Parish Church of the Decapitation of St John the Baptist, Budzynek
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Parish Church of the Decapitation of St John the Baptist

Budzynek

photo

The spatial solutions used in the church are unusual for the region - it is a special case of a wooden sacred building which consists of an octagonal, regular chancel and a newer square nave, both of which are covered with a common multi-faceted roof. At the front, there is an overhanging choir, forming a deep pillar-supported arcade below in place of a porch. It is a unique solution. The octagonal chancel might be a remnant of an hermit chapel from the 16th century, whereas the nave dates back to the 18th century. Another unique feature are the uncut ends of the log structure in the chancel section and at the meeting point of the nave and the chancel, noted already by Zygmunt Gloger.

History

The church in Budzynek was probably constructed between 1520 and 1595, initially most likely as a wooden octagonal hermitage oratory with a corner-notched log structure. The oratory was recorded during the 1759 canon inspection under the dedication of St Florian (this dedication and the reference to St Roch can still be found in the text of the first entry into the register of monuments from 1949).

It was not until circa 1780 that the existence of a church with a rectangular nave added to an orthogonal chancel, with an unusual overhanging musical choir on the outside and a sacristy at the chancel on the northern side was recorded. It was covered with wood shingles and topped with a steeple.

The form of the building probably did not change until 1924, when it was renovated. It was then that two central pillars supporting the choir were removed, clamps were added to reinforce the walls, weatherboards of the gable were replaced, the steeple was covered with sheet metal, brick foundations and a cement floor were laid, and most likely also the sill plates were replaced.

In 1926, a parish was established in Budzynek (until then, the church had served as a filial church).

In 1927, a “chapel” was added to the nave on the southern side, which in reality was a utility room covered with a gable roof, with its ridge perpendicular to the nave wall. The window in the nave was moved higher and “laid down”, changing its position from vertical to horizontal. The adopted shape of the roof of the annex caused that rainwater leaked onto the southern wall of the nave all the time.

Another renovation in 1935 resulted in the roof truss and wood shingles being replaced and the roof shape being altered: a gable was added at the front, with a massive steeple on it. Moreover, the ends of the log structure were cut in the south-western corner of the choir. On that occasion, the window in the gable was changed from a rectangular to a square one and the window in the southern wall was “set upright” once again.

In 1952, the roof construction was replaced one more time, which fortunately entailed the removal of the larger steeple from above the choir, which caused excessive strain on the roof. The gable on the western side was left intact.

During the renovation between 1995 and 1997, a triangular roof plane above the choir was restored, the pillars supporting the choir were replaced and two missing ones were restored, the wood-shingle covering of the steeple was restored and the wood-shingle covering of the roof was replaced, the southern annex was dismantled and a smaller annex was constructed in its place (covered with a mono-pitched roof which was an extension of the southern surface of the main roof), accessible from the western side via an external door. The lower part of the log structure of the southern wall was replaced due to damage caused by rainwater. In order to reinforce the southern wall, it was decided that the trace of the original door - jambs and lintel both of which suffered damage for the same reason as the log structure - should not be restored. Gravel surrounds with drainage around the entire church replaced the concrete surround.

Description

The church complex is located in the middle of the village of Budzynek, on the western side of an asphalt road. The church is oriented, situated in the central part of an elongated plot of land, circumscribed with a modern picket fence made of wood, with a gate of steel rods from the east, from the road side. To the north-west from the front façade of the church, a few metres away, there is a brick bell tower which was erected after the Second World War, and further to the west - there is a rectory.

The building does not show any distinct style, there are no decorative elements visible from the outside. Its form is rather unusual for wooden churches built in this part of the country during the Baroque period; it is a unique form.

The church is a single-nave building consisting of two sections, but originally it probably consisted of one section only. The floor plan was made on the base of a regular octagon with the area of almost 28 m2 and an attached square nave of almost 38 m2 floor area. On the northern side there is a rectangular sacristy adjoining to the chancel, covered with a mono-pitched roof which is an extension of the main roof, and on the southern side there is a utility room adjoining the nave at its north-western corner, the shape of which is similar to that of the sacristy.

The connection between the octagonal chancel and the rectangular nave is the only one of its kind in wooden sacred architecture in Łódzkie Voivodeship. Another unique solution is the overhanging choir, which creates a deep arcade in front of the entrance.

The main entrance to the church is located in the front (western) façade, under the arcade below the choir, and the side entrance was initially located traditionally, in the right (in this case, southern) wall of the nave. During the renovation in the years 1995-1997, its corroded remnants were removed for construction reasons.

The roof covering the church is multi-faceted and one-ridge, with gable inclination angle of approximately 45º. In the roof ridge, on the level of the intersection of the chancel and the nave, there is a quadrangular steeple, covered with a four-sloped tented roof.

The church rests on a low foundation, plastered at a later date.

The walls are supported on a wooden corner-notched log structure of softwood thick planks, joined with hidden-pin wedged dove-tail joints, partially without log ends, partially with log ends of varying length. On the outside, the gable overhanging the entrance is covered with weatherboards in vertical abutting arrangement, with battens covering the joints. From the inside the walls are plastered, without wall painting.

The ceiling above the nave and the chancel is wooden and supported by beams.

The nave and the chancel are covered with a queen-post structure roof, with collars both in full and reduced A-frames.

The sacristy is covered with a shed roof with rafters, as is the utility room on the southern side. The walls of the sacristy have a corner-notched log structure, and the walls of the southern annex are timber-framed.

The western (front) façade is simple, consisting of three horizontal parts. Above the exposed log structure of the ground floor, there is the overhanging choir, supported by four modestly chamfered pillars. The log wall of the choir is covered with weatherboards in vertical arrangement, with battens covering their joints. In the central part of the choir there is a square four-panel window. Below, along the axis, there are modern double-leaf doors to the nave, with massive jambs. In the corners of the front façade there are irregular untrimmed ends of the log wall, which are longer in the overhanging part. Above the choir, there is a surface of wood-shingle roof with prominently projecting eaves. In the top section near the roof ridge there is a small skylight. On the right side under the overhang, there are ladder stairs to the choir. To the right from the nave, there is a wall of the annex constructed during the 1995-1997 renovation.

The southern façade consists of two parts: a rectangular nave wall and three sides of the regular octagon which forms the chancel. In the south-western part, the nave is obscured by the utility room which replaced the former porch-chapel in years 1995-1997. Above both parts, there is a common roof surface covered with wood shingles. The utility room is covered with a shed roof the surface of which is an extension of the main roof. The log structure of the nave and the chancel is exposed, with pronounced uncut ends in the corners. The wall of the nave and the walls of the chancel are reinforced with clamps from various time periods. During the renovation in the years 1995-1997, the beams in the bottom part of the nave wall were replaced to the half of its height. The wall of the utility room is covered with weatherboards in vertical arrangement, with battens covering their joints. In the nave, there is one square window, split, with each of the sides with six panels. In the chancel wall, there is one biforium window, with each of the sides with five panels.

The northern façade consists of two parts: a rectangular nave wall and three sides of the regular octagon which forms the chancel. In the north-eastern part, the chancel wall, the triangular space between the chancel and the nave, and a fragment of the nave wall are obscured by the sacristy. Above both parts, there is a common roof surface covered with wood shingles. The sacristy is covered with a shed roof the surface of which is an extension of the main roof. The log structure of the nave and the chancel is exposed, with uncut ends in the corners. The wall of the nave and the walls of the chancel are reinforced with clamps. The nave wall is windowless, the diagonal wall of the chancel features a small circular four-panel window.

The eastern façade consists of three walls of the triangular end section of the chancel and - on the northern side - the end (side) wall of the sacristy, and - further, on the southern side - the end (side) wall of the utility annex. The log structure of the chancel is exposed, with uncut ends in the corners. In the north-eastern wall, there is a small circular four-panel window. The walls of the chancel are reinforced with pairs of clamps. Triangular surfaces of the wood-shingle roof sit on top of the chancel walls. The eastern wall of sacristy features a rectangular, horizontal four-panel window.

A single-bay interior, consisting of the rectangular nave and the adjacent octagonal chancel, fully plastered and painted white, covered with a flat ceiling with modest rosette-shaped plasterwork where chandeliers are mounted. There is a darker accent in the form of a frame and a rood beam at the meeting point of the nave and the chancel. At the meeting point of the nave and the chancel, there are two diagonally-positioned side altars, and further inside is the main altar. No historical pews have survived.

The main altar is situated along a wall, made of wood, painted, and dates back to the 18th century. It has modest carved ornaments. It is an example of the Baroque style and features a painting of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa from 1928, positioned between two Corinthian columns. The altar is crowned with an aureole with solid putti sculptures on the sides.

The side altar in the south-eastern corner of the nave is situated diagonally along a wall. It is made of wood, painted, and dates back to the 18th century. It features a painting of St Joseph and two saints with no special symbols on the sides. It is crowned with an aureole with putti sculptures on the sides.

The side altar in the north-eastern corner of the nave is situated diagonally along a wall. It is made of wood and identical to the one described above. In the central part, there is an oil painting of Mary with Child, depicted down to the knees. Sculptures of St Peter and St John stand on both sides.

To the right of the main altar, there is a painting titled The Decapitation of St John the Baptist from the second half of the 18th century, oil paint on a board. On the left side of the main altar, there is an oil painting of St Florian from the first half of the 18th century, painted on a board.

A straight, quadrangular rood beam, supported by two outer posts, also quadrangular; all elements oil-painted. On the beam there is a modern inscription on the nave side (most likely covering the original one): Benedic Domine Domini Jeston Ano 1148 Die 19 Toepnoow Fundator Huius Ecclesia Ja Scholowski (the date on the beam is sometimes interpreted as 1748 as well).

The building is accessible throughout the year before masses, services and after them, alternatively upon prior arrangement with the parish.

compiled by Włodzimierz Witkowski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Łódź, 18-05-2015.

Bibliography

  • Acta Curiae Dioecesensae Lodziensis, par. Budzynek, od 1922 r. - Archiwum Archidiecezji Łódzkiej.
  • Akta łęczyckie Grodzkie - Libri oblatarum, 1780, AGAD, sygn. 90, s. 111v.
  • Budzynek, wizytacja 30.09.1759 r. - Archiwum Diecezjalne we Włocławku, sygn. AAG Wiz. 30.
  • Z. Gloger, Budownictwo drzewne i wyroby z drzewa w dawnej Polsce, t. 2, Warszawa 1909, s. 140-142.
  • Z. Heyda z zespołem, Dokumentacja techniczna. Kościół parafialny w Budzynku woj. sieradzkie. Inwentaryzacja architektoniczno-konserwatorska, PKZ Łódź 1984, w zbiorach archiwum WUOZ w Łodzi Delegatura w Sieradzu.
  • E. Szelągowska, fot. J. Zawiejski, i J. Kujawa, Kościół parafialny w Budzynku gm. Dalików woj. sieradzkie. Dokumentacja Historyczno-Architektoniczna wykonana na zlecenie WKZ w Sieradzu, t. I i II, PP PKZ Oddział w Łodzi, Pracownia Dokumentacji Naukowo-Historycznej, Łódx 1985, m-ps w archiwum PKZ Łódź w zbiorach NID OT Łódź.
  • T. Olejniczak, W. Witkowski, Renowacja i przebudowa kościoła w Budzynku jako przykład metody działań projektowych, konserwatorskich i wykonawczych w obiektach zabytkowej architektury sakralnej na wsi, VIII Konferencja Naukowa Kierunki Planowania przestrzennego i architektury współczesnej wsi, Białystok-Hołny Meyera, 22-24 maja 1998 r., s. 77-87.
  • T. Olejniczak, W. Witkowski, współpraca E. Szelągowska, Projekt koncepcyjny i techniczny robót zabezpieczających i ratowniczych z analizą historyczno-przestrzenną i elementami rewaloryzacji kościoła pw. Ścięcia św. Jana Chrzciciela w Budzynku, gm. Dalików, woj. sieradzkie, Łódź, kwiecień-lipiec 1995, mps w zbiorach archiwum WUOZ w Łodzi Delegatury w Sieradzu.
  • A. Olszewski, Kościół p.w. św. Jana Chrzciciela, Budzynek, Karta ewidencyjna zabytku architektury i budownictwa, wrzesień 1987, mps w zbiorach WUOZ w Łodzi Delegatura w Sieradzu.
  • Orzeczenia mykologiczno-budowlane dotyczące stanu zachowania kościoła w Budzynku: Mgr inż. H. Ciszkowski, Zjednoczone Zespoły Gospodarcze, I Zespół przemysłu, Biuro Specjalistycznej Współpracy Naukowo-Technicznej, grudzień 1973, mps, Mgr inż. P. Kozarski, Zjednoczone Zespoły Gospodarcze, I Zespół przemysłu, Biuro Specjalistycznej Współpracy Naukowo-Technicznej, czerwiec 1977, mps, UPR. Budowniczy E. Krakowiak, PKZ O/Łódź, marzec 1985, mps, Dr inż. A. Krajewski, Fundacja Ochrony Zabytków, Warszawa, sierpień 1993, nr OZ-271, mps; wszystkie w zbiorach WUOZ w Łodzi Delegatura w Sieradzu.
  • J. Pławski, M. Kula, Plany inwentaryzacyjne zabytkowego kościoła w Budzynku, gm. Dalików, PKZ Zaklad w Łodzi, sierpień 1951 r., w zbiorach WUOZ w Łodzi Delegatura w Sieradzu.
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  • Zestaw 19 archiwalnych fotografii kościoła w Budzynku (na kartach adresowych), w zbiorach WUOZ w Łodzi Delegatura w Sieradzu.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1520-1595
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Budzynek
  • Location: Voivodeship łódzkie, district poddębicki, commune Dalików
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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