St Bridget’s Church

Church in Gdańsk

Founded over 700 years ago, St Bridget’s was reduced to medieval brick dust in 1945, and until 1970 only the outer walls were left standing. Very little of the prewar furnishings survived, but if you’ve taken a fancy to amber you’re sure to appreciate the spectacular 174cm-high amber monstrance depicting the tree of life and the monumental high altar. This recent construction is the highlight of the interior and contains a record-breaking 6500kg of polished prehistoric tree resin.

Lech Wałęsa attended Mass here when he was an unknown electrician in the nearby shipyard. With the wave of strikes in 1980 the church became a strong supporter of the dockyard workers, and its priest, Henryk Jankowski, took every opportunity to express their views in his sermons. The church remains a record of the Solidarity period, with several contemporary works related to the trade union and to modern Polish history in general. You’ll find the tombstone of murdered priest Jerzy Popiełuszko, the Katyń epitaph, a collection of crosses from the 1980 and '88 strikes, and a door covered with bas-reliefs of scenes from Solidarity’s history – all in the right-hand (northern) aisle.

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