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University Church of the Holy Name of Jesus

During your tour of Wrocław, spend an hour or so browsing this incredibly ornate Baroque treasure trove with its beautiful ceiling paintings and Rococo elements.

The University Church of the Holy Name of Jesus (Kościół Najświętszego Imienia Jezus) may look relatively unassuming from the outside, but its ornate interior is sure to impress believers and non-believers alike.

When you enter the church, pick up an audio guide in English or accept the offer of a student to guide you through the church for free.

You will learn how the Jesuits built the church between 1689 and 1698. An imperial castle for the Piast dynasty was built here in the 1260s. Their royal rule in Poland ended a century later and the castle was ruined. See what remains of these castle walls by crossing the nave to the alcove at the northern end of the church.

The interior of the church was refitted in Baroque style in the 18th century by Christoph Tausch, a Jesuit artist. The high arches, gilded and marble-like columns, Rococo-style ornaments and ethereal sculptures make clear that no costs were spared to let this church stand out. Tausch also painted the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple above the main altar himself.

See how the frescos on the vaults represent the indigenous peoples of Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe. Look up to take in the colorful ceiling paintings by the notable Austrian Baroque painter Johann Michael Rottmayr von Rosenbrunn.

Entry to the church is free, but a donation box is present. The church is open to visitors daily after Mass in spring and summer, from the late morning to the mid afternoon , except Sundays when you can only visit for 2 hours around the mid afternoon. This is an active place of worship, so remember to dress respectfully before entering the church and not to disturb worshippers inside.

To get to the University Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, head to the University Quarter of Wrocław, in the north of the Old Town, in the direction of the river and Wyspa Piasek (Sand Island). Enter through the blue-and-gold Rococo gate at the western end of the complex. Check the church’s events calendar to see if you have the opportunity to hear a choir sing in the church during your stay: an unforgettable experience.


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