Christian ARTworks: St. Michael the Archangel (Diocese of Łomża)

The Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel in Łomża (Poland) seen from above. (Photo: Diocese of Łomża)

This month, our ‘Christian Heritage month by month’ column presents the Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel in Łomża, the oldest monument in the entire northeast Poland and a great masterpiece of Gothic architecture. For more information, visit the official website of the Diocese.

The founder of the church was Anna Radziwiłł, the wife of Konrad II the Red, Prince of Mazovia. The church was restored twice, the first time due to the destructions during the Swedish Deluge (1691-1692), when the church’s decoration changed from Gothic to Baroque according to the design of Józef Szymon Bellotti. The second restoration was carried out in the 19th century.

The church was built of bricks and had a nave with two aisles and a rather short but wide chancel, three-side ended on the Eastern side.

The St. Michael’s Cathedral is especially impressive because of its rich vaults and exquisitely designed external facades.

During one of the renovations carried out at the beginning of the 21st century, a crypt was discovered. Ten graves and about 70 human remains were found during excavation works. Two priests, including the builder of the cathedral, were buried there.

The cathedral is a powerful example of Christian spiritual and cultural heritage not only for the Catholic Diocese of Łomża but for the whole of Poland and Europe.