CHOPIN 2010
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    A Calendar of Events letting you know what, where and when is happening throughout the Chopin Year:

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    Celebrations Office

    A platform for exchanging information between institutions, journalists and organisers of jubilee events. Brings you official information about:

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CHOPIN 2010 Celebrations office

 
Bernardo Bellotto, called Canaletto, "The Visitationist Church in Warsaw"

The Visitationist Church

The Church of St. Joseph of the Visitationists (the Visitationist Church) at 34 Krakowskie Przedmieście Street in Warsaw, for many years didn’t undergo any serious external renovation. During the conservation work conducted in the previous political system the plaster dating back to 1847, put in place by Marconi, was taken away; the façade was covered with cement and painted with a mustard colour. The plaster which didn’t undergo any conservation work for over 30 years, cracked and started to fall off, the paint peeled off and the elements of baroque architecture decorating the front of the church blackened. The possibility that one of the angels with a broken wing on the top of the façade would fall down posed a serious threat.

In 2009, renovation work started. The façade of the Visitationist Church regained its previous colour visible on the painting by Canaletto from 1780. During the work, decision was taken to take off the cement plaster put in place just after the World War II, and switch back to the sand and lime mortar used in the 18th century. Under the cement layer on average 5 centimetres thick, surprisingly, a series of covered for half a century baroque architectural details were uncovered, together with remaining in the oldest parts of the wall original colour of the façade (a mixture of pearl, pink and yellow-brown) on the basis of which the colour of the whole elevation was reconstructed.

All the elements of the facade were renovated, including the sculptures placed on it. First, they had to be cleaned. Professor Gerard Śliwiński from the Department of Photophysics and Laser Technique of PAN (the Polish Academy of Sciences) in Gdańsk provided two lasers for this aim. With this technique the following elements were renovated: two statues: Saint Augustine and Saint Francis de Sales (nave on the second floor), statues of Elizabeth and Mary from the scene "Mary Visits Elisabeth" (nave on the third floor); four saints: Joseph, Joachim, Anna and Zachariah, and two Angels with the cross above them in the central place.

Moreover, windows were replaced with new ones. Woodwork was based on the old baroque frameworks still kept in the monastery. The glass panes were made in the glassworks in Jasło with the use of historical techniques, thanks to which the product is not even and it contains bubbles of air inside. The window panes were fixed together with the use of the lead just like in the stained glass.

The general renovation work of the façade was completed with further work financed by the capital’s Town Hall. Two trees behind which the church was hidden were cut down on the side of the Krakowskie Przedmieście Street; the surface of the square where they were growing was replaced with a new one. In addition, the city modernized the illumination of the church ad the monastery.

The renovation work, the conservation of the façade of the baroque Visitationist Church and ordering and arranging of the space around the church was financed by the Capital City of Warsaw, which dedicated to this aim almost PLN 2.3 million. Intense construction work according to the project by Dorota Śliwińska and conservation work planned by Wiesława Procyka were completed in the beginning of 2010. The Visitationists chose the Restauro company from Toruń as the contractor for the work. 

The Visitationist Church after renovation