The Way of Four Gates – Higher Theological Seminary of the Resurrectionist Congregation

  • location: Kraków, ul. ks. Stefana Pawlickiego 1
  • website: http://www.wsdcr.iap.pl
  • outside sightseeing: yes
  • inside sightseeing: yes
  • outside photographing: yes
  • interior photographing: no
  • authors: Dariusz Kozłowski, Wacław Stefański, Maria Misiągiewicz
  • authors' website: http://www.dariuszkozlowski.arch.pk.edu.pl
  • construction: 1993
  • authors of photos: Wojciech Mazur

The mood of this extraordinary architectural compound is best described by the following fragment taken from Dariusz Kozłowski’s credo: “Architecture is the art of building fictitious objects in such a way as to make them look real.”

The Way of Four Gates, as is only proper for a postmodern work, represents the record of a formal quest and provides an excuse for deciphering hidden meanings.

At the level of architectural substance, we are faced with interplay of manifold motifs, devoid of their original function, and often distorted in form. A wall turns out to be a curtain, which hides another wall. Columns rise up, but they support nothing. Stairs lead towards the horizon, with nothing but a precipice opening behind them. The wall of reinforced concrete hides the space, but simultaneously, it opens it up with a rhythm of apertures. The hipped roof, which crowns the church, has a cross-shaped crack in it. Historical details are exaggerated, blown out of proportion. The heavy, broken vaults are hanging down from the ceilings. Buildings rise within the interiors of other buildings.

Leading through the space thus defined is the Way of Spirit, with its four symbolic gates: of Initiation, Hope, Knowledge, and Faith. The Way was designed to assist the residents of the seminary in discovering mysteries of reality, and through that, perhaps, also in discovering God.