The Cathedral Basilica of St. Florian

St. Florian

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel and St Florian the Martyr, usually simply called the Cathedral of St. Florian by residents, was built in 1886-1901. 

The new-gothic edifice was designed buy Józef Pius Dziekoński. It was erected on the Square of the Veterans of 1863, which was called the Alexandrian Square at the time, after Tsar Alexander II.

The site was gifted by the city, while the Tsar permitted that funds for the church be raised throughout the country due to the poverty of the residents of Praga, with the exception of a few places and the condition that the funds raised not exceed 200,000 roubles.  During construction funds for further work ran out, so it was necessary to turn to the Tsarist authorities with a request for further funds.

The Archbishop of Warsaw, Wincenty Popiel, stood at the head of the construction committee.  The two-spired cathedral which towers over Praga has become a staple of the district’s panorama.  Each of the spire is 75 metres tall.  They were reduced to two-thirds of their previous height, since as a result of the blowing up of the Kierbedz bridge by retreating Russian troops in 1915, and then the explosion of the ammunition in the citadel in 1923, they began to fracture and threatened disaster.  The cathedral was consecrated on the 29th of September 1901.

In 1939 the Church was damaged, but it proved possible to repair the damage.  It was destroyed by the Germans in 1944, after they laid explosives twice.  All that remained was part of the side walls with figures of St. Michael the Archangel and St. Florian the Martyr.  After the war construction work was initiated and continued until 1970.  Stanislaw Marzyński, who was in charge of the project, slightly modified Dziekoński’s concept.

It is worth paying attention to the Praga Coat of Arms which can be found on the frontage, in the form of a mosaic.  It displays an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary with child above the chapel at Loreto, supported by three angels.  Ogończyk, the family coat of arms of the Działyńskis, as well as the episcopal insignia, the mitre and crosier, can be found near the chapel.  The two crossed keys and sword represent the cornerstone.

In 2005, a statue of Father Ignacy Skorupka by Andrzej Renes was unveiled in front of the Cathedral.


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pl. Weteranów 1863 r.