The Cathedral

The original Gothic building from the 14th century was probably made of brick and stone, with a nave and a rectangular presbytery. The church existence is evidenced by sources from 1346. In 1400 the church became a collegiate. Between the end of the 14th century and the 19th century, the original building of the Nativity of Holy Virgin Mary parish church was supplemented with chapels. The great tower was probably added to the nave after the fire of 1494. Now it is 72 meters high. In 1810 it was taken to pieces to the roof level and then reconstructed in 1891. The collegiate church became a cathedral in 1786 when a bishopric in Tarnów was established and in 1972 it was raised to the rank of Basilica Minor. After 1826, the church was rebuilt during the rule of bishop Grzegorz Ziegler – the northern and southern chapels were connected by arcades into two aisles. Since that time, the basilica had a nave and two aisles. St. Benedict chapel (now named the Blessed Sacrament chapel) was built on the southern side, next to the presbytery. The Cathedral was given its present neo-gothic shape as a result of renovation works between 1889 and 1900. Inside of the temple there are some Gothic and Renaissance tombstones of the Tarnowski family members and a Baroque tombstone of the Ostrogski family, which belong to the most remarkable works of art in Poland created by such masters as Bartłomiej Berecci, Jan Maria Padovano and Jan Pfister. The tombstone of Barbara Tarnowska (maiden name Tęczyńska) made by Bartlomiej Berecci is considered to be the most beautiful Renaissance sculpture of a woman in Poland.