The Cathedral

Ground floor of the Clock Tower.

The tower on the northern side of the cathedral existed as early as 1420, when a chapter-house was arranged in its lower part. A fine stellar vault with a keystone on which the coats of arms with the emblems of Dębno, the Eagle of the Polish Kingdom and the emblem of the Cracow Cathedral Chapter (Three Crowns) confirms the important role of this room (which now houses the entrance to the Royal Tombs). The coat of arms of Dębno indicates that the founder of the construction was the Bishop of Cracow, Zbigniew Oleśnicki (1423-1455). The walls of the building have a stone facing up to a high level, as well as rich fluting, presenting forms which became popular in the 15th-century architecture and heralds late Gothic. The lower part of the tower can be seen in the northern aisle of the cathedral. Next to it once was a balcony from which the holy relics kept in the cathedral treasury were shown to the faithful, and in particular the skull of St Stanislaus.

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