Church of St. Casimir
Poland, Warsaw

The Church of St. Casimir is an integral part of the Benedictine Sacramento Monastery of Holy Communion, located on the Market Square of the New Town of Warsaw. The church and monastery were built in 1688-1692 by order of Queen Maria Sobieska in honor of the victory of her husband, King John III Sobieski over the Turks near Vienna. A year before the construction, in 1687, Queen Maria Sobieska invited representatives of the French branch of the nuns, the Sacramentes, to found the Polish Order of Holy Communion to Poland. The construction of the temple and monastery was carried out according to the project of the Dutch architect Tilman van Gameren, the Church of St. Casimir is considered one of the best creations of the architect. The temple is built in the Baroque style, has the shape of a Greek cross, its octagonal nave is covered with an octagonal dome crowned with a sphere, crown and cross. The frescoes inside the temple were executed by the court architect Augustine Lazzi. The consecration of the temple took place in 1715. Throughout the XVIII century, the church carried out work on the design of the interior. In 1718-1721, a Late Baroque pulpit and side altars of St. Casimir and the Virgin Mary appeared in the church, and new organs appeared in 1745-1748. In 1746, the Duchess Maria Carolina de Bouillon, granddaughter of King Jan III Sobieski, whose magnificent tombstone, made by the Dresden master Lorenzo Mattillo, can still be seen in the church, was buried in the church. In the 19th century, during the Kosciuszko uprising, most of the church property was requisitioned from the church and monastery, including silver items, liturgical vessels and 4 figures of angels of the main altar, as well as copper sheets from the dome of the church. In 1855, the temple was badly damaged by a fire caused by a lightning strike. Repair work was carried out until 1873 under the leadership of the architect Vladislav Kosmovsky, the main altar and facade of the building were restored. Overhaul was carried out only in 1925-1936, as a result of which the temple and monastery returned to their former splendor. During the Second World War, the church served as a refuge for the residents of the city, it also had a field hospital. As a result of the bombing on August 31, 1944, the temple was destroyed, its arches collapsed, about 1,000 people were killed under the rubble, including 4 priests and 35 nuns. The degree of destruction of the church of St. Casimir and the monastery was 90%. Restoration work began in 1947 and was carried out until 1952, only the tombstone of Maria Carolina de Bouillon was restored in its original form. The re-consecration of the temple was performed by Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski in 1973.

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