(350 m from the Mikolaj hotel)
The most valuable monument in St. Mary's church is the main altar, the greatest and best preserved old architecture sculpture work in this part of Europe. When in the first half of the fifteenth century, the arch of presbytery collapsed, the altar was destroyed. City councilors decided to order a new one from Nuremberg sculptor, Veit Stoss. The artist moved in to Krakow and he received generous remuneration for his work worth at least equivalent of annual town budget. The altar was created between 1477 -1489. In eighteen large bas-reliefs placed on altar's moving wings, the artist retrieved key episodes from Mary and Christ's life. In a central, stationary pentaptych you can admire realistically illustrated scene of God's Mother falling asleep among twelve apostles, above, there is the Assumption scene, and the copestone presents Holy Mary's coronation by the Trinity assisted by Poland's patrons, St. Wojciech and St. Stanislaw. Stoss' design is 11 m wide and 13 m high made of oak wood which in his times was approximately 500 years old (so currently around 1000 years old).