Parish church of St Bartholomew, currently an auxiliary church, Kraków
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Parish church of St Bartholomew, currently an auxiliary church



The church of St Bartholomew belongs to the most valuable wooden sacred buildings from the Gothic and late-Baroque period in Poland. The founders and constructors of these buildings are usually anonymous. The church in Mogiła is an exception, as the name of the builder has been commemorated on the church's portal. The lavishly decorated portal is an excellent piece of carving art, probably the only work of such type in the country. Its historic value is increased by relief sculpture decorations of architectural details, very rare in wooden Gothic churches. The church is a three-nave building and is currently the only preserved wooden church in Poland of Gothic origin with such an interior layout. At the same time, in its late-Gothic part, is the second oldest precisely and reliably dated wooden church from that time (the oldest one is the church in Zborówek, Świętokrzyskie voivodeship, from 1459).


The church was built in 1466 at the initiative of the abbot of the nearby Cistercian monastery, Piotr Hirszberg from Biecz, with carpenter and woodcarver Maciej Mączka acting as the constructor. The church was partly destroyed in 1587 by soldiers of the pretender to the throne of Poland, archduke Maximilian, but it was soon rebuilt from the funds of the abbot of the Cisterian monastery, Wawrzyniec Goślicki. In 1740, the church was rebuilt in the Baroque style and was provided with a cross layout. A pair of chapels were added to the body, among other things, the sacristy was extended, and the chancel and the nave were covered with ceilings with crown mouldings. In 1766, the church's interior was decorated with monumental painted decorations comprised of architectural and figural motifs, with ideological message associated with the history of the church and the abbey of Mogiła. Another full-scale renovation of the church was carried out in 1839. The new porches were created then, among other things, and on the roof ridge, a steeple turret was installed. In 1867, beams of the log structure of the walls were covered with wood shingles which in approx. 1900 were replaced with weatherboards, and in 1905 - painted decorations were renovated. In the years 1965-1968, renovation and conservation works were carried out in the church, among other things on painted decorations, altarpieces, wooden details, and portal made by Mączka. Full-scale conservation works in years 1992-1994 included architecture of the church and interior décor and fittings. The conservation of the invaluable building was financed in most part by the Social Committee for the Restoration of Cracow Monuments. Until 1851, the church was a parish church.


The church is located in the Nowa Huta District in Cracow, in the former village of Mogiła, opposite the Cisterian abbey monastery complex. The wooden church was built using wooden logs. The body of the church is comprised of a three-nave body and a narrower chancel terminating in a semi-hexagon, next to which there is a two-storey sacristy. The main nave and the chancel are covered by a one-ridge wood shingle roof, with a steeple turret on the ridge. The chapels added to the body create a transverse nave. The naves are separated by pointed-arch arcades. The most valuable artefact in the church's interior is the Gothic, oak, pointed-arch, lavishly decorated portal made by Maciej Mączka in 1466. It is adorned by relief foliage ornaments, two shields with the Odrowąż coat of arms, and a lower-case inscription: „[Sub]Anno Domini Mccc Lxvi: ad hon[orem Dei et] Regine coelorum Mathias Manczka f[ecit ?]” ("in the year 1466, to the glory of God and the Queen of Heaven, Maciej Mączka built this church"). The Rococo painting decoration of roofs and walls was made in approx. 1766 by an unknown painter, and it presents, among other things, medallions with portraits of popes, saints, scholars and bishops of Cracow, Iwo Odrowąż, Prandota, and Zbigniew Oleśnicki. The biggest scene shows the Adoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary by St Bernard of Clairvaux. The church fittings originate mainly from the 2nd half of the 18th century. The main altar with trompe l'œil painting from 1770 contains an image of St Bartholomew, and the Baroque and Rococo side altars contain, among other things, paintings of St Anne and St Isidore (in Polish costume). The wooden ambo is Rococo in style, and the stone baptismal font reminiscent of the Gothic times comes from the 16th or the 17th century. The area of the former church cemetery is circumscribed by a contemporary wooden fencing, within which there is an impressive gate-house belfry from 1752, built on a post-and-frame structure and topped with a cupola.

The historic monument is accessible. It may be visited upon prior telephone appointment with the parish. The church is located on the Wooden Architecture Route of Małopolska. Access in the summer period is also possible as part of the tour of selected monuments on the route.

compiled by Tadeusz Śledzikowski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Krakow, 10-10-2014.


  • Architektura gotycka w Polsce, red. T. Mroczko, M. Arszyński, t. 2, Katalog zabytków, red. A. Włodarek, Warszawa 1995, s. 160.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, t. 1: Województwo krakowskie, oprac. Szablowski J, Warszawa 1953, s. 160.
  • Brykowski R., Kornecki M., Kościoły drewniane w Małopolsce południowej, Wrocław 1984, s. 77.
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  • Kościoły w Małopolsce XV wieku (Mogiła, Olbierzowice, Zborówek), oprac. i red. Brykowski R., Wrocław 1983, s. 13-25.
  • Krasnowolski B, Leksykon zabytków architektury Małopolski, Warszawa 2013, s. 166.
  • M. Kornecki, Drewniany kościół św. Bartłomieja w Mogile. Uwagi i refleksje w świetle badań i konserwacji, „Wiadomości Konserwatorskie Województwa Krakowskiego”, nr 4, 1996, s. 10.
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  • M. Rożek M., Gondkowa B., Leksykon kościołów Krakowa, Kraków 2003, s. 81.
  • Śledzikowski T., Drewniane kościoły, kaplice i dzwonnice w Krakowie, „Rocznik Krakowski”, t. LXXIII, Kraków 2007, s. 83-87.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1466 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Klasztorna 8, Kraków
  • Location: Voivodeship małopolskie, district Kraków, commune Kraków
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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