Neo-Romanesque Church of the Holy Family in Zakopane

The Church of the Holy Family is located in the center of Zakopane, on Krupówki Street. It is an important place of worship for the locals and pilgrims from all over the country come here to pray. This brick temple is the oldest in the city and its green tower can be seen from many places. It was blessed by Pope John Paul II on the 150th anniversary of the parish.

Just so you know, I’ve written an article about some other superb locations in Zakopane that are close to Krupówki, which you might find interesting.

History of the Church of the Holy Family in Zakopane

The Church of the Holy Family in Krupówki in Zakopane is the oldest brick church in the Tatra and Podhale region. Józef Stolarczyk, the first parish priest of Zakopane, who laid the foundation stone in 1877. The neo-Romanesque building was designed by Józef Pius Dziekoński and its construction from hard mountain stone took almost 20 years, from 1877 to 1896.

This project was made possible thanks to the generosity of the parishioners and Count Władysław Zamoyski, the owner of the Zakopane estate. After the death of Father Stolarczyk, Father Casimir Kaszelewski took over and finally the Church of the Holy Family was consecrated by the Bishop of Krakow, Jan Puzyna on September 16, 1899.

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The Church of the Holy Family in Krupówki Street in Zakopane is a place of great interest. When it was completed, a clock was placed on its tower, which showed the local astronomical time, but was 20 minutes ahead of the official time in Poland. This caused confusion among visitors, so the clock was eventually reset to the standard time according to the time zone.

Between 1935 and 1941, the parish was led by Fr. Piotr Dańkowski, who was later declared a martyr in World War II. In 1997, Pope John Paul II visited the church to meet with children making their First Holy Communion on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the parish. In recognition of its importance, the church was given the status of Diocesan Shrine of the Holy Family.

Architecture and Furnishings of the Church of the Holy Family

The Church of the Holy Family is located on Krupówki in Zakopane. It is a two-nave basilica with a transept, a tower and two small stair turrets on the west side, and three chapels. In front of the building there is a square with a wooden cross with a crown of thorns from 1861.

In addition, there is a stone grotto dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes located near the church. The church was built in the Neo-Romanesque style by the architect Józef Pius Dziekoński.

The interior of the church is a fascinating mixture of Neo-Romanesque, Neo-Gothic, Zakopane style of Stanislaw Witkiewicz and Highlander style. The main altar is the work of Kazimierz Wakulski. The walls of the presbytery are decorated with magnificent polychrome paintings depicting the Highlanders’ interpretation of the Eight Beatitudes.

Janusz Kotarbiński is the author of the polychrome and stained glass windows. The altar is a triptych with figures of the Holy Family – Mary, Joseph and Jesus – in the center. It was made by Kazimierz Wakulski in a Krakow workshop in 1903.

On the wings of the altar there are bas-reliefs depicting the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Visitation of St. Elizabeth. The high altar is characterized by high realism and vivid colors. In the right aisle there is a side altar dedicated to St. Antoni. In the left aisle there is a side altar dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, made by Edgar Kovats, a rival of Witkiewicz.

St. George’s Chapel of St. John the Baptist was built in 1899 on the north side of the presbytery. It is possible to visit the chapel only after making a special request in the sacristy. The design and painting of St. John the Baptist against the background of the Black Pond is attributed to Stanislaw Witkiewicz.

In addition, the chapel has a beautiful tiled stove, carved benches and pulpits, all painted in dark greens and blues. Light enters the chapel through two green stained glass windows, creating an unforgettable experience. The Chapel of St. John the Baptist is a famous example of Zakopane style architecture.

The Chapel of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is located in the right nave, a place of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The interior was designed by Edgar Kovats. In the left nave is the Chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary, designed by Witkiewicz.

In the center of the chapel there is an altar with statues of the Virgin Mary and the Child, both holding rosaries. Here you will find beauty and devotion, surrounded by a peaceful atmosphere.

Church Opening Hours and Location

You can attend Sunday and weekday Masses at the Church of the Holy Family at the following times: 6:30, 7:00, 8:00, 8:30, 9:30, 11:00, 12:30, 15:00, 17:00 and 19:00.

  • st. Krupówki 1a
  • 34-500 Zakopane
  • Phone: 48182012441