The windows of St John the Baptist Basilica

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The city of Szczecin used to be mainly a protestant town – this changed after World War II when this part of Germany east of the river Oder was transferred to Poland with its catholic population. But even before the war there was a catholic minority living inside the city of Stettin which is the German name for the city of Szczecin.

The original church was built in 1888 and consecrated as a church in 1890. The church did survive the war in sufficient good condition so the first church could open for service on May 6 when the fight for the city was over with the Soviet occupying forces controlling the city.

The church did need many repairs after the war damages and it took a long time for the church to finally be fully repaired – probably because the ruling communist party didn’t prioritize religious buildings. In 1987 the spire was reconstructed and in 1996-98 the roof and vaults were reconstructed and covered in copper. Finally in 2008 Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed the church to be a minor basilica – hence the name now ends with basilica.

The most impressive thing of the church is probably the many colourful windows which you can enjoy if you head inside the church to have a look at the old glass windows.

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