Parish Church of St Nicholas, Bonikowo
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Parish Church of St Nicholas

Bonikowo

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The church is an interesting example of 18th-century wooden ecclesiastical architecture of Greater Poland. The church has valuable fittings dating from the 18th century. The wall paintings made by Teodor Szukała in 1971 deserve particular attention.

History

Bonikowo was mentioned in written records for the first time in 1310. The first church existed in the village as early as in 1419; written sources confirmed the existence of a local parish in 1580. In 1610, there was a wooden church there, whose condition badly deteriorated and which was handed over to priests in Kościan by King John II Casimir. In 1666, the Bonikowo parish became part of a priest college in Kościan, which founded the present church building, built in 1785.The church was renovated at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. The sacristy and the porch were most probably added in 1899. Inside, there are wall paintings by Teodor Szukała, made in 1971.

Description

The church is situated on an irregular plot of land bordering a park complex on the south side. It has a wooden post-and-frame structure with brick infill; the walls are covered with weatherboards. It is not oriented towards the east — the chancel faces the west. It has one nave (with no aisles). Following the modification works carried out in 1899, the church bears certain features characteristic of the Gothic Revival style: window and door openings headed by pointed arches, the triangular gable of the porch, triangular dormers, and a simple, non-Baroque steeple. The chancel, smaller than the nave, terminates in a semi-hexagon; it is adjoined by a chapel on the north side and a sacristy on the south side. The walls rest on a brick wall base. The nave is accessed through a square porch. Over the front part of the nave, there is a quadrangular tower, crowned with an onion-shaped, dome-like roof and a lantern, constructed in 1936. The church is covered with a one-ridge (originally: two-ridge) roof with wood shingles. The sacristy and chapel roofs are covered with sheet metal. Over the chancel, untypically positioned, there is a square steeple topped with a pyramidal cupola. The interior walls are covered with plaster. The nave and the chancel have a common flat ceiling. The music gallery, having a protruding central part and enclosed with a parapet, is supported by two posts. Between the nave and the chancel, there is a profiled rood beam with a Baroque crucifix. An element deserving particular attention is the Mannerist main altar dating from 1620-1630, incorporating a painting of Our Lady of Snows with the Child and the kneeling figure of the founder, painted in c. 1621. The altar also incorporates a Late-Baroque tabernacle and an altar stone with the date “1787”. The side altar is made up of sculptures and ornamental elements dating from c. 1720-1730, with a sculpture of St Nicholas from the 2nd half of the 18th century in the central field. The baptismal font, having the form of a palm tree trunk with a sculpture of a pelican feeding chicks, comes from c. 1700. Other valuable objects are a Gothic-Renaissance crucifix from the mid-16th century and a Baroque sculpture of Our Lady of Sorrows from the 1st half of the 18th century. The wall paintings were made by Teodor Szukała (based on a design by Teodor and Stanisław Szukała) in 1971. The former church graveyard is enclosed on three sides with a brick wall: modern wire-netting sections, resting on a brick lattice wall, stretch between evenly spaced brick posts with pyramid-shaped tops. The church yard is separated from the neighbouring park with wire netting. On the east side, there is a gate with a side wicket gate, made of brick, with a metal lattice. In the church yard, there is a statue of Mary with Child from the early 20th century and graves, including graves of members of the Chłapowski family, who rendered numerous services to Poland. On the chancel side is the grave of Alfred Chłapowski, the last owner of Bonikowo, and his family. Alfred Chłapowski, Minister of Agriculture in the government of Wincenty Witos and Ambassador of Poland in Paris, was murdered by the Nazis in a prison in Kościan on 19 February 1940.

The church may be visited from the outside. Holy Masses: Sunday at 8.00, 10.00, and 11.30, weekdays: at 18.30 (17.00 in winter), holidays on weekdays: at 9.30 and 18.30, parish office: open before and after Holy Masses.

compiled by Beata Marzęta, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 17-11-2015.

Bibliography

  • Brykowski R., Wielkopolskie Kościoły Drewniane, Poznań 2001; str. 133
  • Drewniane kościoły Wielkopolski, Poznań 2004, s. 24
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, t. V, z. 25, s. 9-11
  • Łukaszewicz J., Opis historyczny kościołów parochialnych w dawnej dyecezyi poznańskiej, t. II, Poznań, 1858, s. 197198
  • Zgodziński B., Województwo leszczyńskie, Poznań 1989, str. 132-133

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1785 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Bonikowo 27
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district kościański, commune Kościan
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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