St Vaclav Church
600 metres from the busy and noisy town centre, next to low buildings there is the oldest brick monument of Radom – St Vaclav church. It was constructed in the 13th century as a wooden building and was bricked in the following century. Originally, the Gothic church was small as it was only 9 metres wide and 15 metres long. At present, this is a chancel of the church, i.e. the east facing part with an altar. The church was gradually expanded. In the 16th century a very interesting element was added on the gable: a strand with heart-shaped recesses, which is unique in Poland!
At the beginning of the 19th century, the church was transformed into a warehouse and then a prison. For those purposes, the building was reconstructed and lost its Gothic look. At the end of the 70s of the 20th century, it was handed over back to church authorities. Renovation works started and the Gothic look of the church was recovered.
This is the place of many curiosities. In the past, the building had a vault and a vestibule where exorcisms were performed! In the 19th century, it was used as an epidemic hospital, a psychiatric ward of the town hospital, and a museum. The strand with heart-shaped recesses is unique in Poland.
To see the interior, you must come before the afternoon mass, which starts at 17:00. Then, you will be able to see many stained-glass windows, which refer to the history of Poland. They show the images of, for example, St Kinga, Prince Leszek the White, and Tadeusz Rejtan in the scene known from John Matejka’s painting. While looking at the painting entitled “Our Lady of Częstochowa – Protector of the Polish Nation”, you can try to recognise historic figures, including not only governors, but for example: Fryderyk Chopin, John Kochanowski and Nicolaus Copernicus, as well.
On your way from the St Vaclav church, you will see the cradle of Radom: the remains of the old town. In the second half of the 10th century, the area of around 2 hectares over the Mleczna river was surrounded with embankments made of wooden cases filled with soil. Behind the embankment, there were small houses and the St Peter church, which was constructed in the 11th century. In the 13th century, near the old town, a village with the St Vaclav church was established. It was an important commercial and administration centre. When King Kazimierz 3 the Great constructed New Radom, the oldest part of the town lost its importance. At the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, the site of the former old town played the role of the cemetery. The St Peter church was demolished over 200 years ago.
Today, in the place of the church, there is a hill covered with vegetation: Grodzisko Piotrówka. The name comes from the first church in Radom. As a result of archaeological excavations, you can see treasures of Piotrówka, including, without limitation, a silver tag, a necklace made of glass beads, a reliquary cross or medieval coins. The exhibits are displayed in the Jacek Malczewski Museum in Radom.