Church of St. Matthias and Precious Blood of Lord Jesus, Bisztynek
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

Church of St. Matthias and Precious Blood of Lord Jesus

Bisztynek

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A rare example of a Warmia, originally Gothic, urban church, which has survived in the form it acquired after the Baroque conversion.

History

Bisztynek was chartered twice. The first charter, conferred on a village named Strowangen in 1348, provided for the allocation of 6 lans of land to a future church of St. Martha. The church was probably built on the site of a later St. Matthias chapel. The second charter, a town charter this time, issued in 1385, confirmed the landed estate granted to the parish priest and provided for the construction of a new parish church of St. Matthias, which took the form of a Gothic aisleless church without towers, typical of rural areas. The church was consecrated by Bishop Henryk Sorbom shortly before the year 1400. The building was partly burned in 1462, 1463 and 1479. Reconstruction started in 1481. Construction of the tower was completed in 1579. In the 16th century, the church in Bisztynek became a popular after word spread of miraculous appearance of blood on the host. Because of a large number of pilgrims, on 10 March 1739, Bishop Krzysztof Szembek granted a permit to expand the church by adding a north nave. The re-consecration was performed by Bishop Andrzej Grabowski on 4 August 1748. Following a fire in 1770, the church was rebuilt in 1775-1780 in the Baroque style. The church plan was modified during the conversion: the norther nave was extended by three bays, and the main nave by four bays, and a south nave was added, forming a three-nave hall. The works were led by master builder Fryderyk Bauch of Pfarrfeld near Morąg. The Baroque façade was made in 1791 to a design by Ernest Mazur. The figures in the west gable by Christian Bernard Schmidt were made in 1778. The last conversion was performed in 1885, when the presbytery was reduced and the norther sacristy space was expanded.

Description

The parish church in Bisztynek is situated in the southern part of the Old Town. The site is accessed through a Baroque gate integrated into fencing with stone figures on top of fencing posts. The parish church in Bisztynek is an oriented three-nave hall erected on a rectangular plan, with a tower and an elliptically-closed presbytery integrated with the nave body. In its present form the Bisztynek parish church is a Baroque building. The west two-storey façade is topped with a semi-oval gable with a tower rising behind it, covered by a sheet metal Baroque tented roof, occupying the space of the first west bay. The façade is of a three-axial design, articulated with pilasters - four in the upper storey and six in the lower storey. An entrance is situated in the axis in the lower storey, with arch-topped windows above and on the sides of it. The north and south façades are articulated with windows. The church structure is covered with a ceramic-tiled gable roof. Three-nave interior with naves separated by tall arcades and covered with vaults supported by arches with lunettes.

Baroque interior fittings. The main features of the church interior include a 1772 main altar by Christian Bernard Schmidt of Reszel and a pulpit dating back to the 1st half of the 18th century.

The site is open to visitors. Viewing of the building is only possible by prior telephone arrangement.

Compiled by Maurycy Domino, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Olsztyn, 02.12.2014.

Bibliography

  • Bosko J., Wojtkowski J. M., Dziedzictwo historyczno-artystyczne archidiecezji warmińskiej. Zabytki ruchome, Olsztyn 2011, s. 68-69.
  • Boetticher A., Die Bau- und Kunstdenkmaeler der Provinz Ostpreussen, h. IV. Ermland, Koenigsberg 1894, s. 27-34.
  • Chrzanowski T., Przewodnik po zabytkowych kościołach południowej Warmii, Olsztyn 1973, s. 13-17.
  • Herrmann Ch., Mittelalterliche Architektur im Preussenland, Petersberg 2007, s. 362-363.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1385-1399
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kościelna , Bisztynek
  • Location: Voivodeship warmińsko-mazurskie, district bartoszycki, commune Bisztynek - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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