A Fragment of Rome on Kawęczyńska


In Szmulowizna, or more precisely in Michałów, by the main Street, at no. 53, one can find a sacred building styled on the architecture of the Roman basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, though having characteristics typical of modernism and a classical façade. 

Its construction is related to two important and well-known historical figures of Praga North, Michał Piotr Radziwiłł and his wife, Maria Ewa.  The edifice was built from 1907 to 1923 according to a design of Łukasz Wolski.  The beginning of construction work on the new church coincided with the time when a decree of the Tsar allowed, among other things, the creation of new parishes.

The initiator or the building of the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was Maria Radziwiłłowa, an aristocrat and philanthropist. She received a blessing from Pope Pius X.  The founder of the church was her husband, Prince Michał Piotr Radziwiłł.

The monumental granite columns used in the construction were constructed for the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome.  They turned be too short, so Princess Maria bought them with the intention of placing them in the church on Kawęczyńska.  The long construction time was made necessary by the outbreak of the First World War.

Maria Radziwiłłowa, who was a founder of schools and shelters for impoverished youth, wished that the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus be used in the formation of children and the youth.  The Salesian order were to perform this duty.  This could only be realised after the death of the princess, who died as a result of being hit by a cyclist.  The Oratory, focusing on pastoral and formation work with children and youth, has existed adjacent to the Basilica since 1931.

In front of the church there are statues of St. John Bosco, (1986) the founder of the Salesian order, and of Saints Peter and Paul (2009-2010.)


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ul. Kawęczyńska 53