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View of the monastery from the Vistula River
St. Stanislaus Church at Skałka, Kraków
Interior of church
Crypts underneath the church

Church of St Michael the Archangel and St Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr and Pauline Fathers Monastery, Skałka, which means "a small rock" in Polish, is a small outcrop in Kraków where the Bishop of Kraków saint Stanislaus of Szczepanów was slain by order of Polish king Bolesław II the Bold in 1079. This action resulted in the king's exile and the eventual canonization of the slain bishop.


Located on the Vistula River south of Wawel, Skałka was part of the island city of Kazimierz until the nineteenth century, when the Old Vistula River was filled in.

The original church was built in the Romanesque style. King Casimir III replaced it with a Gothic church, and since 1472 that shrine has been in the possession of a monastic community of Pauline Fathers. In 1733-51 the church received a Baroque decor, it is one of the most famous Polish sanctuaries.

The Pauline "Church on the Rock" is primarily associated with the martyrdom of Saint Stanisław of Szczepanów; each newly elected King of Poland made a pilgrimage to Skałka on the eve of his coronation as penance for the disgraceful action of his predecessor who had personally killed St. Stanisław.[1]


The crypt underneath the church serves as one of Poland's "national Panthéons", a burial place for some of the most distinguished Poles, particularly those who lived in Kraków.


Outside the church is the Well of Saint Stanislaus. According to legend, this well is where King Bolesław discarded the bishop's dismembered body, which then miraculously reassembled. Water from the well is dispensed from a fountain for pilgrims to drink.[2]

In 2008, the Pauline fathers added the open-air Altar of the Three Millennia, with statues representing seven important people in Polish history.[3]

Six of these people (the exception being Kordecki) are venerated as saints in the Catholic Church.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Pauline Church on the Rock". 2017-03-27. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Weigel, George. City of Saints. IMAGE Press, 2015, p. 150.

Coordinates: 50°02′54″N 19°56′16″E / 50.04833°N 19.93778°E / 50.04833; 19.93778