Jesuit Church (Warsaw)



Location: ul. Swietojanska 10

Tel. 022 831 1675

Bus: E- 1, E- 3, 116, 122, 175, 195, 495, 503


Jesuit Church or Church of Merciful Mother of God is an impressive Baroque light blue building constructed by the Jesuit order of the Roman Catholic Church. It was built in 1609- 29 and served a near by monastery as well as other residents of Warsaw. Jesuit Church survived for over three centuries. In 1944 during the Warsaw uprising of Polish resistance against German occupation Jesuit Church was badly damaged and virtually destroyed. After completion of World War II residents of Warsaw rebuilt the building using old plans, drawings and pictures as their guide.


The church was built in the years 1609-1626 according to the design of an unknown architect, who with his artistry proved extraordinary professionalism and expertise. Probably the author of this masterful project was Jan Frankiewicz - builder and creator of the church of St. Kazimierz in Vilnius.

The initiator of the church construction was Fr. Piotr Skarga. The preacher used the money collected from alms to buy a house in 1597 for the Jesuit order. The tenement house where the Jesuits lived at first was called the "monastery". In the following years, the monks bought more neighboring tenements and prepared the foundations for the construction of the church. They also got a construction site from King Zygmunt.

The Jesuit Order arrived in Warsaw in 1607, then the seat of King Sigismund III Vasa. The Jesuit Congregation wanted to establish a seat near the castle. The place where the seat of the order was to be built was not chosen accidentally, because the planned seat of the Jesuits bordering the cathedral and the castle nearby would emphasize their importance in the society of that time.

The founders of this temple were, among others King Zygmunt III Waza, Andrzej Bobola (chamberlain), the Gostomski brothers.

In 1656, the temple was destroyed and plundered by the invasion of the Swedish army. In 1660 the order founded a pharmacy at the church. The entrance was from the Old Town Square. It also served the residents of Warsaw and was the oldest Warsaw pharmacy after the castle pharmacy. In 1668 they founded a school with lectures on, among others, theology and philosophy at the academic level.

In 1720 the construction of a two-story building at the back of the church began, initiated by Ludwik Bartłomiej Załuski, Bishop of Płock. Thanks to this building, Jezuicka Street was created. The school, which had an unofficial name derived from the name of the bishop Załuski - Gymnasium Zaluscianum, was moved to the newly built building. A pharmacy and rich collection were also moved to the building.

In 1773, after the dissolution of the order, this temple became a school church subject to the National Education Commission. For a short time the church also belonged to the German Brotherhood of Saint Bruno. The Pauline headquarters was also located there briefly. In 1818 the church survived the crisis and was treated as a cathedral magazine, and in 1828 wool was stored in it. The temple returned to its original function only in 1834 thanks to the Piarist order. The monks removed by the partitioner from their previous seat transferred all their belongings, including monuments, to the church on Świętojańska St. These monks brought a bear sculpture to their new headquarters, which can be admired to this day at the entrance to the temple. In 1864, when the Piarist order was abolished, the church began to perform auxiliary functions for the neighboring cathedral. The church did not return to the Jesuits until 1918, but in 1944 the temple was almost completely destroyed as a result of arson and blowing up. The Church of Our Lady of Grace remained under the protection of the Jesuit order.