Parish church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Będków
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Parish church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Będków

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An example of Gothic architecture preserved without significant modifications.

History

The church was founded by the canon of Gniezno and Poznań, Piotr Spinek, together with his two brothers. It was built in 1462. In the same year, under a decree issued by Casimir IV Jagiellon, Będków was granted municipal rights. The said events were commemorated by a memorial plaque embedded in the southern wall of the church. Until 1521, the church was a filial church for the parish in Rosocha. Since the 70. of the 18th century, it has been called Sanctuary due to the cult of a painting of the Holy Mother of Będków, famous for miracles.

In the second half of the 18th century, the building was significantly redesigned. The chapel of Christ was built at that time, collapsed vaults were replaced, and the porch was extended. Also, walls in the southern part were converted into arcades. It can be assumed that the work was paid for by the new owner of Będków, bishop Jan Dębowski.

After 1783, the tower was erected. In the 19th century and in 1914, the church was renovated.

Description

The church is located in the western part of Będków, on an oval land plot. A significant part of the area is used as a square, densely planted with trees (including old ones). The church is surrounded by a cemetery with preserved gravestones from the 19th century and a bell tower. The cemetery area is circumscribed by a brick fence. The church constitutes a dominant architectural feature over the nearby single-storey residential buildings.

Despite conversions of roofs and extension, it remained Gothic in style. It is oriented, built on a rectangular floor plan, with a narrower chancel. The interior follows an open-space layout, from the south the nave is adjoined by the former porch and the chapel of St Anne, and in the chancel section - there is a little treasury. From the north, the church is flanked by the chapel of Christ and the sacristy. The walls are made of brick (arranged in a Gothic (Polish) pattern), not plastered from the outside. Over the nave, there is a flat ceiling and a high gable roof, side rooms are covered with barrel vaults, and chapels - with stellar and groin vaults. Gabled and mono-pitched roofs are clad with roof tiles. The whole roof truss is made of wood. It is topped with a cupola covered with copper sheet.

In the front façade, there is the porch with an entrance surrounded by a stonework profiled portal, with two cartouches incorporating coats of arms. Behind the porch, there is the tower, and behind the latter - the western wall of the nave, covered with a stepped gable. Similar gables were used also in other façades. Epitaph plaques and a Gothic plaque commemorating the completion of the construction works are embedded in their walls (southern façade). Traces of former window and entrance openings have also survived. In the individual façades of the building, there are typical Gothic windows and blind window with pointed arches, as well as Baroque round windows.

In the interior, elements of fittings such as Gothic baptismal font (15th century?), main altar from the 2nd half of the 18th century with the painting of the Holy Mother of Będków (15th century), declared to be miraculous in the 18th century, are worth particular attention.

The church is open throughout the year and may be visited upon prior arrangement with the parish priest.

compiled by Anna Michalska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Łódź, 08-08-2014.

Bibliography

  • Dziekoński J., Monografia kościoła w Będkowie, Kraków 1893 r.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki, Warszawa 1954, t. II, s 1
  • Prace i materiały historyczne Archiwum Archidiecezjalnego w Łodzi i Muzeum Archidiecezji Łódzkiej, Łódź 2011, t. VIII, s.. 31
  • Gryglewski P., Vetusta Monumenta, Łódź 2002

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: XV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Parkowa 5, Będków
  • Location: Voivodeship łódzkie, district tomaszowski, commune Będków
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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