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Mini guide part 6

It is worth seeing
A mini guide to Jarosław

If you have some time left, we suggest that you go down the stairs to Podzamcze Street, in order to appraise from below the qualities (mainly defensive ones) of the place where Jarosław was relocated in 1375. Going back, you can go up by another stairway and make for St Nicolas hill.

On your way make sure to stop by the Corpus Christi church. It was founded in the last quarter of the 16th century by Zofia ze Sprowy and placed under the invocation of St John the Baptist and St John the Evangelist. It is presently the oldest post-Jesuit church in Poland.

The architectural style is connected to the Roman Il Gesu church, on which most of the Jesuit temples in Europe were modelled. The church in Jarosław has a beautiful screen façade emphasized by the partly preserved attic and marvellous sculptures by Tomasz Hutter, one of the best sculptors of the 18th century. This façade forms a fine setting for the unique, compact square which was created when the Jesuit College buildings were constructed.

After the dissolution of the order and the dismantling of the parish church, the Jesuit church was once more consecrated, placed under the invocation of the Corpus Christi and became the parish church, while the buildings of the college were adapted as barracks. Most of the interior decorations of the church originate from the beginning of the 20th century; this is due to the conflagration of 1862. It is also worthwhile to turn your attention to the polychrome painting by Leonard Winterowski, the contemporary mosaic depicting John Paul II and the monumental bronze door with scenes from the history of Poland designed by Stanisław Lenar. A part of the former barracks was used in the inter-war period by the Polish Army, it now houses the Artistic School Complex.

After having visited the church, now a collegiate church, we suggest that you take a stroll along Spytka Jarosławskiego Street. We are now beyond the former Sandomierska Gate, in the area of the Russian suburbs and we are arriving to the architectural complex of the former abbey of the Benedictine Sisters.

In order to visit it, you should go through the Main Gate and enter the large area of the hill. The abbey located here since the beginning of the 17th century occupied the entire surface of the hill named after St Nicolas parish church. In the 17th century, the abbey - which can be admired until this day - was encircled by decorative walls and turrets. On the axis of the Gate, an early Baroque church under the invocation of St Nicolas and St Stanislaus was built and decorated with one of the most magnificent monuments of Jarosław - a stone portal shaped to imitate a triumph arc.

The heavy mass of the church with two mighty towers contrasts with the slender and delicate divisions of the interior decorated with stuccowork. The present-day equipment of the church comes partly from the post-Jesuit church in Przemyśl. A monastery with a basilica-like arrangement of the wings, which was a novelty in the 17th century, was adjoined to the church. The "Black Hall" is a must. Its astonishing black ceiling was shaped by a conflagration when the carbide stored here during World War II burned. In the monastery, occupied by the Germans, a jail was established while the grounds of the abbey were used by the Gestapo for executions. Nowadays, the Benedictine Sisters have returned to the abbey. It also houses the Recollection Home of the Archdiocese and the Ave Maria radio station.

Krystyna Kieferling, Zofia Kostka-Bieńkowska