The baroque church of Sts. Michelangelo and Stanislaus in Kraków’s Skałka rises above the boulevards on Vistula River.
The first, Romanesque church was built here as early as in the 11th century. Inside this temple, in 1079, bishop Stanislaus of Szczepanów was murdered by order of king Bolesław II the Bold. Although his remains (which, as legend has it, were first chopped apart and then miraculously integrated after the bishop’s death) were transferred to Wawel, the church in Skałka still serves as the place of worship of the martyr, who was canonised and declared patron of Poland in the 13th century. The most important festival celebrated in the sanctuary is 8 May, the day when St. Stanislaus’ relics are carried in procession from Wawel to Skałka. Underneath the church in Skałka, there is a crypt which serves as a National Pantheon. Among the distinguished Poles buried there are: the chronicler Jan Długosz, the painter and playwright Stanisław Wyspiański and the poet Czesław Miłosz. The church and monastery of Pauline fathers, the cult of St. Stanislaus of Szczepanów and the legend of the bishop and martyr greatly influenced the works of Stanisław Wyspiański. He dedicated several paintings and drama plays to this place, e.g. ”Bolesław Śmiały” and “Skałka”. The pool with a baroque statue of the bishop from 1st part of 18th century was immortalised in the paintings. The water from this pool is supposed to have miraculous properties.