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CHOPIN 2010 Celebrations office

Holy Cross Church in Warsaw


The Holy Cross Church in Warsaw, where Fryderyk Chopin’s heart is located, underwent conservation work. The Board of the Mazovieckie Voivodeship had put it on the list of key projects. Massive renovation, reconstruction and conservation work in 2009-2010 concerned the interior, external elevation and the Congregation House (pl. Dom Zgromadzenia) belonging to the parish. Several dozen people participated in the undertaking: conservators, art. Historians and contractors. 

Renovation work

The renovation work conducted on both sides of the walls covered dehumidification of the walls, cleaning them from old paint, covering with a layer imitating the plaster (external façade) and painting the building. The work was performed also in the lower church, where mechanical ventilation and central heating was installed. The terrazzo floor was replaced with stone in the whole building, new electrical installation and fire alarm system were fitted in place. The bathroom adopted to the needs of the disabled was constructed next to the church together with the platform lift enabling the disabled to enter the church. In the Congregation House adjacent to the building staircases and all the rooms located on the ground floor were renovated; a lift was installed.  

Reconstruction and conservation work

One of the main aims of the conducted in the church renovation was the complete reconstruction of the interior design and first of all the destroyed in the World War II baroque transept altar of the Holy Trinity and the Holy Eucharist. In 2004, John Paul II, signing the building act for reconstruction of this important monument, gave it the name and function of the "Motherland Altar". The reconstruction covered the sculptures of angels adoring the cross (envoi of the altar), statues of the four fathers of the church (upper floor), and the sculptures of saints Peter and Paul and the two archangels (lower floor). Moreover, wood-carving ornamental decoration was produced, the altar was gilded with the highest assay of gold (about 230 m2). 

Moreover, the balcony boxes located in the eastern and western part of the temple's transept, and the whole window woodwork of the church were produced anew on the basis of the Bernardo Bellotto’s (Canaletto) painting.

Conservation (and partial reconstruction) covered also the tombs of the Primate Radziejowski and Bishop Tarło, and all the epitaph, tomb and inscription plaques in the lower church. Chandeliers and lamp brackets were renovated in the whole church. Conservation was also conducted on the organ, the organ front and the railing, stalls with paintings, confessionals, railings, pews for the visitors. New paintings for the altars of Saint Roch and Saint Felicissima were commissioned. 

The investment "Renovation of the Holy Cross church with the monastery in Warsaw as an important national heritage building" (pl. "Renowacja Kościoła Świętego Krzyża wraz z zabudowaniami poklasztornymi w Warszawie, jako ważnego obiektu dziedzictwa kultury narodowej") was financed in the main part by the European Union from the funds of the European Regional Development Fund in the framework of the Mazovieckie Voivodeship Regional Operational Programme 2007-2013. Total value of the project amounts to over PLN 19.25 million. The European Union support amounted to PLN 16.36 million. The Ministry of Culture and National Development dedicated PLN 2.2 million for this project, and the Holy Cross Parish – PLN 690 thousand.

Interior of the church