St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Bialystok

St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption was built in late Renaissance (the oldest brick building in Bialystok) with a baroque presbytery built in 1761. The old parish church was built in 1617–1626 to replace previous wooden churches. In the church there are sarcophagi containing hearts of Stefan Mikolaj Branicki and his mother – Katarzyna Aleksandra Branicki nee Czarniecka, a headstone of Jan Klemens Branicki’s heart (marble mausoleum) and an embroidered epitaph for J.K. Branicki’s third wife – Izabela Branicka nee Poniatowska.

The latter one was buried in a crypt – a stone vault beneath the floor of the church. When in the mid 19th century the church’s capacity was not sufficient because of the increase in number of parishioners – the church officials applied officially to the Tsar’s authorities for a permission for building a new church. After 40 years wait a permission was given but only for an “annexe” rather than a separate temple. The works commenced in 1900 and after six years the building was accomplished. Today the “annexe” (few times bigger that the actual church) serves as the cathedral basilica for Bialystok archbishop.

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