Cats on a hot tin roof and all that. Gdańsk is full of vast brick churches but St Mary’s outdoes them all for sheer size and bravado. It did take about 160 years to build, starting in the 1300s, with restoration continuing to this day. Spending an afternoon on the tiles is harder than it sounds – the route is up a narrow brick spiral staircase and then up caged metal staircases clinging to the walls of the hallowed hollowed out bell tower. Divide the 400 steps by the average 13 of a domestic staircase – the rooftop is 30 storeys in the air. Bereft of the concealment of their pediments, a red sea of pantiled roofs – not tin – stretches toward infinity.
Every 15th August, The Indulgence Feast of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is marked by a concert at St Mary’s.