St. Elisabeth's Church
St. Elisabeth's Church is among the oldest churches in Wroclaw, with a history dating back to the 12th century. The church has been damaged and restored numerous times over the centuries, but its 295-foot (90-meter) tall tower continues to dominate Market Square. Inspect the church’s fine collection of Gothic and Renaissance artwork and climb the winding staircase to see the views from the top of its famous tower.
This Gothic church was constructed between the 14th and 15th centuries on the site of an earlier 12th-century building. The church was destroyed by a storm in the 16th century and was severely damaged during World War II. Look closely and you can see bullet holes from the siege of Breslau marring its façade.
The church was damaged again by fires that broke out in 1975 and 1976. Note a small statue depicting two gnomes dressed as fire fighters, a tribute to the fire fighters who worked to save the church in the 1970s.
The church’s valuable artwork and architecture was destroyed over the centuries, but its collection of historic epitaphs and tombstones has managed to survive. See the tombs of more than 100 famous Poles as well as hundreds of epitaphs. These historic artifacts serve as an excellent example of Gothic and neoclassical stone carvings.
Pay the fee to climb the narrow staircase leading to the top of its tower. Consisting of more than 300 steps, the climb is quite strenuous but visitors who undertake it are rewarded with sweeping vistas over the city.
Don’t miss the church’s bells, which can be spotted about halfway up the staircase. The observation deck at the top of the tower affords views of the Old Town, Market Square and Ostrow Tumsk. Try to spot the Sudetes mountain range, visible towards the south on a clear day.
Find St. Elisabeth's Church on the northwest corner of Rynek (Market Square). The church is open daily, although tourists are requested not to visit during mass. The tower is open from April to September and there is an admission fee.