Church of the Heart of Jesus, currently serving as the parish church of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Bydgoszcz
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Church of the Heart of Jesus, currently serving as the parish church of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus



With its plastered façades with stone detailing, this distinctive church manages to stand out among the numerous brick ecclesiastical buildings that were erected in Bydgoszcz in the 19th century and in the early 20th century. Inside, the church features a reinforced concrete structure - a novelty seldom seen in Bydgoszcz at the time.


The Baroque Revival church, designed by Oskar Hossfeld for the German Catholic community, was erected in the years 1910-1913. The construction works, performed under the supervision of Otto Mandtke by Emil Heidemann’s construction company, were financed from government funds. These funds have proved sufficient to cover 95% of all the costs of the project. The interior was graced by painted decorations created by the Berlin-based painter Ernest Fey. The sculpture of St Peter and St Paul incorporated into the main portal was created by a sculptor named Schreiner, based in Regensburg. The remaining statues displayed on the church façade are the work of Meyer and Weber from Wilmersdorf. The sculptural decorations gracing the interior were created by Franke Vauschutz from Charlottenburg. On June 19, 1913, bishop W. Kloske, the suffragan of Gniezno, consecrated the church. Initially, the church served as an auxiliary place of worship forming part of the larger parish. Until the year 1920, the church served the German Catholic population; later on, church service was held for both the German and the Polish Catholics, at least until 1924, when the last church service in the German language was held on February 17. In 1924, cardinal Edmund Dalbor issued a decree on the formation of five new parishes in Bydgoszcz, including the parish of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. From 1925 onwards, reverend Kazimierz Stepczyński served as the local parish priest; in 1939, he was murdered by the Germans. The church itself sustained no damage during the war.

Renovation works were performed inside the church in the years 1982-1988, while year 2002 saw the restoration and conservation works being performed on the building’s exterior.


The Baroque Revival church, towering above the Piastowski square, is positioned on the north-south axis, its two-bay chancel standing on the northern side of the structure. The church, designed on a Latin cross floor plan and featuring a basilica layout, features a polygonal chancel end section. A tall, three-storey tower topped with a bell-shaped cupola with a roof lantern adjoins the eastern façade. The front (southern) façade is partitioned with pilasters topped with composite capitals and crowned with a pronounced, convexo-concave gable. The main entrance portal is flanked by Ionic columns supporting an entablature topped with sculpted volutes surmounted by free-standing sculptures of St Peter and Paul. Between the two volute-shaped sections of the split pediment there is an elaborate cartouche bearing an inscription which reads, “Laudate Dominum omnes gentes./Laudate eum omnes populi”. The main portal is flanked by a pair of smaller, side entrances. The second storey is pierced with a trio of windows topped with bell arches, with a decorative cartouche displayed above the middle window. The façade is topped with a decorative gable adorned with a portrayal of the Eye of Providence in bas-relief, flanked by adoring putti. Below the relief there is an inscription which reads, “Oculi mei crunt aperti, et oures meac cree me od orationem ciuf, gui in loco isto oraverit”. The gable is topped with a radiant cross reminiscent of a monstrance. The chancel features a three-sided end section and is flanked by a pair of low towers crowned with bulbous cupolas with roof lanterns. The towers rise above the chancel annexes, accessible by means of lavishly decorated portals. The walls of the side aisles are punctuated with rectangular windows, while the windows illuminating the main nave are elliptical in shape. Additional entrances, framed with elaborate portals, are positioned at the eastern and western transept ends of the church.

The three-nave interior of the main body and the chancel are separated by a blunt rood arch. A vaulted ceiling of the barrel type graces the interior of the church. A false dome adorned with a trompe l’œil polychromy incorporating the images of the Twelve Apostles is positioned above the crossing of the naves. The interior fixtures and fittings are designed in the Baroque Revival style.

The church is open to visitors.

compiled by Agnieszka Wysocka, Historical Monument and National Heritage Documentation and Popularisation Department of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Cultural Centre in Bydgoszcz, 26-11-2014 - 8-11-2014.


  • Kuberska I., Architektura sakralna Bydgoszczy w okresie historyzmu, “Materiały do dziejów kultury i sztuki Bydgoszczy i regionu”, no. 3, 1998, pp. 61-82
  • Wojdak E., Postępowe idee protestanckiej architektury sakralnej w bydgoskim budownictwie kościelnym ostatniej ćwierci XIX wieku, “Materiały do dziejów kultury i sztuki Bydgoszczy i regionu”, no. 17, 2013, pp. 18-33

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1910-1913 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: plac Piastowski , Bydgoszcz
  • Location: Voivodeship kujawsko-pomorskie, district Bydgoszcz, commune Bydgoszcz
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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