Timber-frame churches of Kaszuby and Central Pomerania Region
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl
Timber-frame churches of Kaszuby and Central Pomerania Region

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Timber-frame churches of Kaszuby and Central Pomerania Region

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Timber-frame churches of Kaszuby and Central Pomerania Region

All churches included to the group feature half-timbered construction, comprised of wooden structural elements - posts, transoms, angle braces, and braces, creating a load-bearing frame of a building. Openings in the framework, or the infills, are currently mainly made of brick, and in a few cases there are still infills of the oldest type – made of clay. The infills are partially plastered and painted white. Sometimes the whole half-timbered structure is hidden beneath plaster or weatherboards. Towers of the churches are usually built using a different, post-and-frame structure covered with weatherboards. In some cases, half-timbered church naves were added to older Gothic towers of brick.

The churches most commonly have a simple layout and body – single-space, built on a rectangular floor plan, with the altar section ending in a straight, three-side or five-side wall. More elaborate bodies – with a separated chancel or side naves, are much less common. A distinctive feature of the churches are tower-belfries, mostly squat, cuboid, embedded in the western part of the church, often topped with Baroque bulbous tented roofs with lanterns. In some cases, there are also tapering towers, covered with slender, quadrangular or octagonal tented roofs. The group includes also towerless churches, with a free-standing belfry aside. Inside many of the churches, galleries have survived, including side galleries distinctive of the former Evangelical churches, and a few galleries located behind altars.

Half-timbered churches are characterised by strong traditionalism and a modest architectural form. It is simple architecture, expressing itself through logic and regularity of the half-timbered structure, and contrasting materials – wooden structural elements and brick infills, which are often plastered. Although the vast majority of churches were built in the Baroque period, they are not characterised by decorations and details distinctive of that period. Baroque forms are present only in the bulbous shapes of tented roofs of the towers, as well as, in a few cases, in the form of door and window surrounds.

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