Graveyard church of St Valentine, Bieruń
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Graveyard church of St Valentine

Bieruń

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The building is an example of wooden church architecture typical of Upper Silesia. It has all the characteristic features of the architecture of this region, including the complementarity of the technique and the material and the separate roofs over the nave (a higher one) and the chancel (a lower one). Additionally, the church has genuine relics of the patron saint of the parish, St Valentine, and due to the widespread cult of this saint and the number of pilgrims visiting the parish, it has also been the patron saint of the town since 2003.

History

The first information regarding the existence of the Church of St Valentine in Bieruń comes from a management report rescript from 1628. As there are no specific data and source materials, the time of the construction of the church is usually associated with the period between 1623 and 1628, when Pszczyna was governed by Jan Ulryk Schaffgotsche. The first parish-priest of the parish was appointed in c. 1645.

The church functioned as a parish church in the years 1677-1680, which was related to a fire of the Church of St Bartholomew in 1677. The structure underwent full-scale renovations in 1725 and the date was engraved on a lintel beam around the entrance to the church. The next works were carried out in the 2nd half of the 18th century: the wooden structure was reinforced with a stone wall base and a steeple was constructed. In 1845, another huge fire broke out in Bieruń, destroying the Parish Church of Saint Bartholomew, and the so-called “Walenciak” again started functioning as the main church, which entailed the necessity for the restoration of the building and the construction of a vestibule. In 1929, the church was recognised as a historical monument and underwent a range of maintenance and restoration works. The main works in the interior were carried out in 1942; most of the church’s valuable wall paintings were removed then. The first fire swept through the church in 1971, another one broke out a year later. The renovation and maintenance works were completed in 1984.

Description

The Church of St Valentine is oriented and situated outside the former borders of the town, to the south of the Market Square at Krakowska Street. It is located at a graveyard, in its northern part, and the whole complex is enclosed with a wooden fence with brick posts.

The church is a compact log structure covered with gable roofs of different heights, made of roof shingles. It has one nave.

The central roof is surmounted by a steeple with an onion-shaped cupola from the 2nd half of the 18th century. The structure consists of a rectangular chancel with an apse terminating in a semi-hegaxon, having a quasi-barrel vault, a sacristy located on the north site, and a vestibule on the west side. The wooden walls are covered with weatherboards, with the exception of a part of the apse. The main entrance is situated in the porch. Cloister-type walkways adjoin both the triaxial south façade and the two-axial north façade. The apse is distinctly noticeable on the east facade and accentuated by a small roof. There are some wall paintings from the 17th century in the chancel; currently, the ceiling is adorned with paintings made by Roman Nyga following the fire of 1972. The ceiling is also decorated with a frame in the shape of acanthus leaves. The notable elements of the church interior include the main altar with a 17th-century reredos, two paintings depicting St Valentine from 1729 and 1907, and sculptures of two bishops, the Eye of Providence, the Holy Trinity, and Saints Peter and Paul. The two front columns of the architrave feature two Baroque puttos. The interior is lit with Late-Baroque chandeliers made of wood and decorated with rock crystal. The numerous works of art in the church also include the eight-stop organs from 1650, moved to the Church of St Valentine from Orzesze in 1845. They are some of the most valuable instruments of this type in Upper Silesia.

The site is accessible all year round.

compiled by Agata Mucha, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 28-07-2014.

Bibliography

  • Kubiciel R., Kościół pod wezwaniem świętego Walentego w Bieruniu, Bieruń 1998, s. 8-37.
  • ks. Nyga J., Pamiątki przeszłości Bierunia kościół Św. Bartłomieja i kościół Św. Walentego, Bieruń 1991, s. 11-27.
  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytków architektury i budownictwa. Kościół cmentarny pod wezwaniem świętego Walentego, oprac. Ryszarda Rajnich-Walawender, Katowice 1997.
  • Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, red. Sławomir Brzezicki, Christine Nielsen, Grzegorz Grajewski, Dietmar Popp, Warszawa 2009, s. 122-123.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1 poł. XVII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Krakowska 39, Bieruń
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district bieruńsko-lędziński, commune Bieruń
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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