The largest church in Poland

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The story of Poland’s largest church begins in the 19th century. One Tomasz Kłossowski fought in the Napoleonic Wars. When he was wounded at the Battle of Leipzig in 1813, he begged the Virgin Mary not to let him die so far from home. His plea was heard and the image of the Virgin Mary soon appeared, in  a revelation  suspended from tree in Grąblin Forest, near Licheń. From 1852 onward, the painting began to enjoy the veneration of the faithful, who pleaded for new favours before it until it was transferred to a new church. Over time, the veneration of Mary spread further afield, which drew increasingly large numbers of pilgrims here and rendered the existing shrine progressively less able to cope. Work began on a new sanctuary in 1994 and the building was consecrated 10 years later on 12 June 2004. Its size is impressive: 139 m long by 77 m wide. It is the largest church in Poland, the 7th largest in Europe, and can hold 15,000 people. The tallest church tower in the country (141.5 m) looms over the sanctuary. Konin is visible on a clear day. But the records do not end there. The tower is also a bell tower concealing the biggest bell in Poland (named “Mary Mother of God”), which weighs 15 tonnes. The largest organ in Poland, and the 4th largest in Europe, provides the musical setting for church ceremonies. It has 157 voices from more than 10,000 pipes, the largest of which is 783 cm. The pillars of the colonnade leading into the basilica are the most slender in the world, with a diameter of 1.3 m and a height of 25.1 m.
 

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