Saint Mary Magdalene Church, Warszawa
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Saint Mary Magdalene Church



Saint Mary Magdalene Church in Wawrzyszew district is one of the oldest temples within the borders of Warsaw as of now. After numerous alterations, it took on a Baroque form with Gothic and Classicist parts. Having survived the damages of World War II, it bears witness to the multi-century history of this part of the capital city.


Wawrzyszew, a residential area in the Bielany district, was a village until 1951. In 1408 it was subject to jurisdiction of the Warsaw Vogt by the Duke of Mazovia. The founding act of the parish was signed by Bishop of Poznań, Benedykt Izdbieński on 20 August 1542; however, it is possible that the parish existed already in the 15th century. The Church of St Mary Magdalene was built around 1542 owing to funds of the owner of the village - Baltazar Smosarski (Szymachowski), a court medic of the Dukes of Mazovia and the king Sigismund I. The Gothic chancel with an apse dates back to that period. A Baroque nave was built in the 18th century. A porch was added in 1830 and a new sacristy in 1870. The church underwent numerous renovations, among others, in the years: 1844-1873, 1936-1943, 1959-1962 and 2002. In the mid- 20th century a Gothic steeple was replaced with a Baroque one and the apse regained its initial appearance. In 1826, by initiative of Rev. Dionizy Tarnowski, a rectory and a stone wall surrounding the church area were erected, and in 1827 - a belfry connected to the wall. In 1882 a burial chapel was built. A parish house dates back to 1973. In 1996 a much larger Church of Mary Mother of Trust, located opposite the front façade of the old temple, was consecrated.


The church is located on the northern side of Wólczyńska Street - a former route between Warsaw and Truskaw, next to Horace and Petöfi Streets. The temple is located on a rectangular, wooded plot surrounded by a brick, plastered wall, with a gate in the north, a wicket gate in the east and a belfry in the south. In the north-western corner of the area there is a burial chapel and in the south-eastern corner - a rectory.

The church building is made of brick, plastered, single-nave and oriented. A slightly taller nave, on a plan approximating that of a square, preceded by a small Classicist porch abuts on the Gothic part of the church - a rectangular chancel terminating in an apse in the east. The southern wall of the chancel is adjoined by a rectangular sacristy. Particular parts of the church are covered with gable roofs topped with roof tiles; the apse is covered by a semi-conical roof. The front façade is preceded by a low, rusticated porch partitioned by a string course, discontinued over the entrance portal located along the axis. The plain wall above is adorned with a semi-circular profiled surround with a key. The front wall of the porch is crowned with a gable discontinued at the bottom with a semi-circular window. It is adorned with motifs distinctive for the Classicist style, such as triglypgh frieze, cornice on corbels and stone acroterions. The western wall of the front façade is crowned with a stepped gable terminating in a triangular pediment discontinued at the bottom, located above the cornice and a small roof. The gable wall is adorned with a window with semicircular arches along the axis, accentuated on the sides by rectangular panels and an oculus located above. Buttresses that highlight corners of the corpus and chancel, as well as an axis of the apse, remind us about the Gothic origins of the church. Simple façades are adorned with a crowning cornice and windows with semi-circular arches, located in deep, segment-headed panels. The nave and chancel have barrel vaults, while the sacristy and porch have beamed ceilings. It is worth paying attention to the main altar and two side altars in the interior. Both date back to the 18th century and represent Our Lady of the Rosary and St John of Nepomuk. Inside, there is also a baptismal font made of sandstone, coming from the 16th century. The walls include epitaphs from the 19th century and a foundation plaque with a coat of arms of the founder.

The monument can be viewed from the outside; the interior only occasionally.

Compiled by Małgorzata Laskowska-Adamowicz, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Warsaw, opr. Małgorzata Laskowska-Adamowicz, OT NID w Warszawie, 29-10-2014.


  • Kunkel R. M., Architektura gotycka na Mazowszu, Warszawa 2006, s. 351-352
  • Żabicki J., Leksykon zabytków architektury Mazowsza i Podlasia, Warszawa 2010, s. 255.
  • Bielany. Przewodnik historyczno-sentymentalny, współaut. Jarosław Zieliński, Warszawa-Bielany 2003, s.138-139,193-194.
  • Karta Ewidencyjna, Kościół rzym.-kat. Par. pw. św. Marii Magdaleny, oprac. Wanda Zawistowska - Śleboda, Warszawa 2003, Archiwum NID.
  • - dostęp 27-10-2014 r.
  • - dostęp 27-10-2014 r.
  • - dostęp 29-10-2014 r.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1542 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Wólczyńska 64, Warszawa
  • Location: Voivodeship mazowieckie, district Warszawa, commune Warszawa
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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