St. John’s Archcathedral - The oldest church in Warsaw
St. John’s Archcathedral

St. John’s Archcathedral

St. John's Cathedral, erected in the 16th century, stands as a steadfast witness to Warsaw's history. Despite being devastated by the Nazis, it has risen again to become one of the most remarkable churches in the capital.

The historic Archcathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist, dating back to the 14th century, is the oldest church in Warsaw. This Cathedral is recognized as a World Heritage Site for its architectural beauty and its poignant connection to the devastating events of World War II. It serves as the episcopal see of the archdiocese and holds a special place in the hearts of Warsaw's residents.

A Bit of History

St. John's Archathedral is intricately woven into Warsaw's historical fabric. Over the centuries, it witnessed the coronation ceremonies of Polish monarchs, safeguarded relics of the Crown, and served as the final resting place for significant historical figures.

Since the 17th century, an elevated tunnel has connected St. John's Archcathedral to the Warsaw Royal Castle, a construction prompted by an assassination attempt on King Sigismund III during mass.

During the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, the Nazis inflicted severe damage on the cathedral, driving a tank into its sacred space and causing widespread destruction. Explosions both inside and outside resulted in the loss of 90% of the cathedral's structure.

The interior of the Cathedral

In the aftermath of World War II, Warsaw began the arduous task of reconstruction. The outer facade of St. John's Archcathedral was meticulously restored, drawing inspiration from 14th-century illustrations, while the interior recreated the starry vault of the original church.

Within the hallowed halls of St. John's Archcathedral, visitors encounter the tombs of various dukes of Mazovia, the last Polish king Stanislaus II, and the esteemed Nobel Prize winner for literature, Henryk Sienkiewicz.


Monday to Saturday: from 10 am to 5 pm
Sundays: from 3 pm to 5 pm


General admission: 5 (US$ 1.20)
Students and seniors over 65 years old: 3 (US$ 0.70)


Buses: lines 160, 190, and 527
Tram: lines 4, 13, 18, 20, 23, 26, and 28