The Piarist order came to Cracow in the later half of the 17C, an order that is dedicated to the Christian education of youth, providing free education for the poor.
It wasn't until 1718 that building work began on the Church by the renowned church architect Kasper Bazanka making this one of Krakow's youngest churches. with a Late Baroque, - Rococo Facade. Following his untimely death in 1726 work seased on the church a few years later (1728), to be progressed by a dominant architect of the time Franciszek Placidi in 1759
As the Church resided on a street with tall 3 / 4 storey imposing houses, Franciszek Placidi added an additional storey to house an ave bell which functioned to add height and presence to the Church, which was completed in 1761.
In 1893 the addition of the picturescue new entrance stairs with balcony was added, with central steps leading to the Crypt, which this feature door and iron gate is access to.
Krakow Piarist Church Crypt door and gate detail
The iron gate portrays a classical columned entrance with an angelic Cherub presiding over this, which is said to portray the gateway to heaven. The Door leads to the Crypt of the Church where in the 18C the alter of Christ in Prison was kept. Today
In the later part of the 19C The Crypt was integrated into the educational faciltiies of the Church (as well as the college adjacent the church) and on Good Fridays the tradition to arrange the crypt into the Lords Sepulchre (vault / tomb) has been re-introduced.
Krakow Piarist Church overview
Noble and distinguished residents of the city, used this as a funeral hall, and such residents as Stanisław Wyspiański commenced his funeral from here, who was a great Playwright, poet, stage designer (1869 - 1907). It was considered a great privilege to have your funeral leave from here.
The bust above the arched staircase is of Stanislaw Konarski, an educational reformer 1700 - 1773, who with Hugo Kollataj and Stanislar Staszic argued for public good to be placed before self-interest, putting eductaional reforms as its main aim to create a more enlightened ideology, with citizens being embued with the desire to serve and protect their country and institute change for the betterment of Polands social and political conditions.
As part of Konarski's educational reforms he advocated the restoration of the Polish language, following the Catholic Church's favouring of latin.