The Cathedral

Bas-reliefs on the main entrance

On the sides of the western portal of the cathedral are two stone bas-reliefs featuring St Margaret of Antioch (on the right), and St Michael the Archangel (on the left). The sculptures are probably remnants of the stone retable of the altar which was once at St Margaret’s Chapel on the northern side of the ambulatory of the chancel. The chapel was built as the final place of rest for the Bishop of Cracow, Nanker and was completed in 1322.. The altar was probably destroyed when the chapel was transformed into the sacristy. The surviving fragments were installed in the façade of the cathedral, most certainly before the consecration of the church in 1364.

We are all well aware that to enter this Cathedral can not be without emotion. More I say, you can not enter it without the internal tremor, without fear because it contains in it - as in almost no Cathedral of the world - the enormous size, which speaks to us in all our history, our entire past.

cardinal Karol Wojtyla
8 March 1964