Evangelical church, currently the Roman Catholic Filial Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Brzezinki
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Evangelical church, currently the Roman Catholic Filial Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Brzezinki

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Built in the mid-16th century, the church is one of the oldest wooden buildings in the region. The church boasts richly painted decoration of the interior which, together with elaborate galleries - which typifies many Protestant temples - offers a colourful interior with numerous partitions.

History

The church was built by the Evangelicals about 1550 on the site of the previous temple and enlarged in 1693. According to some authors, the tower was added in 1725. The geometric wall paintings on the ceiling over the chancel was produced in 1693; the reminder of the floral ornaments were added 1776. The author's signature of the wall painting reads: Michał Glomb, organist and amateur painted. The gates in the fence surrounding the church were made by Michał Bieniek (Bienak) of Nagodowice: the west one in 1753, the east, double-panel one, in 1754. A copy of the bigger of the gates can be seen at the entrance to the Opole Silesia Museum in Opole-Bierkowice. Until 1945 the church served as an Evangelical temple. Now, it is a Roman Catholic filial church dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Wołczyn. In 1994 the church was robbed of its sculptures from a Gothic triptych (1400-1420); now they are replaced by replicas. The church underwent multiple renovations, e.g. in 2001.

Description

The church stands by the main road bisecting Brzezinki, closer to the south edge of the village. The church is oriented towards the east and located on a gentle elevation. A cemetery with lavish old trees adjoins at the church and extends further to the south-east. The area is surrounded by a wooden, 18th-century fence with roofed gates.

The late Gothic church has a rare floor plan: a short, three-sided chancel and a two-bay nave whose east part has a square-like shape and the west one is short and much wider of the former. Moreover, the church plan seems even more interesting if we take the adjacent sacristy and a room created after the encasing of some of the arcades (former religion classroom) along the north walls of the church and the west porch on the axis of the nave, and another porch on the south, narrower part of the nave.

This body is a reflection of the original plan and consists of elements whose height increases towards the west - from the low chancel, through the two parts of the nave, to the slender turret by the west edge of the roof, with adjoining porches and sacristy. The church has double-pitched roofs with three ridges and extended north planes, reaching over the sacristy and its adjacent room. The porches are covered with double-pitched roofs, with extra roofing over the gables; a high tented roof is seen over the tower.

The church was built as a log structure, on a stone base. The tower has a post-and-beam structure with its base in the wider part of the nave. The roofs and walls of the church, except for the west porch, are covered with shingles. The walls of the tower, the gables over the west part of the nave and in the porches are covered with weatherboards in a straight and oblique pattern.

The interior is covered by a flat ceiling. The rood beam is rectangular; the simple rood beam reads “1693” and has a Gothic crucifix, dating from the 1st half of the 15th century. The choir with a full wooden balustrade is supported on pillars with short braces; it is extended eastward with extensive galleries, trimmed with profiled strips at the lowest part. The galleries running along the north wall of the church (both the nave and chancel) and along the south wall of the nave, can be accessed in three locations by two-flight stairs. The different width of the galleries obscured the disparity in the width of the nave, leaving the viewer with the impression of uniformity.

A distinctive element of the church is its rich interior wall painting. The ceiling over the chancel features painted coffers with hemmed rosettes and festoons. The ceilings over the nave and sacristy, the rood beam and all walls are covered with floral decoration. On one of the choir beams reveals a painted cartouche with the inscription, “Michael Glomb Organist” and the date “6 Junji 1776.” The door to the sacristy is covered with a polychrome imitating door hardware with lilies in the innermost fields; the galleries are painted in a manner imitating marble.

The interior abounds in fittings and equipment of different styles: late classicistic (pulpit with painted figures of the Evangelists from the 1st half of the 17th c.), Baroque (architectural, column altarpiece) and folk (chest, pews), etc. What is left is a triptych of the 1st quarter of the 15th century is the casing filled with copies of stolen sculptures. The bell cast in 1819 comes from the workshop of Georg Benjamin Krieger in Wrocław.

Accessible historic building. Viewing of the interior by prior telephone arrangement.

Compiled by. Ewa Kalbarczyk-Klak, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 21-10-2014 r.

Bibliography

  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, t. VII, Województwo opolskie, z. 4: Powiat kluczborski, red. T. Chrzanowski i M. Kornecki, s. 7-8
  • Emmerling D., Wierzgoń A., Opolskie kościoły drewniane, Opole 2006, s. 18
  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytku architektury: Kościół ewangelicki, ob. rzym.-kat. filialny p.w. Narodzenia Najświętszej Marii Panny,  oprac. J. Kowalewski, 1996,  Archiwum WUOZ w Opolu.
  • Śląsk. Zabytki Sztuki w Polsce, oprac. zbiorowe, Warszawa 2006, s. 167.
  • Lutsch Hans, Verzeichnis der Kunstdenkmäler der Provinz Schlesien, Bd. 4: Die Kunstdenkmäler des Reg.-Bezirks Oppeln, Tl. 1, Breslau 1894, s. 10-11.
  • Burgmeister L., Wiggert E.,Holzkirche und Holztürme der preussischen  Ostprovinzen Schlesien, etc, Berlin 1905, s. 6, 36.
  • Helmigk H. J., Oberschlesische Landbaufunst um 1800, Berlin 1937.
  • Szymański S., Wystroje malarskie kościołów drewnianych, 1970, s. 42 i nn.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1550
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Brzezinki 30A
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district kluczborski, commune Wołczyn - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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