Situated on the Warta river, Poznań – the capital town of Wielkopolska the land and Province and of the Poznań Archdiocese – is an important point as you go along the Piast Route.
The Discalced Carmelites’ monastery was founded in 1617 by Katarzyna Czarnkowska nee Leszczyńska, supported to this end by her husband Adam Sędziwój, Starost-General of Wielkopolska. The Carmelite Friars first arrived in Wielkopolska in 1618; the consecration of a wooden cloister church took place three years afterwards. Construction of a brick temple started around 1644, the project initially run by Krzysztof Bonadura the Older and, after his death, by Jerzy Catenazzi, assisted by Krzysztof Bonadura the Younger. The completed church was consecrated in 1687.
The brick cloister building was erected stage-wise between 1685 and 1756. The Prussian authorities liquidated the convent in 1801, its buildings being taken over by the army. From 1831 till 1918, the temple was an Evangelical and then, in the interwar period, a Catholic garrison church. The Carmelites returned to their former buildings, destroyed then by the warfare, in 1945.
The baroque church of St. Joseph is founded upon a cross-shaped base, with two pairs of chapels opened through arcades toward the nave. The temple’s façade, divided by lesenes (pilaster strips) and cornices and adorned with niches and windows, looks really interesting. The nave and the presbytery contain barrel vaults with lunettes, the cross bay having a sail vault and the transept arms, a barrel vault again. The pulpit was built in 1962, using fragments of a pulpit from the former Evangelical temple in Obrzycko and sculptures brought from a former Evangelical church in Maciejowa, Silesia. Fixed by the presbytery are commemorative boards of Poznań garrison units forming the ‘Poznań’ Army in the 1939 campaign. A plaque in the porch tells us that the church was the burial place of Mikołaj Skrzetuski (died 1673) who was archetypical to Jan Skrzetuski, one of the major characters in Henryk Sienkiewicz’s famous novel cycle nicknamed The Trilogy.
A four-wing cloister building, with an inner yard in its central part, is adjacent to the church at the west.
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