Parish Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, Bronikowo
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Parish Church of Saint Francis of Assisi

Bronikowo

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The church in Bronikowo is one of the most interesting examples of wooden ecclesiastical architecture in the vicinity of Śmigiel. Inside, there are original Baroque fittings.

History

In 1412, Mikołaj Pradel, the owner of Bronikowo, sold the estate to Henryk de Opol, the owner of Koszanowo and Śmigiel, who subsequently adopted the name “Bronikowski”.

It is believed that a Church of Saint Francis of Assisi existed in the village as early as in the 14th century. The first parish-priest, Wacław, was mentioned in written sources dating from 1423. During the Reformation, the church was taken over by Protestants; it was only returned to Catholics in 1599. In the 4th quarter of the 17th century, Franciszek Zbyszewski founded a new wooden church (whose image can be seen on a commemorative plaque), which was destroyed by fire in 1738. Reconstruction works were commenced in 1738 owing to the efforts of Apolonia Jaraczewska née Raczyński and Ignacy Koźmiński of Radomicko. They were completed in 1739. The tower and the roof were renovated in the years 1927-1928. In 1936, owing to the efforts of Rev. Jan Jazdończyk and with the help of Otton Froter, the church structure was reinforced through the addition of two side chapels made of larch wood. Following the extension, the church has the shape of a cross. Thanks to Rev. Jan Jazdończyk, the interior walls of the nave and the coffered ceiling were covered with larch boards in 1939. During World War II, the church in Bronikowo and the church in Oborzyska were the only ones in the Kościan District where Holy Masses for Polish people were held. In 1965, the tower, which started to lean towards the north, was renovated. In 1970, conservation works were carried out on the interior and church fittings, and in 1982, the exterior wooden structure was renovated.

Description

The Parish Church of Saint Francis of Assisi is situated on a small plot of land in the central part of the village, by a road connecting Śmigiel and Krzycko. The church yard is enclosed with a wooden fence with brick posts. On the east side, there is a rectory with a garden. The church is oriented towards the east. The walls rest on a cobblestone and brick wall base. The eastern part of the church and the nave have a log structure with beam ends protruding from the walls in the chancel part. The chapels have a frame structure and the tower has a frame structure with weatherboards. The nave is reinforced with a frame structure and so are the chapels and the tower. The church has one nave (no aisles). It has a Greek cross floor plan. The chancel, terminated semi-hexagonally, is lower and narrower than the nave. The building is covered with a gable roof; the chapels have three-pitched roofs. On the west side, there is a two-storeyed, square tower with an onion-shaped, four-pitched roof surmounted by a lantern. Inside, there are slat lattice ceilings; in the chancel, there is a coffered ceiling. Notable elements of the interior include an architectural main altar from c. 1700, framed by two columns with sculptures of angels and Saints Akwiliniusz, Peter of Verona, Norbert, and Placid. In the central field, there is a painting of Our Lady of the Snows from the 2nd half of the 17th century, regarded as having miraculous properties. The altar also incorporates a painting of the Holy Trinity. By the altar, there are sculptures of St Casimir and St John the Evangelist on corbels. There is also a Baroque altar on each side of the church. The right altar features a painting of St Francis in the central filed and a painting of St Anthony with Child at the top. By the columns, there are sculptures of St Lucy and St Jadwiga. The left altar, dating from 1704, incorporates a painting depicting the Adoration of the Five Holy Wounds by St Francis and St Catherine of Siena and a painting of Our Lady of Sorrows at the top. The silver cloak of Christ comes from the years 1720-1730. By the altar, there are approx. 20 votive offerings from the 17th-19th centuries. The altar follows the tradition of Early-Baroque black altars. There is also a Baroque pulpit from the 1st half of the 18th century with a sculpture of Salvator Mundi on top. The baptismal font, the music gallery, and the pipe organ come from c. 1700. The cover of the baptismal font is adorned with a scene of the Baptism of Christ. On one of the exterior walls of the chancel, there is a wooden cross from c. 1700.

The church may be visited from the outside. Holy Masses: Sunday at 8:00 and 10:30 AM, weekdays: at 6.00 PM, holidays falling on weekdays: at 9:00 AM and 6 PM.

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. 35
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, t. V, z. 25, s. 11-13
  • Łukaszewicz J., Opis historyczny kościołów parochialnych w dawnej dyecezyi poznańskiej, t. II, Poznań, 1858, s. 272-274
  • Plebański R., Renowacja zabytkowych obiektów sakralnej architektury drewnianej regionu Wielkopolski, [w:] Wielkopolski Biuletyn konserwatorski, t. IV/2010, Poznań 2010, s. 88-90
  • Zgodziński B., Województwo leszczyńskie, Poznań 1989, str. 138-139

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1738 - 1739
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Morownicka 15, Bronikowo
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district kościański, commune Śmigiel - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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