Warsaw is one of the cities in Europe that can boast an unprecedented number of chapels anywhere else. The stories of their formation are very interesting and sometimes mysterious. Most of the preserved Warsaw chapels can be admired on the right bank of the Vistula. They are located in almost every courtyard of pre-war tenement houses on the streets of Stara and Nowa Praga.
When did the most shrines appear?
Most of the chapels were built in 1943. It was the 4th year of the war. The German occupation and repressions took their toll on the inhabitants of Warsaw. The chapels were placed mainly in the backyards of tenement houses. They were a place of religious worship where people gathered and prayed together. The altars gave people a sense of community and hope. Religiousness and entrusting the protection of the Mother of God helped the inhabitants of Warsaw to mentally survive the difficult war period. An example of an occupation chapel is a figurine located in the backyard of Ząbkowska 12. The chapel was erected on August 1, 1943, and people gathered around it to experience the worries together.
Along with the expansion of infrastructure and the development of cities, the chapels took on a new meaning, unfortunately many of them still disappear from the map of Warsaw, due to the eviction of tenants and renovation of tenement houses. The aesthetic and historical values of the chapels are often underestimated and therefore they are rarely renovated. Nevertheless, Prague, thanks to its old buildings, is famous for the largest number of chapels. This is also because the rotation of inhabitants takes place less frequently than in other districts. Each chapel has its own unique character, and the inhabitants care for them to this day, thanks to which they have survived for so many years, fitting into the specificity of Prague for good.