Cathedral of St. Mary Magdalene
Cathedral of St. Mary Magdalene (Katedra św. Marii Magdaleny) is one of the oldest temples in the city. Built in the years 1226-1232, it was the first parish church, gathering the then German colonists.
The today’s Gothic, eight-arch, three-nave brick basilica was built in the years 1355-1360 and was the main church of the city. Before 1488 two western towers were finished, which, at first, were connected - “penitential bridge”, also called “witches’ bridge” (today’s viewpoint). It was said then that it was the highest bridge in Silesia since it is at the height of 52m. Built before 1459, for centuries it served as a scene for orchestras and this is where the fireworks were displayed during important city events. On the night of 22 and 23 March 1887, on the occasion of the 90. birthday of Kaiser Wilhelm I, the fireworks set the fire to the northern tower.
Two rows of chapels were built in 15th and 16th century. In the years 1525-1945 it belonged to the Evangelical Church, now it is a cathedral of the Polish Catholic Church.
Two monumental 72-metre towers were finished in the 50s of the 15th century. In 1481 there were already covered with tent roofs.
The importance of the temple in Middle Ages is underlined by the fact that in 1356 the emperor Charles IV gave it the relic of Mary Magdalene, a thorn from the crown of Christ and a splinter of the Holy Cross. On receiving of the gift, bishop Przecław announced an indulgence.
on 25 October 1523 a Protestant clergyman Jan Hess started the first Lutheran service in Wrocław. Since then and until 1945 the church - with St. Elisabeth and St. Bernard churches - was one of the most important places of Evangelical Church.
During the last war the church was destroyed in 70% - lost almost all the roofs, southern nave ceilings, choir over the entrance and northern tower ceiling. Also most of the furniture and decorations were destroyed. To add up to that, on 18 May 1945, after the capitulation of the Germans, there was an explosion of the ammunition stored in the southern tower. Three walls collapsed and the façade with the main portal were severely damaged. The reconstruction started in 1946.
- Services on Sundays: 9.30am, 11am, in wintertime: 5pm.
- Services everyday: in wintertime 5pm, in summertime 6pm.