St. Francis Basilica: My Favorite Church to Visit

Even if you are going through Europe and have had your fill of European churches, because I know I have, St. Francis is a breath of fresh air.  Its vibrantly colored walls cannot be done justice by my camera, and so I invite you to go see it for yourself.  And if you are a Pope John Paul II fan, then it is a must go; you can even sit in the pew he used to pray in.


We’ve talked a lot about St. Francis Basilica but havent covered the controversy of it much- what are your thoughts? Was the church painted to funky? Did using a homeless person as a model offend God? #krakow #travel #tourguide

♬ Take Me To Church – Hozier

Rick Steves writes of the church, “This beautiful Gothic church, which was Pope John Paul II’s home church while he was archbishop of Krakow, features some of Poland’s best Art Nouveau in situ (in the setting for which it was intended)…it was redecorated by the two leading members of the Młoda Polska (Young Poland) movement…”


The church is free to enter- and I don’t want to give away everything I usually tell on my Free Walking Tours- but make sure if you visit that you look for the funky and psychedelic floral patterns, peacock feathers, hearts etc… painted by Józef Mehoffer and Stanisław Wyspiański; as well as Wyspiański’s stained glass window “God in the Act of Creation”.

There is also a portrait of a monk, Maximilian Kolbe, now a saint, who famously sacrificed his own life to save another prisoner at Auschwitz from death.


The father that Kolbe replaced, went on to live another fifty years after the war. Kolbe, however, was sentenced to death by starvation- which didnt initially kill him. So, after everyone else in the group that had been sentenced, perished, they performed a lethal injection on the monk. #krakow #travel #tourguide

♬ Church – Charlier, Nicolas & Perrio, Marc Antoine & Petrina, Gael

_MG_1021 _MG_1019 _MG_1017 _MG_1015The official address is pl. Wszystkich Świętych 5, or just off the planty down Franciszkańska Street.

And as always, if you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at or if you want to stay with us, find us on Airbnb, here and here.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. says:

    Responding to your test….

    Sent from my iPad


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