Cathedral Under The Invocation Of
The cathedral under the invocation of Christ the Lord was constructed in 1927-1956, neo-baroque. Its architects are Zygmunt Gawlik and Franciszek Maczynski, the participatnts of the competition for the cathedral edifice in 1925. The design of the architects mentioned was sent for the realization, it was decided by the curia, in spite of the fact that it was only awarded in the competition. The competition for the cathedral design and the discussion after the competition, also about the final decision connected with its execution were one of the most important events of the architectural life in the interwar Poland. The cathedral is a central structure, with a dome on the nave intersection and unclearly exposed presbytery - the altar part. According to the lay out the dome was to be mounted on a very high drum. Unfortunately the postwar authorities did not agree with that. The lack of drums destroys the stylish baroque effect of the structure to a great extent, giving the cathedral more classicistic character, emphsized by a monumental column portico, which makes the church facade. Under the presbytery, from the south, there is a crypt which nowdays performs a function of an academic church. In the centre of the town the cathedral designed and built together with the curia edifice forms a compact complex of buildings of historizing architecture. It is completed by the theological seminary, the former St. Jack school, which was built in the thirties and designed by Jan Kapolka, and a new diocesian printing house which is still being built.
The cathedral interior is not designed in an uniform manner. Xawery Dunikowski was to be originally its author. The thirty year construction, however, ruled out this project. The interior decorations (M. Krol is an author of its contemporary interior arrangement) were made within a dozen or so years and today it is dominated by the altar table with a sculpture of the Resurrected Christ hanging over it (designed by Jerzy Kwiatkowski). Jerzy Kwiatkowski is also an author of the bas relief door of the cathedral. In the northern-eastern side chapel under the invocation of St. Barbara, housing a monument of miners by G. Grzywaczyk and a figure of the saint of the same author, there is a plate commemorating the Rev. Emil Szramek, an architect of the cathedral, a parish-priest of the St. Mary''s parish, murdered in Dachau. In the last years in the cathedral porch several commemorating plates were placed, chiselled by Zygmunt Brachmanski, in honour of the Silesian Insurgents, Scouts in 1939, soldiers of the National Army in Silesia and the Polish Arm Forces in the West. Nearby them there is also an enormous plate with a crucifix made by Jan Walach, commemorating the names of the diocese priests who died and were killed during the Second World War. In addition to it in the porch there is a monument of the first Katowice bishop, a cardinal August Hlond, also carved by Z. Brachmanski, and the coats of arms of all his successors. In the same cathedral interior tapestries by Teresa Rauszer Michalowska, which hang above the side entrances, attract your attention.