Kraków, Poland, October 9, 2019
There is currently one Orthodox church in the city of Kraków in southern Poland, the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos, though it is no longer sufficient for the city’s Orthodox flock, thanks in large part to an influx of immigrants from the east, especially Ukraine.
Soon the Polish Orthodox Church will be able to expand its presence and build a second church, thanks to the great generosity of city authorities, who decided to sell a plot of land to the Church at a 95% discount, krakow.onet.pl reported last month.
Kraków, known as the “City of Churches” and the “Northern Rome,” is home to over 120 churches and monasteries of various denominations.
Officials considered about 1,700 properties before settling on a 0.8 acre-plot in the southeastern part of the city on the Vistula River. His Eminence Archbishop Simon (Romańczuk) of Łódź and Poznań first asked Mayor Jacek Majchrowski to find a plot of land last October.
Officials explained that “the plot is well connected with the districts of the city of Kraków, and at the same time it can be easily reached from outside the city, which is important given that the church will also be used by the faithful from outside Kraków.”
The plot is being sold to the Church at a discount of $253,800 (1 million Polish złoty), which is allowed under property laws adopted in 1997. The city has also sold 9 plots of land since 2008 to the Catholic church at discounts of 70-99%.
The agreement stipulates that the Polish Church can not use the plot for any other purpose or sell it within 10 years, otherwise it will have to pay back the discount.
A new church dedicated to St. Luke of Crimea and the victims of Nazism was consecrated in the village of Łaźnie in northeastern Poland in the Diocese of Białystok and Gdańsk in July.