One of the key attractions in beautiful Gdańsk in Poland is St Mary’s Church (also known as St Mary’s Basilica). The beautiful building looms over the city, and is pretty easy to spot as it happens to be the largest brick church in the world. During mine and my friend Jo’s weekend break in Gdańsk, we wanted to make sure we ticked off a visit to St Mary’s Church. After a tasty brunch, we headed towards the church to experience some of the best views over the Polish city of Gdańsk.
Visiting St Mary’s Church, Gdańsk
A predominant feature of Gdańsk’s Old Town, has a huge tower that reached 78 metres high. As a result, it offers some of the most incredible views over the beautiful city and its stunning architecture. Construction began on St Mary’s Church back in 1343, with its final architecture being completed back in 1502. Inside, it really is huge and makes you feel tiny!
Daylight streams in from 37 huge, beautiful windows, and when you look up there’s a gorgeous Gothic vault. It means St Mary’s Church feels super airy and spacious. As you walk around, you’ll discover so many details and nuances, including the astronomical clock which dates back to the fifteenth century. Rumour has it that the creator of the clock had his eyes gouged out so that he’d never make a more beautiful clock. Additional details include over three hundred tombstones on the church floor, and over thirty chapels for prayer. Most recently, a memorial shrine for the recently murdered Gdańsk mayor, Paweł Adamowicz, has been added.
St Mary’s Church has capacity for up to 25,000 people. This certainly came in handy during the era of martial law between 1981 and 1983. During this time, members of the Solidarity movement came to St Mary’s Church to seek refuge. The church underwent some serious damage during WWII, following which it was whitewashed. This helps to emphasise the beautiful features within. Once we’d finished having a good look around, we went to climb the iconic tower of the church.
Views over Gdańsk, Poland
It was time for us to climb the impressive 405 steps to the viewing platform of St Mary’s Church, Gdańsk. From the top, you get amazing views over Gdańsk and its incredible architecture. We climbed the 78 metre tower and were super impressed with the amazing views from the top.
The candy coloured buildings of Gdańsk look even more impressive from above. It’s such a beautiful city and it almost looks like a toy town from a birdseye view. We could even see as far across as the nearby seaside town of Sopot.
St Mary’s Church, Gdańsk has recently undergone a 3.3 million Euro renovation, which includes the tower itself. In fact, the reconstruction is still ongoing, meaning some areas of the church are currently unavailable to tourists.
The church is beautiful and the views from the tower even more so! It’s well worth a visit and certainly one of the best things to do in Gdańsk.
That’s my guide to exploring St Mary’s Church, Gdańsk! Have you climbed the famous tower? What are your tips for exploring the Polish city?