The cemetery church of the Holy Cross, Buk
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The cemetery church of the Holy Cross

Buk

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This 18th-century church is a fascinating example of a post-and-frame/post-and-plank ecclesiastical building. It also contains valuable Rococo interior fittings dating back to circa 1760. The main altarpiece built during that time incorporates a Gothic crucifix from the 15th or 16th century as well as Baroque sculptures of Our Lady of Sorrows and St John the Evangelist. An 18th-century belfry is located near the church.

History

The oldest mentions of the town of Buk date back to 1257 and pertain to the establishment of a trade settlement, referred to as a town, located near the ducal village of Wielka Wieś, remaining under the custody of the cathedral of Poznań. The settlement of Buk with German law took place in 1296. In 1303, the town became the property of the bishops of Poznań and would remain in their hands until the end of the 18th century.

The original parish church in Buk was built towards the end of the 13th century; the earliest mention of this building dates back to 1298. Apart from the parish church in Buk, there were also four other churches, including one located in the suburb of Konary - the wooden church of St Adalbert, erected in 1609 (probably superseding an even earlier structure which stood there). In the mid-18th century the building was demolished due to its poor technical condition. The efforts of Wiktor Raczyński, the owner of the nearby village of Wojnowice, led to the construction of a new wooden church of the Holy Cross, St Adalbert and St Mary Magdalene in 1754. A wooden belfry was erected next to the church in 1759. From 1806, when the parish church in Buk was demolished, the wooden church took over the role of a parish church and would be treated as such until 1846. It was at that point that alteration works were performed, with the western wing of the church receiving a three-sided chancel; the original sacristy, located by the eastern wing, was extended and converted into a porch. An organ gallery was constructed inside the church, while the roof was modified to accommodate a steeple. The alteration works were completed in 1835. In 1870, the original wood shingle cladding was replaced with a slate one. The church was renovated in years 1912, 1935 and 1966.

Description

The church of the Holy Cross is located in the western part of town, in the former suburb of Konary. The chancel faces the west. The cemetery around the church is surrounded with a plastered brick wall. A wooden belfry rises next to the church, covered with a tented roof. The cemetery contains ancient headstones and grave plaques, including those of the Niegolewski family, as well as a Rococo stone statue entitled Ecce Homo, made in 1762.

The church was designed on a Greek cross floor plan intersected by a circle the individual sections of which link the arms of the cross together. A three-sided sacristy is attached to the western wing of the church, behind the chancel, while the eastern wing features a rectangular porch. Both of these annexes are much lower than the remaining parts of the church. The individual sections of the church feature tall, two-tiered roofs; the sacristy has a five-faced roof, while the porch features a low gable roof. The entire structure is dominated by an octagonal steeple rising from the central section of the building and topped with a bulbous spire.

The church is a wooden building and features an unusual double wall structure combining the principles of post-and-frame and post-and-plank construction. The walls of the church are covered with weatherboards. The roofs are covered with slate roof tiles, with the roof of the steeple clad in sheet metal. The central part of the church features a false cupola ceiling in the form of a flattened dome with a massive, circular roof lantern. The arms of the cross feature false barrel vaulting made of wood, with lunettes that cut into the central dome. The remaining sections of the church feature simple wooden ceilings.

The exterior walls of the church are clad with vertically positioned weatherboards and are topped with a crowning cornice. The gables of the arms of the church are divided into two distinct zones, with convexo-concave fractables forming a decorative outline. The windows are topped with segmental arches, while the gables are adorned with oval windows. The main entrance, topped with a segmental arch, is located in the porch on the eastern side. A separate, rectangular entrance leads into the sacristy on the southern side of the building.

Inside the church, the central section is separated from the rest of the interior by eight pillars. The cupola ceiling in this section of the building is adorned with a painting that most likely originates from the early 19th century, although it was subsequently repainted in 1966; it depicts four scenes from the life of St Adalbert as well as the images of St Jadwiga, St Casimir, St Adalbert and St Stanislaus, the latter being located inside the roof lantern. The eastern arm of the cruciform church features an organ gallery with a convex parapet, resting atop profiled girders and a pair of columns. The church features original Rococo interior fittings which include a set of altars consisting of the main altarpiece and four side altarpieces. The main altarpiece features a base designed to resemble a mass of rock, topped by a Gothic crucifix set against the background of a decorative drapery, flanked by Baroque sculptures depicting Our Lady of Sorrows, St John the Evangelist as well as a group of angels.

The church may be viewed from the outside and - following prior appointment - from the inside.

More information on the sanctuary is available at www.parafiabuk.p

compiled by Krzysztof Jodłowski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 30-09-2014.

Bibliography

  • Drewniane kościoły w Wielkopolsce, koncepcja, teksty i wybór fotografii P. Maluśkiewicz, Poznań 2004, s. 42.
  • Jankowski A., Kościoły drewniane o zdwojonej konstrukcji ścian w Wielkopolsce, Bydgoszcz 2009, s. 176-79.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, t. V, z. 14: powiat nowotomyski, Warszawa 1969, s. 2-5.
  • Kohte J., Verzeichnis der Kunstdenkmaeler der Provinz Posen, Bd. III, Berlin 1897, s. 60-63.
  • Krassowski W., Centralne drewniane kościoły barokowe, „Biuletyn Historii Sztuki, XXIX, 1959, nr 1, s. 115-16
  • Ruszczyk G., Architektura drewniana w Polsce, Warszawa 2009, s. 506-09

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1754 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Bohaterów Bukowskich , Buk
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district poznański, commune Buk - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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