A brick remnant of the white monks, Cistercians, who hosted and prayed in the Oliwa abbey from the 13th century. The longest church in Gdansk, known for the largest organ.
The post-Cistercian cathedral complex in Oliwa originates from the Cistercian monastery founded in 1186. The sacral buildings located in this place were often destroyed and rebuilt over the centuries, and their present shape dates back to the second half of the 14th century.
Elements of architecture
A long, brick basilica (107 m) with a transept and an ambulatory around the chancel, erected in stages in the Romanesque and Romanesque-Gothic (13th century) and Gothic (2nd half of the 14th century) visible elements of the Romanesque-Gothic basilica are, among others: others transept pillars, ogival, stepped arcades between the naves with half-columns with trapezoidal heads at the pillars.
Much later, in 1582, the beautiful late-gothic stellar vaults of the central nave were built.
A basilica church is an architectural type where the central nave is higher than the aisles.
The cathedral is famous mainly for its magnificent Rococo organs, which host organ concerts in the summer season. They were built in the years 1763-88 by Jan Wulf from Orneta, completed by the Gdansk organ builder Fryderyk Rudolf Dalitz. They consist of 7876 pipes made of oak, fir, pine and tin.
Inside the cathedral there are 23 altars, mostly of high artistic value. They represent three architectural styles: Renaissance, Baroque (mostly) and Rococo.
In 1688, a monumental Baroque main altar was made, the late-Renaissance altar of St. Trinity, the pulpit and the ambulatory, i.e. the ambulatory inside the church.
In the sacristy of today’s cathedral, on May 3, 1660, the Peace of Oliwa was signed ending the Polish-Swedish wars.
Since 1958, the International Organ Music Festival has been held there in the summer. Entrance to the Cathedral, apart from organ presentations and concert events, is free.