Ark of Our Lord Church

Ark of Our Lord Church / Arka Pana

Krakow, Poland

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Ark of Our Lord Church
Ark of Our Lord Church
Ark of Our Lord Church
31-831 ul. Obroncow Krzyza 1
Lesser Poland Voivodeship
Recommended duration
2 hours
Built between 1967 and 1977, Nowa Huta's first place of worship was designed by Wojciech Pietrzyk and was constructed by volunteers. Remember that these days Poland was under pressure from communist regime, so, of course, no any help from authorities was provided.

The opposite of what Nowa Huta was meant to be, The Lord's Ark (Arka Pana) is a remarkable building, and a true symbol of Polish belief in Catholicism. Without outside help, it was for the locals to mix cement with spades, and find the two million of stones needed for the facade of the church.
The first corner stone was laid in 1969 by (who do you think?) Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, who would later assume fame as Pope John Paul II, but the discovery of an ammunition of the WWII delayed work, as some 5,000 mines and shells had to be taken out of the site.

Finally, 10 years after, on May 15, 1977, the church was consecrated. Built to resemble Noah's Ark, with a 70 metre mast-shaped crucifix rising from the middle, the church houses an array of curious treasures, including a stone from the tomb of Saint Peter in the Vatican, a tabernacle containing a fragment of rutile brought back from the moon by the crew of Apollo 11, and a controversial statue of Christ that shows him not on a cross, but on the point of fly to the heavens.

If you think this is weird, check out the statue dedicated to Our Lady the Armoured – a-half-metre sculpture made from ten kilograms of shrapnel removed from Polish soldiers wounded at the Battle of Monte Cassino.
In the early 1980s, the church became a focal point during anti-communist protests, not least for the shelter it afforded the locals from the militia.

In 2012, Krakow's City Council awarded Arka Pana with the Cracoviae Merenti silver medal for it's significance to the history of the city.


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