"Everyone knows the more you wear pearls, little by little they become real....And isn't it the same with memories?" - The Madwoman of Chaillot

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Maybe more churches per square meter than Florence or Rome

Around 9 AM, we got going on our walk around Wroclaw. The night before when Tomasz called, he said to meet him by the church....Bill said "WHICH church" - it was the one right down the street from us near the Opera but we later discovered another church just the other side of the Opera - and many more...

We started out with the plan to go to Ostrow Tumski and do a boat ride tour on the Odra River. We ended up walking about five hours that day...And sorting out all that we did and all the pictures may take me almost that long! So I'll try to treat you to some examples of what we saw, more or less chronologically, interspersed with things to illustrate some of my thoughts and impressions as I spend time in Wroclaw. I may end up splitting it into two posts...

So will begin with some nice pictures and get into the deep philosophy later...

Bear in mind, it took me five hours to take all these pictures and I hate leaving out nice ones....but guess what, family, you will get treated to many more in a slideshow when I get home (if you are interested....)

Ostrow Tumski was once an island in the River Odra and it was here Wroclaw was founded before the year 1000. A bishopric was established in the year 1000 and even after the city moved to the left bank of the river, the island remained a base of the church. Later the northern arm of the Odra was filled in and it was no longer an island, but remains a beautiful, peaceful destination to walk or take a river trip.
The botanical gardens are also located here but we did not get to them.

So as we arrived many of the churches had Mass going on, so we were unable to take many pictures inside but we did attend five or ten minutes of Mass in each of four very different churches. So, the churches...

Starting with the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, which was built during the 13th through 15th centuries, in the place where the original was built in 1000. It has had restoration many times including in 1952-53 after World War II, when it was 3/4 destroyed. It is the double spired church in the photos above.

A very formal Mass

The nearby archbishop's palace

Gothic Church of the Holy Cross

Where a more folk Mass was going on with guitars and modern singing

Church of Our Lady on Piasek Island

People leaving one of the chapels after a Mass doe the deaf

And an orthodox church, Sts Cyril and Methodius

There are so many more churches here I have lost track of which ones they are....so just a few pictures to give you the idea and this post ends.

Somehow I missed getting a good picture of the outside if the Jesuit Church at the University but I sure didn't miss the very baroque inside!
Outside is seen in this reflection

Very old pews

The organ

So to end the churches.... With the realization that the rest will wait for the next two posts - and the hope I didn't name any of the churches wrong....or mix up exteriors and interiors since we had to take many of the inside photos with iPhones to avoid making noise...

Location:Ostrow Tumski, Wroclaw, Poland

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