The parish Church of St Mary Magdalene, Bogatynia
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The parish Church of St Mary Magdalene

Bogatynia

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Originally constructed in the 15th century, the church and its tower, added in 1569, underwent a substantial redesign in 1796 and was later restored during the 19th century.

History

The church was built in the 15th century, most likely incorporating the walls of an even earlier, late-13th century structure which had stood on the same spot. The tower, positioned south of the main body of the church, was added in 1569. In 1796, the church underwent a comprehensive redesign and was substantially extended, with parts of the walls and the tower of the previous structure being used as a starting point. The church underwent renovation works both in the 19th century and in 1959. In 1992, the church was abandoned, with only makeshift measures being taken in order to protect it against further damage; the decision to abandon the structure was taken due to the plans for redevelopment of the area in connection with the extension of the “Turów” mining and energy complex. In May 2011, the church fell victim to arson and was largely destroyed as a result. It has remained in a state of ruin ever since.

Description

The church is located in the middle of the village, on a low hill, surrounded by an old cemetery. It is oriented towards the east, its walls made of brick and stone. The main body, designed on a rectangular floor plan, is adjoined to the east by a quadrangular chancel with a single-storey annex. A five-storey tower designed on a square floor plan adjoins the nave to the south, the uppermost section of its shaft being octagonal in shape; the tower is visually counterpoised by a pseudo-avant-corps projecting from the northern façade. Originally, the church featured a tall half-hip roof with eyebrow dormers; the chancel, on the other hand, had a lower, three-sloped roof with a short ridge, clad with roof tiles. The tower had originally been crowned with a Baroque cupola with an openwork arcaded section, clad with sheet metal. The façades are covered with plaster, their articulation based on the use of decorative framing; the façades of the main body follow a five- and three-axial layout respectively. The main entrance, located in the ground floor section of the tower, is framed with a round-arch portal. The windows are arranged in two rows, with the lower windows being smaller and segment-headed, while the upper windows are tall, slender and topped with basket-handle arches. The windows are divided into small panes and framed with broad, plasterwork surrounds. The tower windows are relatively small and feature plain sandstone surrounds; some of the windows are rectangular in shape, whereas others are topped with semicircular arches. The interior of the church is a single, open space; little remains of the original fixtures and fittings, the flat ceiling of the nave having collapsed during the fire; remnants of the wooden galleries which had once led alongside the back and side walls of the nave as well as traces of wall paintings and decorative plasterwork can still be seen among the ruins. Traces of an Early Gothic portal, dating back to the 13th century, can still be seen inside the porch. The rest of the fixtures and fittings has been removed from the church following its closure in the 1990s.

The church is surrounded amidst an old cemetery circumscribed by stone wall with a gatehouse. A former farm of the local parish priest, comprising a number of buildings from the 18th and 19th century, is located south-west of the church.

Unrestricted access to the churchyard. The interior is inaccessible - the windows and doors are all bricked up.

compiled by Piotr Roczek, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 22-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Słownik Geografii Turystycznej Sudetów. Vol. 2 Pogórze Izerskie, part II, M. Staff (ed.), Wrocław 2003, p. 475.
  • Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006, p. 128.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: XV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Wiejska , Bogatynia
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district zgorzelecki, commune Bogatynia - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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