Tyniec Abbey  

A double gate leads to the outer courtyard of the Abbey. Above it there is Opatowka (the former castle). Its current form dates back to the 16th century. The eastern wing of the former abbot’s residence adheres to the corner of the church. On the other side once stood the building of the county office. A slight elevation of the terrain constitutes its only remains. In the church visible are two styles: the gothic and baroque. The western façade, baroque, hides gothic elements: the right jamb of the portal and buttresses. The whole northern façade is gothic, including the presbytery enclosed from the east by a late-baroque façade. The interior of the church is dominated by the baroque . The nave is open to the side chapels with altars. Above the arcades there is a frieze and slightly higher the entablature.

The longitudinal axis leads to the main altar, dedicated to the church’s patrons: Saints Peter and Paul. The chapel of St. Benedict – the founder of the order and his sister St. Scholastic demark the shorter axis of the church. The presbytery has generally maintained its gothic form; A baroque décor was imposed on it. The vault and the floor are also examples of the baroque style. Remains of the older presbytery can be seen in the southern wall where there are partially-walled windows with traceries. Between them there is a polychrome from the 16th century representing the adoration of the Magi. The sculptor Francesco Placidi and painter Andrzej Radwanski are the authors of the late-baroque main altar, which was made of black marble. The painting in the centre of the altar represents the patrons of the church. Next to the painting there are four sculptures representing St. Petronela and St. Gregory the Great from left and St. Barbara and St. Tekla from the right. Above the painting angels hold attributes of the patrons and above them there is a dove symbolizing the Holy Spirit. The stalls in the presbytery originate from the baroque period. They were built in 17th century, with  some changes  introduced in the 18th century. They are covered with painted decoration – on the right there are scenes from St. Benedict’s life and on the left scenes from the lives of Benedictine saints. The contemporary altar was built in 1980 for the 1500th anniversary of St. Benedict’s birth. Below the floor basement are concealed the remains of the eastern choir of the Romanesque church. The presbytery and side chapels are closed off by a black marble balustrade. First on the left is the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament. This was already in existence in the 15th century, since the 17th century it has been a place of worship of Blessed Virgin Mary. Finally the chapel was restructured in the middle of 20th century. The Chapels of St. Benedict and St. Scholastic in the second span of the nave became a formal model for other chapels. The altars in these chapels were made of black marble (in the others they are of wood). The same artists who built the main altar are the authors of the altars in the side chapels. The next chapel on the left from which one can enter the cloister is dedicated to All Saints. The third is the chapel of St. Benedict. The painting in the altar shows Benedict in the company of Temperance (a woman with book), earthly Love (a woman with a shield and an inkwell), heavenly Love (a woman with wings). Benedict, turned away from earthly Love, is directed by the heavenly one towards the book. This scene represents symbolical choice. The fresco on the eastern wall shows the Benedictine promises  made by Christ and on the western wall the fresco represents the death of Benedict. In the dome of the chapel there is a fresco showing the triumph of St. Benedict. In the corners one can see allegorical presentations of the cardinal virtues.

The final chapel on the left is dedicated to St. Anne. Opposite it  is the chapel of the Immaculate Conception. In the second one there is a board commemorating Father Karol van Oost who brought the Benedictines to Tyniec in 1939. The next chapel in an eastern direction is dedicated to St. Scholastic. In the altar there is a painting of the Saint in prayer. Scholastic is a patron of Benedictine nuns, therefore in the corners placed are figures praising the virtues of religious life. In the chapel one can see also a contemporary painting depicting the last conversation between Benedict and Scholastic. The last is the baptismal chapel. It is equipment with a font and paschal candlestick from 1981. The painting in the altar shows All Saints and above it there is an image of St. Gertrude.

The wooden boat-shaped pulpit was created before 1765. The crowning structure consists of the canopy symbolizing the Church and the figure of the resurrected Christ. The figure of a women next to the boat (an allegory of faith) is a very important part of the pulpit. The baroque choir is divided into three arcades. At the beginning it served as a gathering place for musicians and singers. The organ was built in the 19th century. The Way of the Cross painted on the pillars separating the nave from the side chapels was created in the 1970s.

The cloister dates back to the gothic period. In the northern wing there is a stone wall of the oldest church with a Romanesque portal. The treasury – the first room in the eastern wing, also comes from Romanesque times. It stands on the place of the first wooden monastery. The chapter house next to the treasury was a place of prayer and community meetings. Today the gothic interior has a baroque décor. The southern wing with the sacristy was formerly used as a refectory  (the remains of the Romanesque refectory are preserved in the basement). Today, there are many boards commemorating important events (e.g. the foundation of the monastery) in  history and on the important monks that lived here. In this part, a wooden 17th-century sculpture of Casimir the Restorer was placed. In the arm of the gothic cloister different layers are visible: gothic in form of the cross-ribbed vault and ogival portal, and baroque present in the two layers of polychrome covering the vault. The arms of the Cloisters surround the inner courtyard called the garth. The south-eastern monastery buildings are closed to the public. Here are the rooms and premises covered by the enclosed order. The southern wing is the headquarters of the Museum, the Benedictine Institute of Culture and the Guest House. A well with a wooden roof is a distinctive place in the outer courtyard. It was dug  in 17th century. The  original roof was replaced by a reconstruction once covered by a polychrome. The well is 38 metres deep.