Oliwa Cathedral

Church in Gdańsk

The first surprise as you approach the cathedral is the facade, a striking composition of two slim octagonal Gothic towers with a central baroque portion wedged between them. The interior looks extraordinarily long, mainly because of the unusual proportions of the building – the nave and chancel together are 90m long but only 8.3m wide. At the far end of this ‘tunnel’ is a baroque high altar (1688); the marble tombstone of the Pomeranian dukes (1613) is in the right transept.

The showpiece of the church is the organ (www.gdanskie-organy.com). This glorious instrument, begun in 1763 and completed 30 years later, is renowned for its fine tone and the mechanised angels that blow trumpets and ring bells when the organ is in action. In July and August, recitals take place on Tuesday and Friday evenings, but 20-minute performances are held six times a day (in the afternoon only on Sunday). Check the schedule with the tourist offices before setting off.