numerous Dukes of Masovia. The Cathedral is right at the heart of The Old Town, Warsaw

The Archcathedral was connected with the Royal Castle (Zamek Królewski w Warszawie) by an elevated 80-meter-long corridor that had been built by Queen Anna Jagiellonka in the late 16th century and extended in the 1620s after Michał Piekarski's failed 1620 attempt to assassinate King of Poland Sigismund III in front of the Cathedral.

After the resolution of the Constitution of May 3, 1791, at the end of the session at the Royal Castle, King Stanisław August Poniatowski went to the Cathedral of St. John to repeat the Oath of the Constitution in front of the Altar, in the face of God. Also the Marshals of the Great Sejm were carried to the Archcathedral on the shoulders of the enthusiastic deputies of the Sejm.

The church was rebuilt several times, most notably in the 19th century, it was preserved until World War II as an example of English Gothic Revival.

In 1944, during the Warsaw Uprising (August–October 1944), the Cathedral was a place of struggle between insurgents and advancing German army. The Germans managed to induct a tank loaded with explosives into the Cathedral, a huge explosion destroyed large part of the building. After the collapse of the Uprising, German Vernichtungskommando (Destruction Detachment) drilled holes into the walls for explosives and blew up the Cathedral destroying 90% of its walls.

The cathedral was rebuilt after the war. The exterior reconstruction is based on the 14th-century church's presumed appearance (according to an early-17th-century Hogenberg illustration and a 1627 Abraham Boot drawing), not on its prewar appearance.
Written March 24, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jarko2015
Amsterdam, The Netherlands1,748 contributions
May 2017 • Solo
This rather ugly, plain, brick built church doesn't look like much from the outside, but inside there is some stunning stained glass and very interesting decor to see. There's also a crypt, but there's a cost for visiting, whereas the rest of the church is free.
Written May 10, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

bfindysz
Jerusalem District, Israel655 contributions
Sep 2019 • Solo
Almost completely leveled during WWII all that survived was the underground crypt with its graves of historical figures. The English gothic building was rebuilt faithfully. It is a work of art and love.
Written September 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TassieTravellers99
Launceston, Australia3,080 contributions
Apr 2019 • Couples
Located next to the Castle Square is this grand basilica. The cellars were some of the only remains of the original church. This church had been directly in the firing line during WWII and got heavily bombed. The cellars dated back to the 14th Century and contained many tombs which were almost as old. It was incredible to think that some of the wood and stone down here was over 500 years old.
There were several archbishops buried here. Poland's first president was also buried here. After emerging from the crypt we were facing several of the stunning tall stained glass windows. It was a nice church but did not have the reverence of some of our favourites. There was also a unique life-like sculpture of a tree trunk and its roots with the top half carved into a cross. Worth a look.
Written May 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

John H
London, UK624 contributions
Oct 2018 • Couples
The Cathedral of St. John is a must-see on a trip to Warsaw. It dates to the 15th century but was only a parish church until 1798 when it became the city's Cathedral. Many noble & distinguished Poles are buried here including Gabriel Narutowicz who was the first President of the Polish Republic. The interior is light & airy but may not have always looked this way as the Cathedral had to be reconstructed following severe damage caused by the Germans during WWII. Of particular note are the choir stalls which depict the Polish victory at the Battle of Vienna in 1683. The exterior features a tall 'stepped' front which is so high that it is quite difficult to photograph because the Cathedral is closely surrounded by many other buildings.
Written October 14, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jon M
Little Rock, AR6,693 contributions
Sep 2018 • Solo
Unlike any church I’ve visited St Johns has a very unique ceiling design with each arch trimmed in wood (or what appears to be wood). It also has some of the best stained glass windows of any church I visited in Warsaw. From the outside it is very unassuming as the brick overwhelms you. I would imagine destruction and damage during the war led to a rebuilding different than the original but that’s just my opinion
Written September 24, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Archcathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist, Warsaw

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