Krupówki – Parish Church

Krupówki – Parish Church

The neo-Gothic parish church of the Holy Family dominates on the left, to which a wide stone staircase leads. Young people who arrange meetings here often sit there, because the temple is one of the landmarks in the city – it is easy to find thanks to the green tower visible from close and distant places in Zakopane.


The initiator of the creation of the church was Fr.. Joseph Stolarczyk, and after his death, the work was completed by Fr.. Kazimierz Kaszlewski. Works, ongoing 19 lat, completed in 1896 r. The architect was Józef Pius Dziekoński from Warsaw. Building, which stood on land bought or received from Zakopane highlander families, took over the functions of the parish church. During construction, fierce disputes over the interior design continued, with the participation of Stanisław Witkiewicz who proposed solutions in the Zakopane style; Edgar Kovats was the main opponent – supporter of the eclectic style, based on folk highlander motifs, Tyrolean and Ruthenian. Other artists and craftsmen also took part in discussions about the decor of the Zakopane parish church, however, the main adversaries were Witkiewicz and Kovats. The effect we see today is a child of compromise.

The wide stairs from the street lead to a large square in front of the church, on which stands a large wooden cross with a crown of thorns made in 1861 r. made of iron from the steelworks in Kuźnica. On the left side, behind a kiosk with religious publications, there is a stone grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, built in 1958 r. You can enter the church through one of the three doors from the front facing Krupówki or through the side door on the right or left side.


It's dark, however, enough light penetrates through the stained glass windows, to see, that it looks like new; it is full of everything – figure, images, paintings and ornaments. At times, these colorful holiness even overwhelm. Wall colors seem to be smoky. Warm, Vivid elements of the decor are stained glass in intense colors and twinkling lamps. It is rather habit that pushes people to the main altar, because the side chapels are a dangerous competition for him – they are very spectacular and absorbing.

The main altar

It was created in 1903 r. in the sculpture workshop of a Cracovian, Kazimierz Wakulski. It is a triptych, with full-plastic figures of the Holy Family – Great, Joseph and Jesus in the central part. Above them rise the figures of God the Father and the Holy Spirit. The wings are decorated with depicting bas-reliefs – on the right, looking at the altar – Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, on the left – Visitation of St.. Elizabeth.

The whole thing is realistic, very colorful, similar to a large Christmas nativity scene; children certainly like it very much, because it is in the canons of their aesthetics. Painted on the ceiling above the altar 36 little angels' heads, which the wings grow straight from the neck. It also brings associations with childhood and old-fashioned Christmas tree decorations.

Altars and side chapels

Blue and purple stained glass are a strong color accent. On the border of the presbytery and the nave there is a pine beam carved by Wojciech Brzega. Two side altars – st. Anthony in the right nave and St.. Franciszek in the left was designed by Witkiewicz's antagonist, Edgar Kovats. He also won the right to decorate the chapel of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the right nave, today the place of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Its altar was called by Witkiewicz and Feliks Jasieński as a samovar for six thousand glasses – no one knows why. In the left aisle, for a change, there is a chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary in the Zakopane style, which was created by Witkiewicz. The blue ceiling with golden stars harmonizes quite successfully with slightly pale yellow walls, decorated with blue motifs, green, marine, red and orange – the most fashionable colors of interior design today. The focal point of the chapel is, of course, the altar, depicting the statues of the Mother of God and the Child, holding rosaries. The ends of these rosaries are supported by two kneeling figures – st. Catherine and St.. Dominik, who supposedly have features of Maria Dembowska and Stanisław Witkiewicz. The polychrome on the ceiling of the nave by Janusz Kotarbiński presents eight blessings; here one can recognize Brother Albert Chmielowski and Fr.. Stolarczyk – above the main entrance.