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Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Wroclaw
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Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Wroclaw
cathedral
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plac Katedralny 18
Wrocław
Poland

Contributor

St. John the Baptist's cathedral is considered the landmark of the city of Wroclaw, but it took a while to get there

This is the fourth cathedral that has been built on this site. The first church was destroyed after the Polish conquest of Silesia, in order to build a larger one. That next church caught on fire. The third church was destroyed in a bombing during World War II. Finally, the one that stands there today was born. How will it be destroyed? Place is definitely cursed.

This cathedral houses the largest pipe organ in all of Poland and up until World War II, it was the largest in the world. So if you have a hankering for some ominous organ music in creepy Gothic architecture, this is the place to go. As with many cathedrals, a bunch of dead people are buried here. Well, not exactly buried, but rather placed into decorative tombs put on display for your viewing pleasure. They really add to the creepy, doomed-building ambiance.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Wrocław Cathedral

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Wrocław, (Polish: Archikatedra św. Jana Chrzciciela, German: Breslauer Dom, Kathedrale St. Johannes des Täufers), is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Wrocław and a landmark of the city of Wrocław in Poland. The cathedral, located in the Ostrów Tumski district, is a Gothic church with Neo-Gothic additions. The current standing cathedral is the fourth church to have been built on the site.

A first church at the location of the present cathedral was built under Přemyslid rule in the mid 10th century, a fieldstone building with one nave about 25 m (82 ft) in length, including a distinctive transept and an apse. After the Polish conquest of Silesia and the founding of the Wrocław diocese under the Piast duke Bolesław I Chrobry about 1000, this Bohemian church was replaced by a larger basilical structure with three naves, a crypt, and towers on its eastern side. The first cathedral was however soon destroyed, probably by the invading troops of Duke Bretislaus of Bohemia around 1039. A larger, Romanesque-style church was soon built in its place in the times of Duke Casimir I, and expanded similar to Płock Cathedral on the behest of Bishop Walter of Malonne in 1158.

After the end of the Mongol invasion, the church was again largely rebuilt in the present-day Brick Gothic style. It was the first building of the city to be made of brick when construction of the new choir and ambulatory started in 1244. The nave with sacristy and the basements of the prominent western steeples were added under Bishop Nanker until 1341.

On June 19, 1540, a fire destroyed the roof, which was restored 16 years later in Renaissance style. Another fire on June 9, 1759, burnt the towers, roof, sacristy, and quire. The damage was slowly repaired during the following 150 years. Between 1873-75, Karl Lüdecke rebuilt the interior and western side in neogothic style. Further work was done at the beginning of the 20th century by Hugo Hartung, especially on the towers ruined during the 1759 fire.

The cathedral was very badly damaged (about 70% of the building) during the Siege of Breslau and heavy bombing by the Red Army in the last days of World War II. Parts of the interior fittings were saved and are now on display at the National Museum in Warsaw. The initial reconstruction of the church lasted until 1951, when it was reconsecrated by Archbishop Stefan Wyszyński. In the following years, additional aspects were rebuilt and renovated. The original, conical shape of the towers was restored only in 1991.

The cathedral holds the largest pipe organ in Poland, built in 1913 by E.F. Walcker & Sons of Ludwigsburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, for the Centennial Hall — formerly the largest organ in the world.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Wrocław Cathedral.