Paulist monastery complex of St. Peter and Paul the Apostles, currently a parish church, Beszowa
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Paulist monastery complex of St. Peter and Paul the Apostles, currently a parish church



A monastery church in Beszowa is one of the best preserved monuments of Gothic architecture in Lesser Poland based on the so-called pillar and buttress construction system, similarly as Cracow basilicas, or the more modest ones in Skalbmierz and Bodzentyn. Hence, it is one of the best, even if simplified, examples of influence of Cracow architectural solutions on the province, and at the same time one of the most spectacular Paulist monastery churches.


As reported by Długosz, a magnificent St. Peter and Paul brick and stone church was founded in ca. 1407 by Wojciech Jastrzębiec, who was still a bishop of Poznań at that time, in his native village in the place of a small, wooden parish church. A document issued in February 1421, under which Wojciech, who already since 1412 had been a bishop of Cracow, donated the church with endowment to the Paulist monks from Jasna Góra of Częstochowa), was of key importance for the later history of the church.  The first significant construction works related to the church were probably started no earlier than in the early 17th century, followed by the consecration in 1616 by bishop of Cracow Piotr Gembicki. The Sodality of Holy Guardian Angels, established in ca. 1628, in 1664 found shelter in the former chapter-house. In 1690, castellan of Połaniec Hieronim Jagniątkowski with his wife Anna founded the tomb chapel of the Anthony of Pauda from the southern side. In the 18th century, the convent started to gradually lose its importance, and the condition of monastery buildings deteriorated. By decree of archbishop Franciszek Skarbek Malczewski of 17 April 1819, the convent of Beszowa, as many others, was disbanded.  Only Hilarion Bobrowski, the then Galician provincial superior, remained in the monastery as a parish priest.  The condition of church buildings was still bad, the monastery was ruined, and the church had to be closed after part of the roof collapsed and the northern nave vaulting was destroyed. At that time, parish priests took over the former monastery building, used until then by the trustee of the post-monastery property, to transform it into a rectory. The structures sustained heavy damages in war in 1944, when the church roof and windows were destroyed, and pipe organ and many other elements of interior fittings were damaged, but first and foremost - the chapel of Holy Guardian Angels was crushed.


A slim silhouette of the church located to the south from the Sandomierz-Cracow route, is a distinct landmark in the area. The church is fenced with stone, plastered walls with a gate in their northern part, guarded by sculptures of St. John the Baptist and St. John of Nepomuk. Next to it, in the north-western part of the former cemetery, there is an impressive bell tower, erected in mid-17th century, allegedly in the place of an older one. The church is a three-nave basilica with a short chancel, it is made of brick with a partial stone cladding. The St. Anthony and Paul chapel founded by Jagniątkowkis, designed as a mausoleum, adjoins the church from the south. Next to it, there are remains of the post-monastery structures, with the former library and a chapter-house, later the Holy Guardian Angels chapel destroyed during the World War II, in 1944. Characteristic of the church are stepped, Gothic gables of the main and side naves and a later late-Renaissance eastern gable of the chancel. The profile of the church's western main portal is stepped, with lavish bar tracery. A three-nave interior is separated with pointed-arch, profiled arcades supported by richly profiled pillars, strengthened with pronounced buttresses from the side naves. Within the main nave and chancel, the interior is enclosed by faux wooden vaulting; only side naves are covered with cross-ribbed vaulting, with ribs resting on corbels decorated with coats of arms and masques.   In the western part, one of the then three bays of the former oratory are still present, with a stellar vault above. Over the entrance to the former chapel of Holy Guardian Angels the foundation plaque of the church is placed, with the Jastrzębiec coat of arms and a special inscription. The church's interior is dominated by early modern art, including the early-Baroque main altar and choir stalls in the chancel, as well as a number of altars in the naves. Monastic cells over the former chapter-house were connected by an unpreserved passage over a pointed archway with the monastery building. The building itself, which at present is lower by a storey and houses a rectory, features rooms on both sides of the vestibule, covered with stellar vaults supported on a pillar in the centre.

The structures accessible from the outside, and the church's interior upon consent of the parish priest.

Compiled by Jerzy Zub, 16.12.2014.


  • Szyszko - Bohusz A., Beszowa, Skalmierz i system krakowski. Bodzentyn (in:) Sprawozdania Komisyi do badania historyi sztuki w Polsce, vol. IX, 1913, pp. 45 - 108.
  • Zbudniewek J., Katalog domów i rezydencji polskiej prowincji paulinów (in:) Nasza Przeszłość, vol. XXXI, 1969, pp. 181-228.
  • Gorzelak M., Kościół i klasztor popauliński w Beszowej (in:) Studia Claromontana, vol. 10, 1989, pp. 454-478.
  • Zub J., Dzieje kościoła i klasztoru paulińskiego w Beszowej po kasacie zakonu (w:) Studia Claromontana, vol. 10, 1989, pp. 479-487.
  • Węcławowicz T., Małopolska i ziemie ruskie Korony (in:) Architektura gotycka w Polsce, Warszawa 1995.

General information

  • Type: monastery
  • Chronology: po 1407-1421 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Beszowa 26, Beszowa
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district staszowski, commune Łubnice
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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