St. Elisabeth's Church & Mary Magdalene's Church
Located in the vicinity of the Main Market Square, St. Elisabeth's Church is one of the biggest and most important churches in Wroclaw. The church was built in stages since the beginning of the 14th century. Its patron was St. Elisabeth of Hungary, a niece of St. Hedwig, the patron of Silesia.
The representatives of the wealthiest and most important families in Wroclaw used to be buried here. That is why, there are over 100 tombs of most prominent citizens inside. In the outside walls of the church as well as in the middle of the church there are most precious burial and epitaph plates. One the church walls there are some splendid Renaissance and Gothic artworks. Heinrich Rybisch's royal tomb can be found in the southern aisle of the church. The legend has it that he won the church playing dice! St. Elizabeth's church has been destroyed, rebuilt and renovated a number of times due to disasters and other unfortunate events. These were wars in the 19th century, severe hails in the 16th century, and most recent and the biggest one was the mysterious fire in 1976. The furnishing of the church was majorly burnt and the church's famous organs, created by a famous organ maker Engler, were damaged as well. Fortunately, funds have been collected to reconstruct them. St. Elizabeth's church's characteristic feature is an impressive 91-meter-tall tower which used to have almost 130 meters (it fell down in a storm in 1529). To access the tower's view terrace one has to pay a small fee, and then walk up over 300 tall, twisting stairs. The reward is worth the slightly claustrophobic experience: a beautiful panorama of the city, on the one side, and a great view of the Sudetes Ridge, on the other side. Given a clear cloudless day, tourists are also favored with the view of Sniezka, the highest peak of Karkonosze. Once the visitation to the St. Elizabeth's church is over, it is also worth visiting another fine Gothic church located nearby, St. Mary Magdalenes Church. Dated from the middle of the 14th century, the church has two 72-metre high massive towers. The church suffered severe damage during Second World War when towers’ cupolas and the nave’s roof burnt in fire and mine explosion destroyed the south tower and the Bridge of the Witches which connected the towers. Fortunate, the walls of the church were untouched and everything destroyed, including the bridge, has been faithfully reconstructed.
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