Evangelical church, currently serving as the Roman Catholic filial church of Holy Mother Queen of Poland and commonly referred to as the “school church”, Brodnica
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Evangelical church, currently serving as the Roman Catholic filial church of Holy Mother Queen of Poland and commonly referred to as the “school church”

Brodnica

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An example of a place of worship having an outstanding artistic value which bears testimony to the activities of the Protestant community in Brodnica, its Late Classicist design being a rarity among the Evangelical churches of the Chełmno region.

History

Designed in the Late Classicist style, the church was erected in the years 1827-30. The consecration ceremony was held on Palm Sunday (April 4, 1839). Until 1945, the building continued to serve as the parish church of the Evangelical community in Brodnica. The church remained the site of Protestant worship for more than one hundred years, with the very lust church service being held here by reverend Erich Birkholz, the superintendent of Brodnica. In 1945, the church suffered damage, with the existing pipe organ being completely destroyed; the painting which depicted the Resurrection of Christ was likewise damaged in the process. After the war, the building was taken over by the Roman Catholic church.

In 1947, the church was consecrated by rev. Kazimierz Józef Kowalski, the ordinary of the Chełmno diocese. It was at that point that it became known as the church of the Holy Mother Queen of Poland. From that moment onwards, the church served as a place of worship accompanying the nearby school, holding the status of a filial church of the Roman Catholic parish of St Catherine.

Description

The church forms part of the complex of Old Town buildings; standing alongside Kościelna street, it is recessed vis-à-vis the rest of its western frontage. The designers of the church, erected on a rectangular floor plan, dispensed with the usual requirement for an eastward-facing chancel; neither is the chancel a distinct, separate part of the interior of the church. The tower, designed on a square floor plan, merges with the eastern part of the nave. The chancel is flanked by a pair of rectangular annexes. The main entrance is found in the eastern section of the church, with entrances to the annexes positioned on its western side. The nave and the chancel with its two-storey annexes are covered with a common gable roof. The low, square tower features an octagonal upper section crowned with a spire. The church is made of brick and features a tall wall base made of granite boulders. Both the nave and the chancel feature a flat ceiling. The façades of the church are adorned with rustication, with windows topped with semicircular arches positioned above a string course.

The front (eastern) façade follows a three-axial layout, with the three-storey tower projecting slightly ahead of the façade itself and featuring an entrance portal topped with a semi-circular arch and flanked by a pair of niches which had originally housed the statues of Martin Luther and John Calvin. A tall window, likewise topped with a semi-circular arch, pierces the wall of the second storey of the tower. The uppermost section of the tower is octagonal in shape, each of its sides featuring a single, louvred bell opening topped with a semi-circular arch. The entire structure is topped with a slender spire surmounted by a cross.

The western façade is divided by cornices into three distinct sections; the lower section features a pair of entrance portals, while the middle one is graced by a single, central oculus, above which rises the triangular gable with another oculus of an almost identical shape and size.

The interior features a narrow chancel flanked by two side annexes, a choir gallery supported by Tuscan columns as well as side galleries for the faithful. The ceiling above both the nave and chancel sections is flat.

Surviving original fixtures and fittings include the period wooden doors with metal fittings, the stairs, the pews, candelabra supports flanking the entrance portal, the sacristy furnishings as well as a pair of cast iron bells in the tower, donated by King Frederick William III and installed in 1834.

In 1833, a painting by a Poznań-based painter Gillern, depicting the Resurrection of Christ, was installed on the wall behind the altar. During the comprehensive restoration of the church which took place in the years 1912-1913, a new altarpiece painting by Hermann Frobenius from Munich, depicting the same subject matter as the previous work, was executed and placed inside the church and was only removed after 1945.

Accessible historic building. The interiors are open to visitors during church service.

compiled by Marzenna Stocka, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Toruń, 23-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Diecezja toruńska. Historia i teraźniejszość, t. 3, Dekanat brodnicki, 1998, s. 67-68
  • Wultański J., Brodnickie ulice, Brodnica 2002, s. 182-184

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1827-1830 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kościelna 1, Brodnica
  • Location: Voivodeship kujawsko-pomorskie, district brodnicki, commune Brodnica (gm. miejska)
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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