The Great Cross was transferred here in the 16th century, when kings used to pray for victory before going to war. Today this cross is a Polish-national holy place.
During World War II, St. John's Cathedral experienced very severe destruction. In 1944 a real battle took place, and the whole area was blown up by the Germans with explosives. Notice the memorial plaque on the exterior wall of the church, which is still a memorial to that event.
Thus, although it began as a small wooden church, after the war it was rebuilt in the form of a magnificent Gothic structure, and today it is one of the most recognizable architectural icons in the city. When you walk around it, notice the impressive Gothic art, the statues and the wooden icons.
Among others, the writer Henryk Sienkiewicz, the composer Ignacy Jan Paderewski and the first president of the state, Gabriel Nrotovitch, are buried here.