Carmelite Church, Warsaw
Kościół Wniebowzięcia NMP i Św. Józefa Oblubieńca (Polish)
Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and of St. Joseph.
|Architectural style||Baroque (façade Neoclassical, 1761-83)|
|Town or city||Warsaw|
|Client||Michał Stefan Radziejowski|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Jan Szymon Belotti, Efraim Szreger (façade)|
Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and of St. Joseph (Polish: Kościół Wniebowzięcia NMP i św. Józefa Oblubieńca) commonly known as the Carmelite Church (Polish: Kościół Karmelitów) is a Roman Catholic church at Krakowskie Przedmieście 52/54 in Warsaw, Poland.
The Carmelite Church has Warsaw's most notable neoclassical-style façade, created in 1761-83. The church assumed its present appearance beginning in the 17th century and is best known for its twin belfries shaped like censers.
The present church is the second building to have arisen here, erected over the site of a wooden church originally constructed for the Discalced Carmelite Order in 1643 and burned down by the Swedes and Brandenburg Germans in the 1650s.
The church's basic structure had been largely completed by the end of the 17th century, but the present façade was not begun till 1761. It was erected by Prince Karol Stanisław Radziwiłł, who commissioned the German architect Efraim Szreger to draw up a plan for a comprehensive new façade. This impressive façade was built in a style typical for the reign of King Stanisław II Augustus, with dominant columns supporting the cornice.
The distinguished 18th-century artist Szymon Czechowicz embellished the church with his paintings. Another leading Polish painter, Franciszek Smuglewicz, created altar paintings. The interior is opulent, with magnificent rococo main altar, gilding and stucco ceiling decorations.
In 1864, after the January Uprising was brutally crushed by Russians, the monastery was liquidated by the Tsarist regime as a stronghold of Polish patriotism. The buildings have been since adapted for the Warsaw Archdiocesan Seminary and the former Carmelite Church serves as the seminary church.
During World War II the church was saved from deliberate destruction by the retreating German forces and was only slightly damaged. It served as a procathedral until the reconstruction of St. John's Cathedral.
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