Church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary and St Joseph in Krosno, along with galleries and the house of secular priests, Krosno
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary and St Joseph in Krosno, along with galleries and the house of secular priests



One of eight Baroque pilgrimage sites which were created in the period of Counter-Reformation in the territory of Warmia in order to emphasise its Catholic character as opposed to neighbouring Evangelical region of Mazury.


Krosno remained a pilgrimage destination from the 15th century. In 1593, in place of an earlier chapel, a new, timber-framed chapel was constructed, which has survived until the time of construction of the new, Baroque complex. The newly-created site in Krosno consisted of a church, cloisters and the house of secular priests. The design of the church was most probably drawn up in Warsaw in 1697 or in the early 18th century. Its author remains unknown. It is attributed to Józef Szymon Bellotti or Józef Piola. The church was erected in 1715-1720 as the first of a number of structures of which the complex consisted. On 18 September 1715, the bishop of Warmia Teodor Potocki consecrated the cornerstone. Krzysztof Reimers from Westphalia was the architect responsible for the design of the complex. In 1719, the crypt, the presbytery and parts of the nave received vaulted ceilings. The northern tower was also built during that time. In 1720, the rest of the interior received a vaulted ceiling; the southern tower was also built, after which both towers were topped with domed roofs. The church was consecrated on 8 October 1720. In the same year, the construction of the house of the association of the secular priests of Warmia commenced to the north of the church. The construction of the house ended in 1727. In 1726, the construction of the cloisters around the church commenced. Before the end of the year, the eastern, northern and southern wings were erected, as were two corner chapels. In 1727 works on the galleries stopped, and in 1733 works on the church were discontinued due to a lack of funds. Works on the church were only resumed in 1751. In 1759, the facade was completed, thus putting an end to the construction process. In 1768-1777, the construction of the cloisters was completed. The first maintenance works were carried out at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1906, the wall base received a marbleised finish. In 1914, the roof of the church burned down; it was reconstructed in the following years. During World War II, the roofs of the church were destroyed. In years 1957-1962, the previously abandoned dormitory for priests was restored. The most recent maintenance works commenced in 2007. The architecture of the Baroque complex in Krosno contains references to the Święta Lipka sanctuary and to the church of the Holy Cross and the church of the Holy Spirit in Warsaw. The lavishly ornamented facade traces its roots to the architecture of Vilnius.


The monastery complex in Krosno is located in the centre of the village. It consists of the church, the cloisters surrounding the temple and the house of secular priests neighbouring with the northern wing of the cloisters. The church in Krosno, oriented towards the east, was erected on a rectangular floor plan with an added chancel in the east and with chapels projecting beyond the outline of the main walls. The dominant feature of the structure is the three-level, three-axis front facade flanked by two towers, with an entrance positioned on the main axis. The walls of the northern and southern facades are partitioned by pilaster strips. The interior of the church follows a single-nave layout and features a vault resting on arches, which flows seamlessly onto the pilasters below. The aisles open towards the main nave through tall arcades. A cornice runs above the arcades, with a row of windows positioned directly above. The presence of pronounced side chapels inside the single-nave, Baroque church interior is reminiscent of the layout of the church of Church of the Gesù in Rome, albeit on a significantly reduced scale. Single-storey cloisters with chapels in the corners surround the church from all four sides, their wide arcades opening towards the courtyard. The cloisters in Krosno are the only structure of this type in Warmia which are not completely regular in shape, as the northern and southern wings expand outwards halfway through their length. This irregularity of construction was forced due to the previously commenced construction of the house for priests, which may suggest that the construction of the cloisters was not originally planned. The cloisters are a part of the complex which is strongly reminiscent of the architecture of the sanctuary in Święta Lipka. The house of secular priests, located in the northern part of the complex, is single-storey, four-bay structure with a three-axis, two-storey avant-corps in the western facade.

Accessible structure. The building may be visited upon prior telephone appointment.

Compiled by Joanna Jakutowicz, Regional Branch in Olsztyn, 20.10.2014.



  • Babicka M., Barokowy kościół pielgrzymkowy w Krośnie na Warmii, „Roczniki Humanistyczne Towarzystwa Naukowego KUL”1967, z.4, p. 67-78.
  • Babicka M., Krużganki w barokowych sanktuariach pielgrzymkowych na Warmii, „Biuletyn Historii Sztuki“, 1966, R.28, no.2, p. 257-260.
  • Guttmejer K., Zespół pielgrzymkowy w Krośnie koło Ornety. Fazy budowy w XVIII wieku oraz zagadnienia inspiracji architektonicznych i autorstwa, „Rocznik olsztyński” 1997, p. 43-66.
  • Jakubowski P., Markowska-Ferreira A., Późnobarokowy kościół pielgrzymkowy w Krośnie na Warmii. Zagadnienia konserwacji malowideł ściennych, „Ochrona zabytków” 2009, no. 3, p. 15- 23.
  • Kolberg A., Das Stift Krossen bis 1714, „Zeitschrift für die Geschichte und Altertumskunde Ermlands”, 1891, p. 585-654.
  • Pokleski J., Koscioły odpustowe na Warmii [w], Sztuka pobrzeża Bałtyku,
  • Triller A., Zur Entstehung und Geschichte der ermländischen Wallfahrtsorten, „Zeitschrift für die Geschichte und Altertumskunde Ermlands”, Osnabrück 1957.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1715-1777
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Krosno
  • Location: Voivodeship warmińsko-mazurskie, district lidzbarski, commune Orneta - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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