Młoda Polska – Young Poland

Młoda Polska – Young Poland

I didn’t expect to get so much art nouveau on this trip. When we visited St. Francis’ Basilica – right across the street from Pope John Paul II’s residence and his favorite place to pray, as indicated by a silver plaque on his preferred pew – we got to see some wonderful examples of the art nouveau movement in Poland.

I’ll let Wiki do the talking because I actually didn’t know this was a thing. Educational honeymoon! Literally cut and pasted for your convenience:

Young Poland (Polish: Młoda Polska) was a modernist period in Polish visual arts, literature and music, covering roughly the years between 1890 and 1918. It was a result of strong aesthetic opposition to the earlier ideas of Positivism which followed the suppression of the 1863 January Uprising against the occupying army of Imperial Russia. Młoda Polska promoted trends of decadence, neo-romanticism, symbolism, impressionism and art nouveau.

Wall detail in the church

In the period of Young Poland there were no overwhelming trends in Polish art. The painters and sculptors tried to continue the romantic traditions with new ways of expression popularised abroad. The most influential trend was art nouveau, although Polish artists started to seek also some form of a national style (including styl zakopiański or the Zakopane style). Both sculpture and painting were also heavily influenced by all forms of symbolism.

More wall detail – click to enlarge

It is a really beautiful church with different designs on every wall – you wouldn’t think it based on the pretty basic exterior. I had been in this church before but for some reason didn’t remember what it was like on the inside; it was fun to discover it all over again!

Polish Eagle – a little fuzzy because, as I discovered, my point and shoot is crappier than an iPhone.

In addition to the paintings on the walls, there are a lot of beautiful stained glass…es? Windows. Stained glass windows.

God the Father in the Act of Creation by Stanislaw Wyspianski 

I remember once Sarah and I were visiting Krakow and got caught in a thunderstorm. We took shelter in this church – the stained glass of God was pretty spoopy with the lighting behind it.


Michaels Cave

Later, Bren and I had breakfast at Michael’s Cave (Jama Michalika). The restaurant itself is decorated in an art nouveau style and is apparently where all the artists used to come – the walls are decorated with the drawings artists used to give in lieu of money.

The food was OK. We just got breakfast. Supposedly their cakes are very good but I guess we’ll have to wait until next time to find out.

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